THE arrival of the Prince of Wales in the battlefield during the 1914 Christmas festivities created as much interest at home as on the front.
Six weeks earlier, King George V had been advised that his son’s military training was not sufficiently advanced to allow him to join the forces.
But the Oxford Journal Illustrated reported: “Youthful ardour and persistence won through and for the first time since the Black Prince crossed the Channel to gain imperishable renown as the victor of Poitiers, the heir apparent to the British crown fared forth to war.
”He went to the Army, of which he is destined some day to be the titular head, as its newest, humblest officer – as a second lieutenant.”
The Prince’s time as head of the armed forces when his father died in 1936 was shortlived — as King Edward VIII, he abdicated after falling in love with the divorced Wallis Simpson and was succeeded by his brother, who became King George VI.