Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis Would Be Required to Take Part In National Service If It Passes In the U.K.—Including Potentially Serving in the Armed Forces

No royal children will be exempt from taking part in at least a year of service when they turn 18, the country’s Conservative Party clarified.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis
(Image credit: Getty)

If the U.K. Conservative Party’s plans to reinstate National Service are adopted—providing the party wins the general election on July 4—all 18-year-old citizens in the U.K. will be required to either serve in the armed forces or serve through volunteer work for a year. Following Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s announcement about this plan, the Conservative Party confirmed to The Telegraph that children in the British royal family—Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis, for starters—would not be exempt from this requirement and would be required to serve just like everybody else.

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, Prince Louis at the Coronation Big Help Out

George, Charlotte, and Louis would not be exempt from taking part in National Service if it passes in the general election on July 4.

(Image credit: Getty)

In addition to the children of the Prince and Princess of Wales, the children of other royals—like Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie, as well as Zara Tindall and Peter Phillips, who are not titled but who are still members of the royal family—would all be required to serve, as well.

The BBC reports that the plan would see 30,000 out of an estimated 700,000 18-year-old citizens spend a year serving in the military in areas like logistics, cybersecurity, civil response operations, or procurement; the rest, People reports, “would be required to spend one weekend every month volunteering with organizations such as the NHS, fire service, ambulance, search and rescue, and critical local infrastructure for 12 months.” 

Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis at Trooping the Colour riding in the carriage procession

The Wales trio would either serve in the Armed Forces for 12 months, or spend a year volunteering with agencies like the NHS.

(Image credit: Getty)

Of the plan, “This bold new model will open up a world of opportunity,” Sunak said on X (formerly known as Twitter). “It will make sure young people in the U.K. get the same chance in life as their peers in allies like Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and France—which have all recently introduced or announced new forms of national service. Everyone will get the life-changing chance to learn from the best of the best—from the men and women of our Armed Forces, our inspirational NHS staff, or the fire service. Gaining skills for life in everything from cyber to leadership.”

The British royal family has deep ties to the military, as many have served; King Charles is the head of the armed forces (it's part of his job duties as monarch), and served in the Royal Air Force and the Royal Navy from 1971 to 1976. Both of his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and William went on to serve with the Blues and Royals before working as a search and rescue helicopter pilot; Harry served in the Blues and Royals, as well, and was deployed to Afghanistan twice. 

Prince William and Prince Harry

Many members of the royal family have served in the military, from Queen Elizabeth to King Charles to Prince William and Prince Harry, seen here in 2009.

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth made history as the first female in the royal family to become a full-time member of the armed services when she was still Princess Elizabeth during World War II; “she persuaded her reluctant father, King George VI, to allow her to join the military and signed on with the Auxiliary Territorial Service, donning a uniform and rolling up her sleeves to become a vehicle mechanic,” People reports.

Rachel Burchfield
Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor

Rachel Burchfield is a writer, editor, and podcaster whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family and other royal families around the world. She serves as Marie Claire’s Senior Celebrity and Royals Editor and has also contributed to publications like Allure, Cosmopolitan, Elle, Glamour, Harper’s Bazaar, InStyle, People, Vanity Fair, Vogue, and W, among others. Before taking on her current role with Marie Claire, Rachel served as its Weekend Editor and later Royals Editor. She is the cohost of Podcast Royal, a show that was named a top five royal podcast by The New York Times. A voracious reader and lover of books, Rachel also hosts I’d Rather Be Reading, which spotlights the best current nonfiction books hitting the market and interviews the authors of them. Rachel frequently appears as a media commentator, and she or her work has appeared on outlets like NBC’s Today Show, ABC’s Good Morning America, CNN, and more.