CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Birthday Prince, who'll always be Diana's boy

 

 

 

 

  Harry      
       
   

Life, love, war - Harry at 30: The most revealing portrait ever of the reckless and gentle birthday Prince, who'll always be Diana's boy

  • Prince Harry is due to celebrate his 30th birthday in three weeks with a private party hosted by Kate and William
  • The Prince has enjoyed 'one last summer of mischief' before embarking on his next decade and new stage of career
  • For his 30th, Harry desperately wants a Labrador and country cottage, but is also anxious to find a Windsor wife
  • Despite having his mother's characteristics - searing honesty, emotional intelligence and warmth - Harry is lonely
  • As he approaches 30, 'the spare heir' must embrace his burden and his gift - knowing he will never be on the Throne

There is a certain city magic to the Fulham Road late at night. London’s sharp urban edges are softened as twilight settles on the most Sloaney stretch of street in the capital, a place where the young and the rich idle the evening away.

Striding through the throng, a tall, well-built man, anonymously dressed and eyes cast down, should not have attracted any attention among the hundreds of others gathered on the pavements outside the smart bars and restaurants of the strip.

But he did. ‘It’s Harry,’ murmured someone, whipping out an iPhone on which to film the Prince trying, as he often does, to move about incognito.

Mummy's little soldier: Harry adored his mother Diana, whose warm, empathetic character he has inherited. He has described her as the best mother in the world and spoken of her unrivalled love of life and fun. Pictured: Diana with Harry at Highgrove, then aged one, who is dressed in a camouflage outfit

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Mummy's little soldier: Harry adored his mother Diana, whose warm, empathetic character he has inherited. He has described her as the best mother in the world and spoken of her unrivalled love of life and fun. Pictured: Diana with Harry at Highgrove, then aged one, who is dressed in a camouflage outfit

It would be the work of a moment to upload the resulting video on to social media, drawing everyone from the Harry Hunters, who pursue him in the hope of seducing a Royal, to those who might pose a serious threat to his security.

As more people reached for their phones, Harry realised how badly he’d compromised himself. Angry and upset – and perhaps a little scared since he was out alone – he hit the panic button to summon help.

Within minutes, a vanload of police officers hidden behind blacked-out windows drew up beside him. Harry climbed in, but while the officers clearly saved the young Royal, they could not salvage his wrecked evening.

On the eve of his 30th birthday Harry’s life is – as the above story shows so clearly – a bit of a contradiction. He’s fourth in line to the Throne, too distant to be groomed for kingship, yet too close for people not to care.

Harry sticks out of his tongue while with his mother Diana Harry visibly upset outside Kensington Palace with his brother William after his mother's death

 

Different emotion: Harry sticks out his tongue, left, and visibly upset outside Kensington Palace with his brother William after their mother's death, right

After Diana's death, Harry found solace within the wider Royal Family, especially the Queen and his father

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After Diana's death, Harry found solace within the wider Royal Family, especially the Queen and his father

He’s the party Prince willing to risk his life on the front line; a playboy who wants nothing more than to settle down; a man with a self-confessed childish streak who is mature enough to leverage himself for the sake of his philanthropic ventures.

The messages from history about the fate of the 'spare heir’ are mixed. After all, the Queen’s father was a second son who stepped up to become King George VI, while her sister Margaret lived a life made increasingly unhappy by what you might call Windsor drift.

Harry will be 30 in three weeks. And while he’s hoping to get a country cottage and a black labrador for his birthday, what he actually needs is a very big anchor.

One last summer of mischief... for lonely party Prince who wants a Windsor wife

The unfortunate incident in Fulham preceded what Harry is now calling his ‘one last summer of mischief’.

He is having a thoroughly good time before he embarks on a new phase of his military career and Royal duties. Newly single after his split from Cressida Bonas, he has indulged his love of female company, late-night drinking and hard partying at festivals and in smart nightclubs.

Last month, Harry was at Cambridgeshire’s Secret Garden Festival, staying in a secure compound of retro 1950s-style trailers tucked away behind a boutique camping area. He enjoyed a 12-hour drinking session at the home of his friends Charlie and Freddie Fellowes while Harry lookalikes hired by his chums roamed the festival grounds to confuse other party-goers.

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A keen music-lover – he likes US band The Killers as well as techno dance music – he was an undercover reveller at Oxfordshire’s Wilderness festival (nicknamed Poshstock) earlier this month, and hopes to spend this bank holiday on the party island of Ibiza.

