THE younger generation, eh? All you want is for them to get a decent education, find a good job and settle down. Instead they go off travelling, take endless gap years trying to ‘find themselves’ and flit between jobs, never sticking at anything for more than two years.
Just what is the Duke of Cambridge playing at? The news that Prince William, second in line to the throne, is to take a salaried job as an air ambulance pilot has been met with some criticism. The chap does seem to lack a little direction.
William fancied a career in the Army. He dabbled in this for a while, then transferred to the RAF to train as a search and rescue helicopter pilot. He quit that and took up a place at a bespoke agriculture course at Cambridge, billed as preparation for his future role as head of the Duchy of Cornwall estate. Was the Prince about to step up to the plate and take on more royal duties? Apparently not.
While the younger royals have ‘proper’ jobs, or are in training, they are excused from the role of ‘frontline royal’. William’s decision to work for free (he will be donating his £40,000 helicopter pilot salary back to the air ambulance charity) will be seen by the more cynical among us as yet another stalling tactic. The Queen carried out out 344 official visits last year, against her grandson’s rather paltry 62, who has got some way to go to beat his father’s annual tally of 442 official engagements. Come on, William, isn’t it time to stop messing about and start acting like the heir to the throne?
William’s decision to work for free might be seen as laudable by some, but is this really a practical career choice? A critically injured casualty can probably do without the royal groupies, nut jobs and protection officers that follow William around like a bad smell. We’re told he’ll be given time off for his public engagements and foreign tours: bet that’ll make Prince just-one-of-the-lads William popular with the rest of his team, as they scrap over who gets to take leave during half-term this year.
Prince William might want to play at being a serf, but it simply isn’t possible. Nothing about his life is normal, and to dip in and out of careers is frankly selfish. It’s time for him to grow up and start doing the job he was born to do.
Clare Mackintosh is a freelance feature-writer, columnist and crime novelist, and a former Police Inspector. Follow her on Twitter @claremackint0sh or read her blog at www.claremackintosh.com/blog