Britian's Prince Harry to Serve in Iraq

  1. 2 hours, 38 minutes ago

    LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Prince Harry is to serve in Iraq with his regiment as the first royal to see active service for 25 years, the Ministry of Defence said Thursday.

    The 22-year-old, who is third in line to the throne, is a second lieutenant in the Blues and Royals regiment, which will deploy to Iraq in May and June for six months.

    Harry is "over the moon" about the news, according to a regimental source, and will serve as a troop commander, leading a troop of 12 men in four Scimitar armoured reconnaissance vehicles.

    His uncle, Prince Andrew, was the last British royal to be sent to the front line, serving as a Royal Navy helicopter pilot during the 1982 Falklands War.

    The deployment of Harry, son of the late Princess Diana and Prince Charles, comes as Britain hands over more responsibility for security to Iraqi authorities.

    Prime Minister Tony Blair announced on Wednesday that the number of British troops in Iraq would be cut by 1,600 to 5,500 in the next couple of months.

    The prince has insisted he should receive no special treatment despite security concerns.

    "There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst (the army officers' training college) and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country," he said in 2005.

    He even reportedly threatened to quit the army if he was not allowed to serve on the front line.

    But amid media suggestions that he will be assigned minders from the elite Special Air Services (SAS) unit of the army, some have voiced concern that Harry could be a target for insurgents seeking a high-profile British scalp.

    Acknowledging the threat, the Ministry of Defence and Clarence House, the office which handles Harry's affairs, described media speculation about where he would be deployed as "potentially dangerous".

    They will write to news organisations to ask them to "respect this matter of operational security" and allow Harry to complete a "normal tour of duty", they added in a joint statement.

    The regimental source warned that, if the press were to track his movements too closely, "you're effectively giving the map co-ordinates to the insurgents of where to find him".

    Harry would have "a price on his head", the source added.

    Last month, Harry attended a two-day training course to learn skills including basic Arabic, mines awareness and patrolling techniques.

    His time in the army has helped him largely to shake off the hard-partying reputation he earned as a teenager, although he is still regularly photographed emerging from some of London's glitziest nightspots in the early hours.

    In 2005, he sparked international outrage by attending a fancy dress party dressed as a Nazi soldier. He also smoked cannabis while a student at the elite Eton College and has admitted he enjoys a drink and a cigarette.

    His brother, Prince William, is in the same historic regiment as Harry and is currently undergoing troop leader training.
    Clarence House said that a decision on whether he would be deployed to the front line would be taken when he completes the course later this year.
    But it is thought highly unlikely that the future king would be sent to a war zone.

    Tony Blair is cutting the number of British troops currently in Iraq. And the report said that Harry won't be sent to a war zone. Still, I really hope he (and the other troops) stay safe.
  2. i love harry :love:
    he's sooo cute!
  3. Good for him for refusing special treatment!
  4. I give both William and Harry props for doing normal things that actually mean something (instead of running around like brainless socialites). It doesn't mean that they dont' have fun, but they don't spend their entire lives partying.

    In 2000 / 2001 William helped out in a remote village in South America. (The British news showed nightly Wills updates).

    They both went to military school.
  5. I'm still pretty cynical on this one Iraq is a pretty big country he doesn't have to be in the thick of it to be inthe "war zone" KWIM
  6. Label Addict, I think what they meant when they said "War Zone" was that they won't throw him in the middle of battle.

    If they put him in battle, and the Iraqi troops know he's there, there's a risk that they're going to go looking for him and his troops.

    A battle expert in this week's issue of People Magazine says unless he drives around with his royal standard in his tank, he's not more likely to be attacked than any other soldier.

    But why take that chance?
  7. Moving this back to general where it belongs.
  8. I remember that Prince Andrew (brother of Charles) served as a helicopter pilot during the Falklands war.
  9. He did.

    Prince Philip served as an officer in the Royal Navy during World War II.

    After training with the Royal Air Force, Prince Charles served as a naval pilot in the mid-1970s.

    (Sidebar: If we have socialites in the celebrities section, wouldn't royalty be there, too? Stories about Prince William stay in the celebrities section, so why not Harry?)

    ETA: I don't care if it's in Celebrities or General Discussion. I'm just saying it could be argued that it belongs in Celebrities.
  10. i think it's really admirable for the royal family to serve in the army, especially at the front lines. although they do not have any real power, it is a great gesture.

    i would love to see the children of some of america's top politicians actually serve on the front line in iraq. maybe that would help america's leaders really consider the costs of the war.
  11. I want everyone over in Iraq (and now it seems Harry and his troops are included) to come home safely to their families.