Next month, he will head to Bestival on the Isle of Wight. The fact that very little of this is being documented by either mainstream media or Twitter and Face-book is something that traces its roots back to the catastrophe that was his Las Vegas trip in 2012. Then, iPhone images from a drink-fuelled strip billiards party were sold to an American gossip website, and what were nicknamed Harry’s ‘crown jewels’ (fortunately covered by his hands) were available for global view.

But while he may have all but killed off his social media pseudonym Spike Wells, he did not kill off the kind of lifestyle ‘Spike’ enjoyed, and just because it’s being kept secret, make no mistake, it’s in full swing.

In high spirits: Harry shares a joke with the Duchess of Cambridge. He has grown close to his sister-in-law over the past few years. Kate and William are throwing him a private party for his 30th birthday 

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In high spirits: Harry shares a joke with the Duchess of Cambridge. He has grown close to his sister-in-law over the past few years. Kate and William are throwing him a private party for his 30th birthday

So, for example, he has been partying with friends such as glamorous brunette Amanda Sheppard, the ex-wife of rock legend Bryan Ferry, but the links between them have not been exposed to public scrutiny.

The deal he’s cut with the courtiers who mind him and his reputation is that he will not embarrass either.

‘He has a no selfies policy and has promised the powers-that-be that not a single photo – compromising or otherwise – will emerge from this summer of fun,’ says a friend.

If they did, they would add to the bulging portfolio of Harry embarrassments, the most serious of which was surely the 2002 revelation by the News of the World that he’d started smoking marijuana in a ‘den’ dubbed Club H in the basement of Highgrove. (There is no suggestion that he has experimented further, but a cornucopia of drugs is available in London clubs and at festivals.)

Being busted by his father for smoking dope was followed in 2005 by his appearance in a Nazi uniform at a fancy-dress party. What’s different is that he’s now a decade older and any bad behaviour can no longer be written off as youthful indiscretion. It’s time for Harry to grow up – or at least present the image of someone who has – if he is not to squander the political capital he has amassed through his soldiering and related philanthropic ventures.

He's a country boy - all he wants are some dogs

‘A lot has changed since Vegas, says a friend. ‘His protection officers weren’t prepared for what happened. Today, no one is allowed back to Kensington Palace without being vetted. One of his detectives is responsible for checking out people Harry meets and anyone he brings home. Smartphones and cameras are left with officers at the door.’

So far it’s worked. The summer of mischief may have become the stuff of legend among the social circle which styles itself Team Harry, but it’s been barely noted by the media and, as a consequence, the public.

And that is not such a bad thing for, as we shall see, that party Prince image is in some ways at odds with truth.

As he counts down the days to his 30th, Harry is a bit lonely, anxious to find a Windsor wife and pondering how best to carve out a Royal role separate from the newly established court of the Cambridges.

It says a lot about Harry’s state of mind that what he most wants for his birthday is a black labrador. Like his great-grandmother the Queen Mother, he’s a fine judge of gundogs and loves to add to his knowledge by visiting working dog shows.

More broadly, he wants the companionship and uncomplicated love of a pet. He was left heartsick by the end of his seven-year relationship with Zimbabwean Chelsy Davy, whose warm, robust character combined with a home on the continent he loves best – Africa – overwhelmed him.

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But Chelsy took fright when she glimpsed the life that awaited Harry’s bride and left. It was, according to friends, the right relationship but at the wrong time.

Harry had no serious girlfriend until he fell for boho aristocrat and socialite Cressida Bonas, but now their love affair has faltered too.

Sources say she could not handle the media scrutiny, nor speculation about their future. ‘How am I going to get a girl who will accept being plagued by the media for my sake?’ Harry has asked friends. He is genuinely fretful, not least because in the past five years many of his best friends and his brother, whom he describes as ‘my original partner in crime’, have settled down, closeting themselves in coupledom or family life.

‘The truth is Harry’s love life is a bit of a mess,’ says one of his circle. ‘This is a time of reflection for him and he is more on his own than ever, which is not something he relishes.’

The fact he is on his own is exacerbating what his friends call Harry’s Sunday night blues. He hates being alone at this time and usually goes to the home of close friend Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip to share a pizza or Chinese takeaway (although he’s keener on healthier food such as roast beef, fish pie and fruit smoothies). They usually watch a DVD box set.

It’s all incredibly ordinary for a prince, but even beyond his military service, Harry has made determined efforts to escape courtly life, even if it sometimes gets him into bother, as in Fulham.

