The Royal Call

America is fascinated with the British Royal Family, from Princess Diana, to Kate Middleton, and even more so now, because of her American background–– Megan Markel. When a commoner unites in marriage with royalty, it becomes a love story that captivates the hearts of girls across the world. They swoon, envisioning their very near to none chances of marrying a dreamy prince in shining armor.  Who is the man in shining armor Megan Markel married? Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, KCVO ADC the younger son of Charles, Prince of Wales, and Diana, Princess of Wales, is a member of the royal family––sixth in line of succession to the British throne. The title KCVO stands for “The Royal Victorian Order” which is a dynastic order of knighthood. ADC stands for “aides-de-camp,” which essentially means that Harry has served as a senior officer in the army and has served as an assistant to a person of higher rank (in this case, his grandmother, The Queen).

The royals can be described as a tight-knit, loyal, iron-clad, stiff-upper-lipped family. The fitting behavior of royalty is ingrained in them while they are very young. The Royal Call befits their royal station, which is to support The Queen in her various state and national duties.  Members of the royal family are called to serve in public and charitable services throughout the country. They help the nation to remain unified, bringing stability and strength. The Royal Call to service is one of dedication and self-sacrifice. It is a royal attitude to be upheld in all manner of life and duty, not only in England, but around the world.   During childhood, Prince Harry, having a royal heritage, was well-groomed for his station.

He was educated at Wetherby School, Ludgrove School and Eton College. Prince Harry ensued with fervor a life and military career in supporting his Queen and country. Think about Prince Harry’s accomplishments for a moment. He served in the Army for ten years, rising to the rank of Captain and undertaking two tours of Afghanistan. He continues to work in support of his fellow servicemen, promoting support for wounded men and women as they adapt to life post-injury. Prince Harry passed his Regular Commissions Board (RCB), the qualification necessary to train at Sandhurst, in September 2004. The RCB enables senior Army assessors to find those best suited for training. The Board is demanding, and consists of a number of tests and tasks designed to assess mental, physical and emotional aptitude.

After completing a period of work experience, Prince Harry entered The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005 to begin his training as an Officer Cadet.  During the 44-week training course in Camberley, Surrey, Prince Harry was known as Officer Cadet Wales. The course is highly demanding and involves both theory and tough physical training. On 25th January 2006, Clarence House announced that Prince Harry was to join the Blues and Royals. Following the successful completion of the course, Prince Harry was commissioned as an Army officer on Wednesday, 12th April 2006. The Queen, accompanied by The Duke of Edinburgh, took the salute at the Sovereign’s Parade at The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.  

The Prince of Wales and The Duchess of Cornwall also attended the Parade to see Prince Harry’s Passing Out, as the commissioning is known. Prince William was also there as an officer cadet. Prince Harry joined his regiment on 8th May 2006, before reporting to The Armour Centre at Bovington in Dorset to begin the Troop Leaders’ Course, his special-to-arm training to become an armoured reconnaissance troop leader. This second phase of his preparatory training included instruction in signals, driving and maintenance, and gunnery.  On completion of the Troop Leaders’ Course in October 2006, Prince Harry rejoined his regiment in Windsor, and was responsible for a troop of 11 soldiers and four Scimitar reconnaissance vehicles.  On 28th February 2008 The Ministry of Defence confirmed that Prince Harry had been serving with the British Army in Helmand, Afghanistan for more than two months. At the time, Clarence House issued the following statement: “Prince Harry is very proud to serve his country on operations alongside his fellow soldiers and to do the job he has been trained for.” On 13th April 2008, Prince Harry was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant with The Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals).

What momentous accomplishments for such a young man who has endured the loss of his mother at such a young age.  Harry was only 12 at the time of his mother’s death; he heard the terrible news while spending a summer with His grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, at Balmoral Castle in Scotland. She took the young prince under her wing. The Queen favored and loved this handsome, cheeky, red, ruddy child––and hoped, I am sure, of greatness––a royal future dedicated to service.

I still remember the “death knell,” the sound of bells that tolled in England, and the outpouring of grief and mourning worldwide on the day of Princess Diana’s funeral. The world observed the two princes as they walked solemnly behind her casket without a tear. Thus was seen the stiff-upper-lip of duty and honor as they both, unquivering, and in the face of tragedy, continued to walk steadily, dutifully–– as strong sons––royalty. William and Harry have been inseparable in childhood, inseparable in the sorrow and death of their mother, and inseparable in duty to Queen and country.

Harry has chosen to become common as mud––to become simply any Tom, Dick or Harry! A royal prince, abdicated, is stripped of his titles. Harry will retain the ranks of Major, Lieutenant, Commander and Squadron Leader during the 12-month trial period granted by Queen Elizabeth II.  This way Harry and Megan can explore their new life and make sure it works for everyone involved.

Some, I am sure, may look on Harry’s actions to be that of a renegade solider who has deserted his post. They see him as a soldier who suffers the consequences as he stands disgraced, his commanding officer stripping him of his honorable medals from his royal, red uniform, before a firing squad. Prince Harry has decided to abandon his royal post––his Royal Call. He stands in front of the world, stripped of his royal title––His Royal Highness.  As a member of the royal family, he has come under serious fire for his stepping back from the front lines of his royal duties. On March 31, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex will have completed their duties, and they will longer use their royal titles.

What of Harry’s son? His son bears the name of royalty, Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. He is  the joy and crown of England’s sovereign Queen Elizabeth II. Archie has been ripped from the royal cradle. What will be the future of the Queen’s great-grandson now? What of royal connection?  How different his life will be! He, too, is robbed of an honorable royal future. Our gracious Queen, as if to extend a royal scepter, wrote that they will always be “much loved members of my family.” When Prince Harry returned alone to the United Kingdom, Queen Elizabeth met for a causal lunch with him as grandmother and grandson. Perhaps a door has been left open to return? Who knows what the future may hold?

The fairy dust of a royal marriage has yet again ended in ashes––no happy ending is to be had here.  I believe England is united in one voice of grief and anger. The country is saddened––they have lost a royal prince. Such a great tragedy––such great sorrow––I weep with them. England not only mourned for Diana, “The People’s Princess,” but now for her princely son. He has become the lost Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, sixth in the line of succession to the British throne––he is no more. The point is Prince Harry cannot do the job he was trained for; there is no longer a Royal Call to uphold, because now he is simply Harry….

As Christians, we are royalty, servants of the King of kings and Lord of lords. Are you fulfilling your Royal Call? …but you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light…
1 Peter 2:9.

– Claire Wren