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Twitter lets Prince Harry have it after he suggests bringing back national service

Should he really be airing his opinions in public?

 

Gavia Baker-Whitelaw

Tech

Published May 17, 2015   Updated May 28, 2021, 7:47 pm CDT

Prince Harry just spoke out in favor of introducing national service, provoking immediate outcry from people pointing out that as a member of the royal family, his experiences of military life are not exactly normal.

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“I dread to think where I’d be without the Army,” he said, adding that military service helps to keep people out of trouble. “The Army keep giving me great jobs, and I can never thank them enough for that.” 

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This isn’t a great time for Prince Harry to be voicing opinions about anything, never mind something as controversial as national service. His father, Prince Charles, is currently embroiled in a scandal relating to his history of lobbying the U.K. government, and the recent election result means conscription is a touchier subject than usual. With unemployed and underemployed young people likely to suffer under the Conservatives’ austere welfare cuts, few are interested in hearing a prince tell them they’d be better off with mandatory national service.

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https://twitter.com/AbiWilks/status/599887406037336066

As many people on Twitter are pointing out, Prince Harry’s “fun” time in the Army does not reflect how most people would react to military life. While military service is one of the few “normal” jobs available to members of the British royal family, Prince Harry’s experiences are hardly typical, seeing him go from officer training school to becoming a helicopter pilot and organizing a paralympic-style tournament for injured servicemen and women.

Most importantly, Prince Harry’s decision to join the Army was a personal choice, making it very different from the effects of government-enforced national service.

Photo via Carfax2/Wikimedia (CC BY 3.0)

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*First Published: May 17, 2015, 6:15 pm CDT