He shops for groceries at M&S in Kensington (as well as having a regular Fortnum & Mason delivery on his father’s tab), and has been spotted at discount store TK Maxx. Not that he needs to operate on a budget, for on his 30th he’ll become independently wealthy by inheriting £10 million – his share of the money left in trust for him and Prince William by their mother.

This is the image that best sums up Harry at work: vigorous, determined and dedicated. His second tour to Afghanistan fufilled a burning childhood ambition - to become a soldier and fight for Queen and country. Here, Harry and a fellow pilot emerge from their tent at Camp Bastion and dash to their Apache helicopters

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This is the image that best sums up Harry at work: vigorous, determined and dedicated. His second tour to Afghanistan fufilled a burning childhood ambition - to become a soldier and fight for Queen and country. Here, Harry and a fellow pilot emerge from their tent at Camp Bastion and dash to their Apache helicopters

Harry today lives a stone’s-throw from his childhood home, at Nottingham Cottage, a two-bedroom house with its own front garden opposite Kate and William’s Apartment 1A in Kensington Palace. The Queen is expected to give him a country bolthole for his birthday.

‘Getting his own place in the country will make him very happy,’ says a friend. ‘He’s a country boy at heart. All he wants now are some dogs.’

Jokes abound at Kensington Palace about Harry ‘getting a bitch for his birthday’, but the truth is that he’s no longer viewing his solo life as any laughing matter.

Thirty is not a landmark age for the Royals: William spent his working an RAF search-and-rescue shift. But those closest to Harry acknowledge that it’s a big day for him, and that if he is to avoid the fate of his great-aunt Princess Margaret, whose wit and charm curdled into bitterness at the absence of any prescribed Royal role, he needs to work out what to do next pretty sharpish – and they need to help.

To this end, Kate and William are throwing him a private party (which may or may not turn into a council of war) at Kensington Palace, set to be fuelled by champagne and claret from the cellars of Highgrove.

All of Harry’s best friends – his old Ludgrove prep school crew together with members of the ‘Glosse Posse’ (Harry and William’s circle of friends from Gloucestershire) – will be there, along with Thomas van Straubenzee and his wife Lady Melissa Percy, Melissa’s brother George Percy, the son of the Duke of Northumberland, newly married nightclub entrepreneur Guy Pelly and his wife Lizzy, Tom Inskip, Viscount Erleigh, Jake and Susanna (Sooz) Warren, Arthur Landon, Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, and Zara Phillips and her husband Mike Tindall.

Kate’s brother James and sister Pippa, who has helped Kate organise the party, will also be among the guests.

Ready for action: Harry, then eight, during a visit to the barracks of the Light Dragoons in Hanover 

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Ready for action: Harry, then eight, during a visit to the barracks of the Light Dragoons in Hanover

The menu has yet to be finalised but is expected to feature beef Wellington, fish pie and Eton mess, Harry’s favourites. Two cocktails are likely to be served. The first, MacDonald Windsors, is made from gin, blue curacao and cranberry served with lime wedges; the second is King’s Ginger Cocktails, made using a potent macerated root ginger liqueur with a twist of lemon. It’s a cheeky hint to the birthday boy.

Kate is deeply hospitable towards her brother-in-law but this will still be a bittersweet occasion for Harry since she has, as he sees it, come between him and his brother. Harry has confided in friends that while he is delighted that the arrival of Prince George ‘takes the pressure off’ by shifting him down the line of succession from third to fourth, he finds William boringly grown up now that he’s a husband and father.

That said, Harry is dreading the imminent departure of William, Kate and George to their own retreat in Norfolk, leaving him further isolated in London.

He is likely to bury himself in his work, both his military career and his Royal duties. He is expecting to make the rank of major soon (his summer of madness has been due to the Army’s policy of offering young officers a year’s sabbatical before they rise further through the ranks), and those who’ve observed him at Royal events are already speaking of the ‘Harry magic’ he casts.

A handwritten note of congratulation from the Queen following his first solo overseas tour to Jamaica and Belize during her Diamond Jubilee year 2012 is, along with his military service medals, among his most prized possessions.

He is close to his grandmother, who treats him to informal yet closed-door meetings which are not to be disturbed. Harry adores her approval and is surely wise enough to know her guidance is the lodestar which will help him find his way out from beneath the mighty shadows cast by his brother and father.

For just as Harry cannot be King, they cannot fulfil the unique role now opening up to him: as a military asset to the nation which he also serves as a prince.

Yes, I'd go back to war if my country called

Being an Apache helicopter pilot on the front line of the war in Afghanistan was the job of Harry’s life. He was shaken to pieces by what he did and what he witnessed, and it wouldn’t be going too far to say he went out a boy and came home a man.

Even though he’s now moved on and up, he would not hesitate to return to a war zone. ‘There is no reason why I shouldn’t. If the circumstances are right then I ­will,’ he told a trusted source.

Ready for action: Captain Wales carries an SA80 Carbine, modified for use in a cramped cockpit

A military friend comments: ‘It has given him so much. In many ways it is his identity and his raison d’etre. He is a now a career soldier first and foremost.’

Here his Apache regiment commanding officer, Lieutenant Colonel Tom de la Rue, who served with Harry in Afghanistan, gives a rare verdict from above.

‘The thing that stands out most about Harry is his amazing personal touch. He’s completely genuine, he knows what makes people tick and he’s got huge empathy. I ’m tremendously proud of his achievement but I ’m not entirely sure it’s been captured in its fullest sense – the difficulty, the complexity, the level of achievement that he’s had to reach is just extraordinary.

‘The fact that he deployed to an operational theatre and was able to act as a co-pilot gunner in a counterinsurgency campaign is remarkable. That kind of campaign is never black and white – everything is always grey and he did that faultlessly and with distinction.

A joke with Grandma: Harry can't resist a grin while meeting the Queen at his passing-out parade at Sandhurst

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A joke with Grandma: Harry can't resist a grin while meeting the Queen at his passing-out parade at Sandhurst

'I hope that’s remembered about him for a very, very long time. He was happy that he could just get on with the job with no intrusion. There’s always speculation that Harry was treated differently. I trained him. I deployed him. And I can tell you he genuinely wasn’t.’

Today, Harry has a desk job at the British Army’s London District Headquarters in Horse Guards Parade. There’s no doubt where he’d rather be, but this role gives him time for his Royal duties and his increasing charity commitments such as next month’s Invictus Games in London’s Olympic Park.

These days of sporting glory for wounded service personnel were the legacy of Harry’s time in Afghanistan.

Prince Harry poses with Usain Bolt 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

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Prince Harry copies the famous lightning-bolt pose of Usain Bolt at the University of the West Indies in 2012 in Kingston, Jamaica. Prince Harry visited Jamaica as part of a Diamond Jubilee Tour, representing Queen Elizabeth II, taking in Belize, the Bahamas, Jamaica and Brazil

Determined: Harry is a highly accomplished polo player and has always exceeded in sport while growing up

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Determined: Harry is a highly accomplished polo player and has always exceeded in sport while growing up

‘Without his initiative the Invictus Games simply wouldn’t be happening,’ says Sir Keith Mills, who is among the organisers of the event.

‘Harry has been involved every day, he has pulled his sleeves up and has got stuck in. He’s passionate about helping.’

It’s a trait he’s inherited from his mother Diana, who understood exactly how to harness the power of Royalty for charitable causes. He is far more ‘her’ son, say those who know William and Harry, than his more reserved brother. 

Harry wears his heart on his sleeve, speaks and acts recklessly, and is searingly honest and emotionally intelligent. He is a people person and now he has adopted the casualties of war as his own, he will support them for the rest of his life.

And like Diana, he does it with the deftest, gentlest of touches. When the going got tough for the Walking With The Wounded team at the North Pole, Harry produced a bottle of whisky and launched a series of drinking games under cover of canvas at night.

Says a team-mate: ‘He smoked during breaks and just got on with everyone. He is lots of fun to be with and a real morale-booster. He is one of the boys.’ Except, of course, he isn’t and can never be.

Harry, pictured above, playing a game of volleyball in the US. His friend says he is 'lots of fun to be with a real morale-booster' 

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Harry, pictured above, playing a game of volleyball in the US. His friend says he is 'lots of fun to be with a real morale-booster'

Henry Charles Albert David Wales is the grandson of the Monarch, the child of the next King, and the brother of the one after that. He grew up in a palace and the Harrymania which runs wild across cities such as New York and Sydney when he visits is not sparked by fact that he’s an officer and gentleman, but a bachelor prince.

He was born on September 15, 1984, by which time the opening skirmishes in the War of the Waleses – the marital discord between Charles and Diana – had already been fought.

Harry cannot escape his heritage as 'the spare heir' - which is as much of a burden, as a gift 

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Harry cannot escape his heritage as 'the spare heir' - which is as much of a burden, as a gift

They divorced in 1996 when Harry was 11, still at Ludgrove prep school and on course for Eton, where he demonstrated excellence on the sports field and also in the art room. (If he had not been a soldier, Harry would have liked to have been a wildlife photographer in Africa.)

