Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Prince's Harry's Candid Interview Following Afghanistan Departure

Prince Harry's twenty week tour of duty in Afghanistan ended yesterday. The 28-year-old Apache helicopter co-pilot flew to a base in the Mediterranean for decompression before flying home. Aside from the wonderful news Harry has ended his second, and reportedly final, tour of duty safely, the Prince has been making headlines due to a series of interviews he gave during his deployment to Camp Bastion which have only been reported after a media embargo was lifted following his departure.

The interviews were extraordinarily candid by royal standards and covered a range of topics beginning with Harry revealing he killed Taliban fighters saying his role was to "take a life to save a life". As a crew member in charge of the aircraft's weapons system, he had his finger on the trigger of cannons and missiles. He described the job as co-pilot gunner as "a joy, because I'm one of those people who loves playing PlayStation and Xbox, so with my thumbs I like to think that I'm probably quite useful".

Sky's Paul Harrison Twitter

More from the Telegraph Story:

"The Prince, known as Captain Wales shrugged off a question about whether or not he had killed enemy fighters saying "Yeah, so lots of people have. The Squadron's been out here. Everyone's fired a certain amount. Take a life to save a life, that's what we revolve around, I suppose. If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game, I suppose'.

He insisted killing enemy fighters was not what motivated him to become an attack helicopter pilot and revealed he would rather be out "with the lads on patrol base". Harry described life in the army as "as normal as it's going to get" and was hailed by his colleagues and superiors for being on top of his game during the incredibly dangerous tour.

Prince Harry was given no special treatment during his tour though he mentioned soldiers "gawped" at him seeing Prince Harry and not Captain Wales.

Sky's Paul Harrison Twitter

Prince Harry gave the media a tour of Camp Bastion wearing a Santa hat and showed them his sleeping quarters.

Sky's Paul Harrison Twitter

For the first time Prince Harry spoke about "letting himself down" last year following the release of naked photos of the prince in Las Vegas:

"At the end of the day I probably let myself down, I let my family down and other people down, but I was in a private area and there should have been a certain amount of privacy that one should expect."

The prince continued to reveal his true feelings about the media calling them "an unstoppable force" and his delight at becoming an uncle:

"I never wanted you guys to be out here but there was an agreement made to invite you out on a deal that you, the media, didn't speculate before my deployment. That's the only reason you guys are out here.
Obviously I'm thrilled for both of them, it's about time and can't wait to be an uncle. I think it's very unfair they were forced to publicise it when they were, but that's just the media for you. I'm literally very, very happy, but I just hope she and him, but mainly Catherine, gets the necessary protection to allow her, as a mother-to-be, to enjoy the privacy that comes with it."

Harry said William is jealous of him and would love to be out there flying and admitted he doesn't understand why he can't although sometimes he envies him being able to go home to his wife and dog. As for Harry's own love life he remained tight lipped saying he's unlikely to settle down any time soon.

James Edgar PA Twitter

Harry's interview is available to watch at Sky News and ITN Source.

Sky's Paul Harrison Twitter

Harry's strong words about the media have been described as a 'scathing attack' and the interview has attracted a mixed response.

Royal Writer Phil Dampier Twitter

Daily Express royal reporter Richard Palmer shared this:

Richard Palmer Twitter

What did you think of the interview? It is a well-known fact William and Harry detest the media and from watching the interview it appears to be worsening as time goes on. One would argue the royals need the media in their roles to promote awareness for charities, but can a happy medium be reached? It will be interesting to see whether relations improve or continue to remain quite frosty between the Princes and the press. As for Harry, I'm glad he's finally home and as Royal Correspondent Robert Jobson said earlier today "Harry's war is over".

Sky's Paul Harrison Twitter


  1. I don't think Harry said anything that wasn't absolutely known or true. The media can't be trusted not to publish something, even it means putting soldiers' lives at risk, as they've proven before.

    As with the Vegas incident: as he said himself, Harry was in a private room. Anybody would have been upset if photos of their private lives were publicised, and rightly so. If anybody has a right to make "scathing comments" about the press, it's Harry.

