Prince Harry’s grades aren’t good enough for a good university, so he’ll take a year off and go into the army. After five years at Eton, Harry earned a D in geography and a B in art on his A-levels.
Older brother William gained a C in biology, A in geography and B in history of art. The very best candidates gain five A-levels at grade A. The worst pass grade is an E.
Harry, 18, will take a year off before applying to the prestigious Sandhurst military academy, which trains military officers.
“I am very proud of Harry,” Charles said in a statement. “He has worked hard for these examinations and I am very pleased with today’s results.”
If Harry worked hard for a D in geography, he must not be very bright. Well, intelligence is not a requirement for royalty; it’s probably a handicap. Harry’s much-admired mother, Princess Diana, failed her 0-levels twice and left school at 16. That’s the equivalent of dropping out of high school because you can’t pass the basic skills exam.
Update: Joshua Kaye, an American studying at Oxford, says a D in Britain is not as bad as an American D.
While in the U.S. grade inflation runs rampant, in the U.K. national standards are applied to prevent grade inflation. These standards do not only take the form of testing, but all graded work is examined by a board of examiners to whom the student being graded is anonymous (the examiners are anonymous to the student as well). These examiners are drawn not only from the academic institution the student attends, but from peer institutions as well. This keeps grade inflation well in check.
About 20 percent of A-level grades are As, which is low by U.S. standards, considering that only college-bound students take the A-levels.