On the last day of August 1997, a fortnight before Harry became a teenager, Diana was killed in Paris. He was still only 12 when he walked behind her coffin, flanked by William and Charles, the Duke of Edinburgh and his uncle Charles Spencer.

His card said simply ‘Mummy’.

The tenderness and understanding of his father after this devastating loss has translated into a relationship of love, tactile affection and pride. The two men write to each other and are in regular telephone contact. Harry is the apple of his eye, the high-spirited son whose sense of fun pricks the pomposity of Charles’s court.

And as Charles steps up to some of his mother’s roles, Harry is broadening his own portfolio of Royal duties. So far this year has travelled to Estonia, I taly, Brazil and Chile alone while juggling his new job.

Interestingly, his selfless decision to support his family – at the cost of his own freedoms and military ambitions – comes at exactly the same time that William has chosen to postpone frontline Royal duties in favour of two years as a civilian air ambulance pilot in East Anglia. The contrast has drawn caustic comparisons from Royal watchers.

What’s also telling is how much control Harry is taking over his own diary. ‘These days Harry makes every major decision himself,’ says one who has worked closely with him.

‘His aides are there to advise him but he has a strong sense of purpose and what he wants to do. If he’s not in a meeting, I’ve known his aides call Harry before a decision is made. There’s been a real change of tack and it’s been implemented by Harry.’

As one third of The Royal Foundation, the grant-giving organisation run by William, Harry and Kate, Harry has set out his key philanthropic areas – helping orphans and vulnerable children in Lesotho, helping disadvantaged young people in the UK, and raising awareness and supporting those who have served in the Armed Forces.

He is combining this charity work with a full-time military career and an ever-increasing schedule of duties on behalf of ‘The Firm’. At least being busy should keep him out of trouble.

Will this new-found appetite for altruism be what saves him from himself? Or will it be, finally, the right bride? Perhaps it will need to be a combination, for it’s clear that far from becoming a calm, happy, flirty thirtysomething, Harry’s about to enter his toughest decade yet.

No matter how far he marches from that soul-scorching photograph of a small boy accompanying his mother’s coffin, whether it’s across a battlefield or palace courtyard, he cannot escape his heritage as ‘the spare heir’.

That’s his burden as much as his gift – and for Harry, the challenge will be to accept both with equal nobility.

 


 

 

Prince Harry flew out of Afghanistan tonight and admitted he had killed for the first time. Thoughtful but unrepentant, he said soldiers sometimes had to 'take a life to save a life'. In an interview to mark the end of his four-month tour of duty as an Apache attack helicopter pilot, the third in line to the throne confirmed he had been directly responsible for the deaths of one or more insurgents as a co-pilot gunner.

I have killed: Prince Harry reveals he's 'taken a life to save a life' on the Afghan front line as he flies home from second tour of duty
  • Revealing interview as Prince, 28, prepares to fly home to Britain from 20-week tour of war-ravaged Afghanistan
  • 'Captain Wales', as he's known in the British Army, confirms he's had to kill on duty and says 'lots of people have'
  • He says he always wanted to be an 'Ugly' flying Apache attack helicopters but missed being on the frontline
  • Says his older brother Prince William envies his job flying helicopters in desert, saying 'he'd love to be out here'
  • Harry's commander says there's 'nothing safe' about job, and Harry's admits 'exhaustion' after seven-hour missions
  • Prince Harry says William envied him his daring job in Afghanistan
  • But Harry says he'd rather go home to a wife than a tent full of soldiers
  • The younger royal says he 'can't wait to be an uncle' this summer

Prince William envies his younger brother flying helicopters on the frontline while Prince Harry envies William his satisfying job and cosy family set-up, the younger Prince revealed today.

In an honest interview conducted before the 28-year-old Prince Harry flew back to Britain after a 20-week tour of Afghanistan, he shed light on his relationship with his brother.

And he revealed that Prince William is privately frustrated at not being able to serve on the frontline because of his future role.

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Prince william

Prepared to kill: Prince Harry at Camp Bastion

Prince William, left, works as a Search and Rescue pilot while Harry, right, is a co-pilot gunner in Helmand

Prince Harry, who has just finished his second deployment in Afghanistan, where he was a co-pilot gunner in Apache helicopters, said: 'I think there is a bit of jealousy, not just the fact that I get to fly this, but obviously he'd love to be out here.