    Because we're not allowed to talk about politics (and for good reason, because it tends to get out of hand) I'm not even going to get into what I think about the Iraqi war.

    But I support the troops.
  12. Fair play to Harry for not wanting special treatment, I hope his being there does not make his regiment a special target.
  13. I really think it's great of him to do this since he obviously wants to. I come from a military family (both grandfathers, my uncle and my dad) so I do admire him for wanting to serving his country like that.
    However I think the media needs to stay out of it now since a lot of times they like to publicize every little detail and probably wouldn't have any qualms about telling everyone exactly where he is.
  14. I really love that Harry and William arent sitting back on golden thrones like most people can be doing of their stature.. Its great to see that Harry is out serving his country and its not even a "wussy" position.. And its great that both of them go to impoverished 3rd world nations and do community service...

    I have this one picture of William in Central America scrubbing toilets. lol

    Diana would be proud
  15. Report: British army reconsiders sending Prince Harry into combat in Iraq

    Thu Apr 26, 3:38 PM

    By Jill Lawless

    LONDON (AP) - Prince Harry says he wants to be an ordinary soldier, but his army career has left military chiefs with an extraordinary predicament.

    Commanders are reportedly reconsidering their decision to allow the prince to fight in Iraq for fear his presence could endanger other soldiers, Harry's regiment, the Blues and Royals, is due to begin a six-month tour of duty in Iraq within weeks.

    The Ministry of Defence would say only that deployments are kept "under constant review."

    "It is still our intent that Prince Harry will deploy as a troop leader," a spokeswoman said Thursday on the government's customary condition of anonymity.

    The Sun newspaper quoted unidentified senior military officials Thursday as saying the review was likely to lead to Harry's being barred from the battlefield, although he could still do a desk job.

    Over the weekend, newspapers reported threats by Iraqi insurgents to kill or kidnap the 22-year-old prince, including claims his photograph had been widely circulated among militants. Military chiefs accept that the third in line to the throne would be an attractive target for insurgents and that his presence could lead to a surge in attacks on British forces.

    But some military experts said it was too late to change the decision to let Harry deploy with his regiment.

    "It's good for morale of the other soldiers if Prince Harry goes to Iraq," said retired major Charles Heyman, editor of "Armed Forces of the United Kingdom."

    "They feel it's good to have someone from the royal family sharing the risks and the trials and tribulations," he said. "And if we don't send Prince Harry, the insurgents and jihadis will say it is a moral victory for them - that we're afraid to send the prince."

    Clarence House, Prince Charles's London office, insisted Harry was on track to go to Iraq, but declined to comment further.

    "It's an army decision and always has been and always will be," a spokesman said. Prime Minister Tony Blair also said the decision was "a matter for the army."

    The government announced in February that it would begin withdrawing 1,600 of the 7,000 British troops in Iraq this summer as it hands over control of southern Iraq to local forces.

    But the past few weeks have seen a fast increase in violence, with 11 British soldiers killed in Iraq this month. In all, 145 British troops have died there since the 2003 invasion.

    Harry, a second lieutenant, is a tank commander trained to lead a 12-man team in four armoured reconnaissance vehicles. If deployed, he would become the first royal to serve in a war zone since his uncle, Prince Andrew, flew as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands War against Argentina in 1982.

    Despite its hopes of treating Harry as an ordinary soldier, the Defence Ministry has said the prince could be kept out of situations where his presence could jeopardize his comrades.

    The British Broadcasting Corp. quoted Harry's friends as saying the prince would be disappointed if he were kept from the Iraqi front lines, while Sky News reported he would quit the army if he was not allowed to serve with his men.
    The younger son of the late Diana, Princess of Wales, Harry has been a frequent front-page face in Britain's tabloid newspapers, which have provided a constant stream of coverage of his party-going lifestyle at glitzy London nightclubs.
    But he has said he is serious about an army career. After graduating from the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst last year, Harry insisted on an opportunity to serve his country.
    "There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country," he said in an interview to mark his 21st birthday.
    Heyman, the military expert and editor, said keeping the prince away from the front line "will certainly destroy his career."
    "A soldier who hasn't been in an operational zone is like an actor who has not been in a play," he said. "It will have an effect on him for the rest of this life."

    (I got this from Yahoo! Canada: