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Prince Edward insight: Earl’s ‘most unlikely’ royal role was chosen ‘against all the odds’

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Prince Edward’s time in the Royal Marines was a “most unlikely” choice, according to royal commentators discussing the royal’s life in a new Channel 5 documentary. Military service is typically expected of high-ranking Royal Family men. However, the intense and infamously difficult training and career of a Royal Marine seemed an odd choice for the “sensitive and arty” young Earl of Wessex.

Narrator Glynys Barber said: “Edward kept with royal convention by starting his military training.

“Against all the odds, he made the most unlikely of choices: the marines.

“A harsh option for this sensitive and arty young man.”

Daily Mail Editor-at-Large Richard Kay said: “There was no greater contrast, I would venture, than being a History graduate from Cambridge than joining the grunts down in Lympstone in Devon.”

The decision may have been influenced by his father, Prince Philip.

Royal biographer Ingrid Seward told Channel 5: “His father was Captain-General of the Royal Marines.

“Edward was really sort of under his father’s auspices.”

It quickly became clear that the prince was not cut out for the gruelling life of a Royal Marine.

Ms Seward added: “He told me that he just felt that he could never quite be one of the boys.

“He always felt that they looked at him differently.

“I think that made him uncomfortable.”

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After only completing one-third of the year long training course, Edward decided he could not continue.

Sunday Times Royal Correspondent Roya Nikkhah said Edward left because “he realised that just wasn’t going to make him happy”.

His brother, Prince Charles and Prince Andrew, had their own associations with the military.

Many members of the British Royal Family serve in British or other Commonwealth armed forces, or just hold honorary ranks or positions.

Prince Andrew even did active service during the Falklands War.

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