December 06, 2004 12:00 PM

He’s a simple guy really: buys his own groceries, plays pool with the lads and has taken up surfing. On Nov. 19 Prince William gave a rare interview to Britain’s Press Association in exchange for the press’s agreement to leave him alone for the rest of his time at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. The peace treaty has paid off for William, 22, who will graduate with a geography degree in June 2005. “People just get on with their lives and [don’t] bother you up here,” he says. “I do all my own shopping, I… get takeaway, rent videos, go to the cinema, just basically anything I want to do.”

What William wants to do next is attend Sandhurst military academy like his brother Harry, 20, and, if necessary, fight a war. “Talks will happen before I went anywhere,” he says. “But the last thing I want is to be mollycoddled…I’d want to go where my men went and I’d want to do what they did.” But don’t expect William, who shares a cottage with girlfriend Kate Middleton and two other pals, to become a professional ribbon-cutter any time soon. “It’s not that I never want to” take on royal duties, he says. “It’s just that I’m reluctant at such a young age.” As for one day becoming King, it’s not something he dwells on. “Frankly,” says the young prince, “life’s too short.”

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