  2. I disagree with Robert Jobson's comment. Harry will need to take proactive steps to ensure that his war continues to wind down. Service members don't just leave Afghanistan and forget everything. War is not limited to a specific geographic location, nor is held within a timeframe. It is different for everyone.

    A media outlet's rights are not paramount to that of an individual. It would be good of them to remember that. They are also showing their own hypersensitivity in their reporting, which I feel is quite unprofessional.

    1. Sarah from Calif.22 January 2013 at 08:21

      I'm glad Harry will be home in England soon. Im sure his family is releaved too I think his comments about the press are straight forward and true. Seems like a lot of the recent problems have come from the press. Will they ever learn?
      Thanks again Charlotte for this post.

    2. Pauline California22 January 2013 at 19:49

      @Sarah from Calif.- I don't think the press will ever learn. But I hope William will protect his Duchess and that they leave Harry alone when he arrives back in England. A person just does not come home from war and say Hi everyone, let's party. You need down time and maybe even some help to re-adjust. Let's face it Harry killed people (doing his job) and that is something that lives with you forever.

      But Harry has a loving family that will help him get through whatever it is. And with William & Catherine expecting a baby it gives Harry something good to think about.

      Welcome home Harry. Glad you made it home safe & sound.

  3. Jean from Lancs.22 January 2013 at 10:12

    Yesterday's reports were hardly balanced.They were so busy reporting that he had killed people they made it sound as though he was boasting of the fact, when he was not.In fact he reported that often the arrival of the Apache caused the enemy to retreat.
    I must say he seemed more bitter about the press treatment of William and Catherine.
    I hope that when he arrives home they leave him alone to wind down in his own way.

    1. Pauline California23 January 2013 at 02:32

      Jean- Do you think he is up set with the press about William & Kate because of what happened to his beloved mother? I can see him worrying like William does regarding the press & what it does to the Duchess. They both do not what happened to their mother to happen to Williams beloved Duchess. And I too hope the press leaves Harry alone to let him decompress once he gets home.

    2. Jean from Lancs.23 January 2013 at 20:01

      Well yes he said it came from when he was little.
      He has just arrived in the UK and done another short interview. The Papers had a headline on Tues, "I have killed"--but as he said today that he was sent to do a job and has done it.
      If he is on leave for a few weeks and I fully expect he will take some of the heat off William and Catherine. I hope the media at least respect his privacy.

  4. I can see both sides of the media debate for Harry. Certainly having your entire life scrutinized and publicized can't be a fun thing, and Harry has every right to be bitter considering what happened to Diana, his first tour of duty getting cut short, and then the recent revealing pics of him and Kate. But it's essentially the price the royal family pays for their privilege. In a day and age where their role is that of cultural and national figureheads, representing continuity, tradition and an attention to charitable causes, they would be out of a job without the media to report on them. That doesn't mean they shouldn't have boundaries and privacy, which have been severely breached at times, but I guess I've always admired the royals that rise above all the silliness and don't complain - actions speak louder than words after all. Keep calm and Harry on, Captain Wales, don't whinge about it!!

    1. Kate, Texas, USA24 January 2013 at 19:09

      I love it....Keep Calm and Harry On! Wondering if that "happy medium" Charlotte mentioned will ever be found? I agree with what you said and think William and Harry need the media to be relevant. The US media has really been commenting on what Harry said about taking a life to save one...in other words killing Taliban. That's his job as a solider and he apparently did it well. I am sure Scotland Yard will be revamping their protection plan to keep him safe. It's got to be somewhat fearful to know their is a price on your head. Hopefully he can wind down and enjoy a couple weeks of leave time after this tour of duty. Welcome home, Harry!

  5. I like Harry a lot and enjoy following the royal family but he does need to take in account the enormous privilges he has, and remember the press attention is part of that package. No worries about the Inland Revenue, paying the bills, getting the children in the right schools, finding a job once out of service, like most other soldiers have to contend with. Fancy holidays in Africa and, yes, Los Vegas, expensive hobbys like polo, security at the taxpayer's expense. If the press, didn't follow the royal family, pretty soon there wouldn't be a royal family and not all the press attention is going to lie within the royal family's control, nor should it. We're wild about Harry but cool the carping.

