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The Queen's desires for Prince William and Harry's future revealed in new documentary

The Real Crown will air on ITVX in April

Prince William, Prince Harry and the Queen at Trooping the Colour 2009
Francesca Shillcock
Senior Features Writer
April 11, 2023
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The Queen's desires for Prince William and Prince Harry's future has been revealed in an upcoming ITV documentary titled, The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor.

The late monarch, who died in September 2022 aged 96, confided in former Head of the British Army General Sir Mike Jackson about her wishes for her grandsons to fight the Taliban in Afghanistan after war broke out in 2001. At the time, Her Majesty held a meeting with the former general and stated that her grandsons "must do their duty."

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Sir Mike recalled the meeting in the documentary, despite admitting he would be breaking protocol by revealing the details. "What goes on in those audiences and who says what to whom remains for the two people involved, and I will break the rule about not divulging on this one occasion," he began.

"She was very clear, she said, 'My grandsons have taken my shilling, therefore they must do their duty', and that was that. But it was decided that William as heir to the heir, the risk is too great. But for his younger brother, the risk was acceptable."

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Harry, William and the Queen in 2003© Tim Graham/GETTY
The Queen wanted her grandsons to serve their country

The documentary also revealed that the monarch had acquired detailed information about the risks faced by British armed soldiers in Afghanistan. Sir John Scarlett, former head of MI6, also contributed to the documentary and explained that although it was decided William would not fight, the future King was "keen to do so."

John explained: "Of course, she has complete clearance to everything. She has complete access to an exceptional amount of info and insight for longer than anyone else."

William did not fight in Afghanistan but the Prince of Wales did complete training at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst and would go on to serve in the Royal Air Force and Navy. Harry, meanwhile, was posted to Afghanistan and served in the British Army for ten years.

The Real Crown: Inside the House of Windsor is set to land on ITVX on 20 April.  

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