Students at Cambridge University who have worked hard to get into the prestigious university are furious that Prince William will be getting a 'free pass' to study there.
The Duke of Cambridge, 31, has been admitted to the world-famous university for a 10 week 'bespoke' course in agricultural management, with tuition for 18 to 20 hours a week as part of the university's school of Technology.
But students and graduates were quick to point out that the Prince's 'mediocre' A level results from Eton were not up to the usual requirements for Cambridge, let alone a tailor-made course.
After rigorous interviews and tests, students are offered places dependent on achieving at least two A grades and an A* at A level.
University newspaper The Tab noted: 'The Tab must point out that normally students need A*AA at A-level to gain entry to Cambridge University, whilst the Prince only achieved a mediocre ABC.'
Entry requirements for postgraduates like the Prince - who gained a 2:1 in geography at St Andrew's university - are not the same as for younger students. But his acceptance on the course has still been described as an 'insult' to everybody studying there.
Recent graduate Melissa Berrill slammed the 'socially elitist' admission of Prince William: "Admitting Prince William is an insult to every student, whatever their background, who got into Cambridge by getting the required A-level or degree results.'
"It's an insult to every student whose A-levels and degree are the same or better than his, and who didn't get a free pass to Cambridge in spite of them.
"And it's an insult to everyone in the country who needs skills or training, and hasn't had a university course personally designed for them."
Prince William's mother Princess Diana famously - and perhaps self-deprecatingly - described herself as 'thick as a plank' and left school with no O levels. His father, Prince Charles, was the first royal to gain a Cambridge degree - a 2:2 in archaeology and anthropology in 1970.
A Kensington Palace spokesman said that Prince William is likely to spend two or three nights a week in Cambridge and away from his newly refurbished Kensington Palace apartment while studying - perhaps a welcome respite from his baby son Prince George's loud voice.
The Duke will not be awarded any qualification at the end of the course, which he is set to finish in mid-March.
A palace spokesman said: "The executive education programme of seminars, lectures and meetings will draw on the strengths of academics across the university.
"The course has been designed to help provide the duke with an understanding of contemporary issues affecting agricultural business and rural communities in the UK."
Prince William, who will inherit the vast Duchy of Cornwall from his father when Charles becomes King, will learn about issues facing the UK's rural communities and farming industry during the 10-week bespoke course.
The course is run by the Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership (CPSL), an institution within Cambridge University's School of Technology, which has Prince Charles as its patron.
The cost of the course is being met privately.
Prince William left his job as an RAF search and rescue pilot based in Anglesey, north Wales last year.
Over the next year he is expected to focus on royal duties and charity work with the Duchess of Cambridge - as well as his studies in what has been described by the Palace as a 'transitional year'.
In April, the couple are set to visit New Zealand and Australia, accompanied by their baby son, Prince George.
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