  6. The interview was all over the US in print as well as on TV news. My first thought was thinking it might not be such a great idea to admit he had killed anyone. Seems that would raise the risk of extremists trying to target him once he is back in the UK.

  7. Kate, Texas, USA22 January 2013 at 18:39

    I watched the interview a few times and I was a bit shocked. I don't know if Harry was just having an "off" day, but he didn't seem like himself. As Richard Palmer stated, he's usually personable, but it seemed a bit out of character for him. As desperately as he would like to be "normal", he is third in line to the throne. He is Prince Harry from the most famous royal family in the world. He is Diana's son. There will never be total normalcy or privacy.

    He should have never said, "I never wanted you guys to be out here" referring to the media. I think that was really impolite. It's all about giving and taking. The media honored the agreement made. The comment made about how William and Catherine were forced to unfairly publicise the pregnancy when they did, well wow. That's life. Things don't always go as planned, even if you are part of the Royal family.

    Charlotte, I think you nailed it when you said a happy medium needs to be found. William and Harry need the media whether they like it or not. They must remain relevant. I am a huge Harry fan, but I think he might have some backlash after this one. I haven't read any responses to the interview other than the tweets you posted, but I think Fleet Street might not respond positively. He must take into consideration his public role and how he is perceived. That just comes with the territory.

    1. Pauline California23 January 2013 at 02:37

      Kate- I think Harry did not look himself either. But let's just look at what he just went through. Fighting to stay alive and keep his men alive too. This must have been very stressful for any soldier but to be a Prince with a price on your head just add's to it. Not just his life was in danger but so was any soldier in and around him. And the commetn he made about William should be able to serve on teh frist line, Harry need's his head examined. There is no way that first off his wife will not be in favorte of it nor would the Queen.

      I am jsut happy he returned with being hurt and the men around him returned to their love ones.

    2. Sarah from Calif.24 January 2013 at 01:05

      Kate and Pauline,
      I think Harry was just talking as a brother. His older brother wanted to go on the battlefield and fight for freedom. So Harry would like his bro. to have the opportunity too. As a mom and (to much at risk for the royal line) I'm glad he could not go but it does show the quality of the boys. There is a saying "no greater love has a man than to lay down his life for his brother "

  8. I'm glad he served because I do believe he is very passionate about being in the military. Having said that, I think his comments about William and himself being just like everyone else is a bit idealistic on his part. And ditto for his expectation of privacy in the Las Vegas scenario he got himself into. I can appreciate where he's coming from given his overall experience, but he needs to fully understand and accept the reality of his position. I so hope he finds a level-headed young lady to give him the kind of support that his brother is so very lucky to have.

  9. Sarah from Calif.23 January 2013 at 01:31

    My thoughts for the moment...Harry having lived in the desert day in and out. Having heard all the news of Kate and William in France and then the horrible situation at the hospital, needless to say the lose of his mom. I can understand Harry's anymositiy toward the press. Actually being surrounded by men in my home (Harry has been with the guys on the battlefield) I think Harry probably was keeping his tongue in check . I am quit sure he would have liked to say a lot more. Fortunately William now has Kate to say. "now calm down dear." I am the one saying watch your tongue but interesting enough what the men have to say is usually true. not always. Diana's death was not a natural death it was caused by those hounding for a picture. Yes that sticks with you as a child. Sure he has lots of privileges and they have come at a high cost. Good for both William and Harry willing to gives themselves in the armed forces. So relieved your back Harry rest up!

  10. Harry is my favorite prince

  11. I think prince harry carefully answered in the interview to protect the soilders

  12. I am happy he made it home safely. I was worried (as worried I could get about a person who I will never meet) about him especially after the Talabin said they are trying to go after him to kill or kidnaped. He may have some PTSD, I think that is part of the long term risk of war. If he does have it, maybe he will do charity work for PTSD to help promote awareness.


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