‘They must do their duty’: The Queen wanted both Prince William and Prince Harry to serve on frontline, royal documentary reveals

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The Queen gave permission for both William and Harry to serve on the frontline, an upcoming royal documentary has revealed.

Referring to the now Prince of Wales and Duke of Sussex and their service in Afghanistan, the Queen said: “My grandsons have taken my shilling, therefore they must do their duty.”

However, it was decided at the time William would not take part in combat given his closeness to the throne and the risk this posed – while Harry would.

The revelation is part of the ITV documentary, The Real Crown: Inside The House Of Windsor, which follows the lives of members of the Royal Family.

In one of the episodes, General Sir Mike Jackson, chief of the general staff from 2003 to 2006 said: “The chiefs have an audience with the Queen once or twice a year. You need to have done your homework.

“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 what goes on on this one occasion when 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 for William as heir to the heir, the risk is too great. But for his younger brother, the risk was acceptable.”

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Prince William was an officer cadet while Sir Mike Jackson was head of the army and would later serve as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot without entering a combat zone.

Meanwhile, the Duke of Sussex was an army officer and would complete two tours of Afghanistan.

His 2007-08 tour would see him identify Taliban positions and mark coordinates for air strikes as a forward air controller, before a period in hiatus.

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Harry denies boasting about Taliban deaths

Harry would retrain as a helicopter pilot and was sent back to Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner returning in 2013.

The Real Crown: Inside The House Of Windsor can be seen in full from 20 April.

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