Prince Harry: Army kept me out of trouble

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LONDON (AP) -- Britain's Prince Harry has thanked the army for keeping him out of trouble and has called for national service to be brought back.

In an interview published in the Sunday Times, the 30-year-old prince also revealed that he's content being single and reflected on how the army gave him a chance to "escape the limelight."

"Definitely, without a doubt, it does keep you out of trouble," he said. "I dread to think where I'd be without the army."

Harry, who is completing a decade-long military career, voiced support for national service as he spoke of the transformative effects on men he knew in the army. He even encouraged his nephew and niece, George and two-week-old Charlotte, to be involved in the military one day.

"It's done no harm, just good, for me and I know it's the same for William," he said, referring to his older brother.

The prince said he hoped William and Kate's children would learn to cope with the pressures of growing up in the royal family.

Harry, who attracted hordes of enthusiastic female fans during his recent trips to New Zealand and Australia, also said he's "very happy not having a girlfriend."

Harry was speaking at the end of his weeklong visit to New Zealand. Prior to that he spent a month with the Australian army. The royal now plans to spend the summer working with animal conservation groups in Africa, which he said has been a long-held dream for him.

The royal, who is fifth in line to the throne, also commented on this week's publication of his father Prince Charles' private letters to senior government officials. Britain's government released about two dozen of the letters Wednesday after fighting for years to keep them private.

"My father never really gets listened to, which is disappointing because whatever he says normally is right, and about 10 years ahead of when the problems actually happen," Harry said.

The letter-writing was controversial because as Britain's future king, Charles is expected to remain politically neutral.

