Royal Marines paid £12k towards Prince Edward’s university tuition before dropout


PRINCE EDWARD had £12,000 of his university tuition paid for by the Royal Marines on condition of future service but he dropped out of training after just four months.

It is unknown whether Edward paid back all this money, but it is normally expected that anyone who drops out of the scheme should pay this money back. Either way, however, it is a mystery as to why Edward needed the scholarship in the first place, given his family’s vast personal wealth on top of the money they receive yearly from the Sovereign Grant, and Duchies of Lancaster and Cornwall. Edward attended Jesus College Cambridge, despite getting a C and two Ds at A-level, rather than the straight As required, which caused a small controversy at the time.

He achieved a 2:2 in History and then went on to join the military.

The Royal Family has a strong historical connection to the Armed Forces, with many of its male members serving for a period of time, including Edward’s father Prince Philip, and two brothers Prince Charles and Prince Andrew.

Edward believed this was the path for him also and so he had secured a scholarship from the Royal Marines, which involved them paying the five-figure sum towards his tuition.

Upon leaving university in 1986, he joined the Royal Marines, entering into their gruelling year-long commando course.

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Prince Edward, who had £12,000 of university tuition paid for by the Royal Marines, at Cambridge (Image: GETTY)

Sadly, just four months later in January 1987, he quit.

The 22-year-old prince reportedly received a berating from Prince Philip, who was the Captain General of the Royal Marines at the time.

The Duke of Edinburgh was said to reduce his son to “prolonged tears”, although other reports claimed Philip was actually one of the most sympathetic family members towards the move.

His final decision came after six days of intense speculation about his future in the press.

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Prince Edward with his mother the Queen at RAF Benson (Image: GETTY)

When he bowed out, it was made clear that his qualms were not that he could not keep up, but that he simply did not think the life of a marine would suit him.

His commandant, Colonel Ian Moore, said the decision was “for very honourable reasons”.

He said: “Let me make it quite clear that he was doing well in training.

“He was respected by his instructors, who had all had a lot of time for him.

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Prince Edward (middle) dropped out after four months of training (Image: GETTY)

“He had all the physical ability to complete his training satisfactorily ‒ indeed well.

“He got a very good report from Major Bancroft out of his initial training and all the indications are he had a good career in front of him.

“There is disappointment here, but we do understand and all members of the corps feel the same way.

“He left with very warm regards for us and us for him.”

Edward’s friend from university, Lieutenant Peter Fraser, resigned at the same time but a Marines spokesman, Warrant Officer Dave Munnelly, said the decisions were unconnected, denying reports of a “pact” between the two men.

After quitting the marines, Edward went into the entertainment industry, setting up his own production company, which made dramas and documentaries with mixed success.

He stepped down from his position in the company, Ardent Productions, in 2002 after claims it intruded on Prince William’s privacy.

Both he and his wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex, became full-time royals that year.

Edward is therefore the Queen’s only son to not serve in the military, with both Prince Charles and Prince Andrew serving in the Royal Navy.

Prince Philip also served in the Royal Navy, while Charles’s sons Prince William and Prince Harry served in the RAF and Army respectively.


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