Why it’s not uncommon for royals to skip college

For the upper class of almost all societies, attending and obtaining a university degree is expected and encouraged. There’s no band more “upper class” than the British royal family, but it’s not uncommon for members of The Firm to decide to pursue other paths. Prince Edward’s daughter, Lady Louise Windsor, recently announced that she would attend St. Andrews University, but other members have chosen different paths. Let’s look at members who went to college and those who didn’t.

Prince William and Kate Middleton also visited St. Andrews

Kate Middleton graduating from St. Andrews University in 2005. (MICHAEL DUNLEA/AFP via Getty Images)

After attending the prestigious Eton boarding school, Prince William took a year off before studying geography at St. Andrews in 2001. He lived at St Salvator’s Hall, where he met a fellow first year student named by Kate Middleton. Middleton, who had also taken a gap year before starting his studies, was studying art history. Although they quickly became friends, they didn’t start dating until 2003.

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Prince Harry served in the military

Prince Harry on the left, wearing a flight suit, standing with his instructor in front of the helicopter.
Prince Harry with his helicopter instructor in 2009. (PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)

Prince Harry followed in his brother’s footsteps by studying at Eton and also took a year off after completing his studies. Instead of enrolling in a traditional university, Harry trained at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, which is similar to West Point in the United States. After completing his training, Harry was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the British Army, where he became a helicopter pilot and later. served on a tour of Afghanistan. He resigned from the military in 2015 but chose not to attend college.

Queen Elizabeth II didn’t have time to go to college

A black and white photo of then-Princess Elizabeth in military uniform in front of a medical truck in 1945
The future Queen Elizabeth II during World War II in 1945 (Keystone/Getty Images)

Queen Elizabeth also did not go to college. In fact, as a young princess preparing to become queen one day, she received very little formal education, but that doesn’t mean she didn’t receive an education. In fact, she was tutored privately by Sir Henry Marten, who was in charge of Eton at the time.

By the time Elizabeth reached university age, Britain was in the depths of World War II. Towards the end of the war, the future queen was appointed to a largely ceremonial position in the army, but she worked for a short time as a driver and mechanic in the army. Immediately after the war, she began working full time on behalf of the family.

Prince Charles went against tradition

Black and white photo of Prince Charles sitting at his desk holding a pen and looking at the camera.
Prince Charles studies at Trinity College, Cambridge (AFP via Getty Images)

Unlike his mother and other future rulers, Prince Charles received a formal education. After completing his education at Gordonstoun boarding school in Scotland, he deferred the usual tradition of joining the army and enrolled at Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated in 1970, becoming the first future king or queen of England to get a university degree.

Meghan Markle had a more traditional American upbringing

Being American, Meghan Markle had a very different upbringing than other members of the royal family. After graduating from high school at Immaculate Heart High School in her hometown of Los Angeles, Markle attended Northwestern University outside of Chicago in Evanston, IL. Markle had a pretty remarkable four years as a student at Northwestern: she spent a summer in Argentina working as an intern at the U.S. Embassy and then spent her first year abroad in Madrid, Spain. . The future actress graduated in 2003 with degrees in international studies and, of course, acting.

Camilla and Diana both skipped college

The evidence seems to indicate that neither Camilla Parker Bowles nor Princess Diana were outstanding students in high school, and it’s no surprise that, as young members of high society, both skipped college. . Princess Diana married Charles when she was 20 and gave birth to Prince William about a year later. Instead of going to college, she got to live her life.

Queen Elizabeth’s Other Children

Princess Anne also skipped college and started working for the family at 18. Her younger brother, Prince Andrew, joined the army at 18, where he was also a helicopter pilot. Like Charles, Prince Edward attended Cambridge, although his admission was controversial as he was not known as a great student. Nevertheless, he graduated in 1986.

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