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Prince Harry: Army kept me out of trouble
Britain's Prince Harry (C) hands out cupcakes during a visit to the University of Canterbury's Student Volunteer Army in Christchurch on May 12, 2015. Prince Harry arrived in New Zealand on May 9 for a week-long visit. (Photo by Martin Hunter, AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry poses for photos and speaks with members of the public after arriving at the Opera House in Sydney, Australia, Thursday, May 7, 2015. Prince Harry, or Captain Harry Wales, as he is known in the British Army, spent four weeks embedded with a number of Australian army units and regiments in Darwin, Perth and Sydney. (AP Photo/Rob Griffith)
Prince Harry sits with pupils at Halfmoon Bay School in Oban as he leaves on May 11, 2015 in Stewart Island, New Zealand. Prince Harry is in New Zealand from May 9 through to May 16 attending events in Wellington, Invercargill, Stewart Island, Christchurch, Linton, Whanganui and Auckland. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince Harry gets kissed by Royal Fan Victoria McRae during a walkabout outside the Sydney Opera House on May 7, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. Prince Harry is visiting Sydney following a month-long deployment with the Australian Army. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
In this Undated handout grab from video issued by Boultbee Flight Academy on Sunday April 5, 2015, Prince Harry flys in the back of a Spitfire on a sortie from Goodwood, West Sussex, via the Isle of Wight. The flight was to promote his Spitfire scholarship which offers training for wounded servicemen and women, flight training for the scholarship is delivered by Boultbee Flight Academy and supported by The Royal Foundation's Endeavour Fund. Prince Harry launched the scholarship selection in February 2014, the scholarship draws inspiration from the pilot Douglas Bader who flew throughout the Second World War with 20 individual aerial victories despite losing both his legs in 1931. (Photo by Andy R Annable/Boultbee Flight Academy/Getty Images) (NOTE TO EDITORS: The photographs shall be strictly for editorial use only. No charge should be made for the supply, release or publication of the photographs. There shall be no commercial use whatsoever of the photographs (including any use in merchandising, advertising or any other non-editorial use).
Prince Harry greets members of the public outside the Australian War Memorial on April 6, 2015 in Canberra, Australia. Prince Harry, or Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, will end his military career with a month long secondment to the Australian Defence Force in barracks in Sydney, Perth and Darwin. (Photo by Lukas Coch - Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry listens to wildlife photographer Will Nicholls (not pictured) who uses the medium of wildlife photography to promote the conservation of red squirrels at Northumberland Wildlife Trust's Red Squirrel Northern England (RSNE) Project, where staff are working with the local community to safeguard the red squirrel (Sciurus vulgaris) population, with the main focus on a grey squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis) control programme at Frankham Woods on February 25, 2015 near Fourstones, United Kingdom. (Photo by Jason Friend /WPA Pool / Getty Images)
Prince Harry attends The Annual ICAP Charity Day at ICAP on December 3, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Heathcliff O'Malley - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
Prince Harry cycles between venues on his Brompton Bike at Queen Elizabeth park on September 13, 2014 in London, England. The International sports event for 'wounded warriors', presented by Jaguar Land Rover was an idea developed by Prince Harry after he visited the Warrior Games in Colorado USA. The four day event has brought together thirteen teams from around the world to compete in nine events such as wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Prince Harry is given a blow-up kangaroo by the Australian swimming team at the Aquatics Centre during the Invictus Games at Queen Elizabeth park on September 14, 2014 in London, England. The International sports event for 'wounded warriors', presented by Jaguar Land Rover was an idea developed by Prince Harry after he visited the Warrior Games in Colorado USA. The four day event has brought together thirteen teams from around the world to compete in nine events such as wheelchair basketball and sitting volleyball. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (L) celebrates with Great Britain's David Henson after the latter won the 200m men ambulant IT2 race during the athletics event of the Invictus Games at Queen Elizabeth II Park in London on September 11, 2014. More than 400 wounded troops from 13 countries -- both serving and veter -- will go for gold across nine sports at Prince Harry's Invictus Games in London Between 10-14 September. AFP PHOTO/ADRIAN DENNIS (Photo credit should read ADRIAN DENNIS/AFP/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - JULY 29: Prince Harry plays a game during a visit to the Commonwealth Games Village on July 29, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Danny Lawson - WPA Pool / Getty Images)
SANTIAGO, CHILE - JUNE 27: Prince Harry blows a raspberry at a child as he visits kindergarten of indigenous children a on June 27, 2014 in Santiago, Chile. Prince Harry is on a three day tour of Chile after visiting Brazil. (Photo by Dan Charity - Pool/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry (C, back), poses for pictures with residents of 'Cracolandia', one of Sao Paulo's poorest neighbourhoods where crack is omnipresent, during his visit to Brazil, on June 26, 2014. After Brazil, the prince will move on to the Chilean capital Santiago and the city of Valparaiso. AFP PHOTO / Miguel SCHINCARIOL (Photo credit should read Miguel Schincariol/AFP/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 14: Prince Harry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge stand on the balcony during during Trooping the Colour - Queen Elizabeth II's Birthday Parade, at The Royal Horseguards on June 14, 2014 in London, England. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
ANTAEAYA, CHILE - JUNE 29: Prince Harry holds an albino African pygmy hedgehog during a visit to an outdoor centre on June 29, 2014 in Antaeaya, Chile. Prince Harry is on the final day of a three day tour of Chile after visiting Brazil. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 04: HRH Prince Harry explores a new playground with a group of children from Gainsborough Primary school in Newham during an official visit to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park with the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson on April 4, 2014 in London, England The park will open to the public on Saturday 5th April. (Photo by Chris Harris - WPA Pool /Getty Images)
KINGSTON, JAMAICA - MARCH 06: Prince Harry poses at the Usain Bolt Track at the University of the West Indies on March 6, 2012 in Kingston, Jamaica. Prince Harry is in Jamaica as part of a Diamond Jubilee Tour, representing Queen Elizabeth II, taking in Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Brazil. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Sandhurst, UNITED KINGDOM: Britain's Queen Elizabeth II (L) smiles with her grandson Prince Harry (4th R) during the Sovereign's Parade at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, southern England, April 12, 2006. Officer Cadet H Wales as Prince Harry is known, will train to become a troop commander, in charge of 11 enlisted men and four light tanks -- a job that could soon see him on front-line duty in Iraq or Afghanistan. His grandmother Queen Elizabeth II, who turns 80 on April 21, and father Prince Charles both turned out for the passing-out ceremony where Harry and 218 other officer cadets in crisp blue uniforms, each carrying thin silver swords, received their commissions after 44 weeks of gruelling training.AFP PHOTO/Dylan Martinez/ Pool/REUTERS (Photo credit should read DYLAN MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
Britain's Prince Harry sits in the drivers seat of a Jaguar F-Type at the Goodwood Motor Circuit in Chichester, West Sussex, where he was attending a track day for the Royal Foundation Endeavour Fund. Harry met injured services personnel and joined them in driving classic cars before visiting the Boultbee Flight Academy. AFP PHOTO / POOL / STEFAN ROUSSEAU (Photo credit should read STEFAN ROUSSEAU/AFP/Getty Images)
Prince Harry takes part in a trade on the BGC Partners trading floor, during the BGC Charity Day 2013, in Canary Wharf, London, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. Prince William and Prince Harry have turned temporary stock traders, participating in a charity event in memory of victims of the Sept. 11 attacks. Assisted by professional traders, the royals took to the phones for an hour to broker deals, including one valued at 25 billion euros ($33 billion). They also found time to joke around, with Harry accusing his elder brother, father of 2-month-old Prince George, of indulging in "baby chat" rather than sealing the deal. (AP Photo/Chris Jackson , Pool)
Britain's Prince Harry reacts after hitting a baseball during a visit to the Harlem RBI youth sports and school program in New York, Tuesday, May 14, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 15: Prince Harry, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge stand on the balcony at Buckingham Palace during the annual Trooping the Colour Ceremony on June 15, 2013 in London, England. Today's ceremony which marks the Queens official birthday will not be attended by Prince Philip the Duke of Edinburgh as he recuperates from abdominal surgery and will also be The Duchess of Cambridge's last public engagement before her baby is due to be born next month. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

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