Prince George 'will not be expected to join Britain's armed forces', breaking centuries of tradition

Prince George will not be expected to join the armed forces before becoming King.

The Prince and Princess of Wales have told friends they do not expect their son to serve in the military, breaking centuries of tradition, according to the Mail on Sunday.

The second-in-line to the throne, who will be ten years old on Sunday, will instead decide for himself whether to serve his country.

This would mark a significant departure for the royal family, as the prince's father, grandfather, great-grandmother and great-grandfather all participated in military service.

The King also holds the role of Commander-in-Chief of Britain's armed forces.

Royal expert Charlie Rae said the move could be a further attempt to modernise the royal family, adding it would be unusual if George did not serve in at least once branch of the armed forces when he is old enough.

Speaking to TalkTV's Kevin O'Sullivan, he said: "This is the tradition of the royal family. He is going to be King one day, and all previous Kings had a marvellous record within the military."

A family friend of the Wales's is reported to have said: "In theory, there is nothing to stop George from pursuing a career as an astronaut, for example, if that’s what he wants, before becoming King.

"The rules are different now. He would not necessarily have to follow the old formula of going into the military and then royal life."

Prince Harry, George's uncle, served briefly in Afghanistan, while his father William trained at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst for seven years.

King Charles also served in the navy and the air force between 1971 and 1994.

The late Queen served in the Auxiliary Territorial Service (ATS) from the age of 19, driving ambulances for the last few months of the Second World War.