Prince William, the second-in-line for the British throne, has expressed his desire to fight for Britain on the front line in Afghanistan. The future king, who until now was believed to have been barred from going to war because of his position, yesterday said he was still hopeful to perform active duty before he leaves the military to take up his royal mantle. 26-year-old William, who is currently training with the Royal Air Force to become a search and rescue pilot, said: "To me, I didn't join the forces to be mollycoddled or treated any differently. As far as I am concerned, in my eyes, if Harry can do it, then I can do it. I want to fight in Afghanistan." The prince's optimism is at odds with military chiefs who have always privately expressed the opinion that it would be impossible for him to be sent to a war zone. Senior royal and RAF sources, however, told the Mail that it is not inconceivable for the second-in-line to the throne to be deployed in Afghanistan in some capacity once his commitment to the RAF's search and rescue arm were met. "It is clearly something said from the heart," said one. "I don't really separate it into that much difference. As a future head of the armed forces it's really important you at least get the opportunity to be credible and to do the job I signed up for the best I can. That's all I have ever wanted to do," prince William said.