Which royal family members served in the military?

13 September 2022, 15:48 | Updated: 19 September 2022, 11:01

Prince Edward, King Charles and Princess Anne in military uniforms
How each royal family member has served the military service. Picture: Alamy

King Charles, Princess Anne, Prince Edward and Prince Andrew all have roles to play - but what exactly did they do in the military?

Queen Elizabeth II's children have all been playing important roles during the 10 day mourning period which has seen many of them put on their best military uniforms.

As we watch King Charles, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew and Edward lay their mother to rest - many members of the public are looking to see which royal family members actually served in the military.

Here's a look at who served when and where as they continue to wear their badges of honour for the services.

King Charles in black for Queen's vigil
King Charles served in the Royal Air Force. Picture: Alamy

Did King Charles serve in the military?

Before taking to official royal duties, the former Prince of Wales served in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and the Royal Navy.

He has not served in an active war but has medals for his services including the Queen's Service Order, a Coronation Medal and a Golden Jubilee Medal.

Princess Anne wearing her military uniform
Princess Anne has a number of military titles and medals. Picture: Alamy

Did Princess Anne serve in the military?

The Princess Royal, Queen Elizabeth's only daughter, did not serve in the military but does hold a number of military honours and titles.

The uniform Princess Anne has been wearing for the Queen's mourning services is a Royal Navy ceremonial as she was promoted to Admiral in 2012.

Other military titles she holds, and there are many, include, General in the British Army and an Air Chief Marshal in the Royal Air Force.

The Queen's children at Edinburgh service
The Queen's children wore their military uniform and medals for her service. Picture: Alamy

Did Prince Andrew serve in the military?

The duke had a 22-year career in the Royal Navy and served as a helicopter pilot during the Falklands War.

However, his military and royal titles were officially handed back to the Queen following the allegations made against him.

Prince Edward and his military badges
Prince Edward chose a different career path to the military. Picture: Alamy

Did Prince Edward serve in the military?

Edward joined the Royal Marines after leaving university but dropped out before he completed the course.

Like Princess Anne, while he never served in the military, he holds a number of titles such as Commodore-in-Chief of the Royal Fleet Auxiliary and Honorary Air Commodore of the Royal Air Force Waddington.

Prince William with his military badges and wife Kate Middleton
Prince William has his pilot license thanks to his time in the military. Picture: Alamy

Did Prince William serve in the military?

The new Prince of Wales completed seven and a half years of full time military service.

He began as an officer in the Blues and Royals Regiment before moving on to become a pilot, training at the Royal Air Force College.

William became a full time pilot with the Search and Rescue Force.

Prince Harry with his military badges
Prince Harry served two tours in Afghanistan. Picture: Alamy

Did Prince Harry serve in the military?

Prince Harry served in the military for ten years, undertaking two tours of Afghanistan. In 2008, he was promoted to Lieutenant with The Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals).

He had his military titles removed when he stepped down from the royal family but he still works with veterans and promotes support for wounded men.