'And to be honest with you, I don't see why he couldn't.

'His job out here would be flying the IRT [Immediate Response Team], or whatever, doing Chinook missions.  Just the same as us - no-one knows who's in the cockpit.

'Yes you get shot at, but if the guys who are doing the same job as us are being shot at on the ground, I don't think there's anything wrong with us being shot at as well.

'People back home will have issues with that, but we're not special. The guys out there are, simple as that.'

William, 30, the future Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, is an RAF Flight Lieutenant and works as a Search and Rescue Force pilot on Sea King helicopters. Daring job: Harry's Apache helicopter work in the Afghan desert is envied by his older brother William. Based at RAF Valley on Anglesey in North Wales, he commands missions to help stranded climbers and stricken vessels in the area.

Prince Harry revealed there is envy on both sides. 'Before coming out here I was very jealous of my brother,' he said. 'It's operational flying back home. You get all the luxuries of operational flying - the pride, as you call it - and the reward of basically saving people's lives, which is exactly what we try and do as well. 'And back home he gets to go home to his wife and dog, whereas out here we don't. We're stuck playing PlayStation in a tent full of men.'While Harry flies an Apache helicopter, his older brother flies a completely different Sea King helicopter. 'He could fly this. I'd like to think I could fly his,' he said.William's bedroom is probably nicer than this sleeping area that Prince Harry called home for 20 weeks

Captain Wales, as Harry is known in the army, added with a brotherly dig: ‘His job's very cool, and I think he's doing a wonderful job. Even though he's in the RAF.’ Harry is the latest in a long line of royals who have served in the Armed Forces, particularly flying helicopters. The Prince of Wales and Duke of York both trained as helicopter pilots, with Andrew taking part in missions in the Falklands War. But Harry revealed it is not just the family association with rotary aircraft that intrigued him and his brother.‘Probably the fact that you can only fit a certain amount of people in a helicopter, therefore no one can follow us - like you guys,’ he joked with the press.

‘Our father flew, our uncle's flown, all sorts of people have flown in my family.

Top Gun: Prince Harry enjoyed his work escorting Chinook helicopters on daring missions in Helmand

‘And I wouldn't suggest that's where it's come from, but it is great fun, and I was given the opportunity in the end, and I couldn't say no to it.’

In the interview Prince Harry, who is '100 per cent single', also spoke of his happiness about becoming an uncle this summer.

'Obviously I'm thrilled for both of them,' he said in Helmand shortly after news of the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy came out.

'It's about time,' he joked.  'I can't wait to be an uncle.'

He said he had telephoned the future parents to congratulate them, adding: 'Of course I have - I had a chat to them.'

Asked if there was pressure on him to settle down, he said: 'I don't think you can ever be urged to settle down.

'If you find the right person and everything feels right, then it takes time, especially for myself and my brother.

'You ain't ever going to find someone who's going to jump into the position that it would hold, simple as that.'

  • Soldier prince says his army officer job means he often forgets who he is
  • The 28-year-old says Prince Charles tells him 'Remember who you are'
  • He says his Las Vegas pictures were 'too much army, not enough prince'
  • But Harry says he ought to be afforded a 'certain amount of privacy'

Prince Harry has said it is 'easy to forget' who he is in the Army in a candid interview ahead of his return to the UK

Prince Harry has said it is 'easy to forget' who he is in the Army in a candid interview ahead of his return to the UK. There is only one rule as far as the soldier prince is concerned: Work hard, play hard. But in one of the most candid admissions of his interview, Harry remarks that a concerned Prince Charles frequently attempts to remind him of what is required of the third in line to the throne. Harry confesses he ‘let himself and his family down’ after being photographed cavorting naked in Las Vegas last year, but, unsurprisingly given his comments, is largely unrepentant. The 28-year-old royal concedes he should have acted in a more ‘princely’ manner but says the media should never have published ‘private’ photos of him playing strip billiards with a group of women he had met in his hotel bar. Like many headstrong young men, Harry says he shrugs off his father’s wise words of caution, even if he is heir to the throne. ‘My father’s always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that. But it’s very easy to forget about who I am when I am in the Army. Everyone’s wearing the same uniform and doing the same kind of thing,’ he says. ‘I have always said work hard, play hard. I will always be enjoying the job … however long it may carry on for, and then I have the other job to fall back on.’

He adds: ‘Certain people remind me, “Remember who you are, so don’t always drop your guard”. At the end of the day I probably let myself down [in Vegas], I let my family down, I let other people down.

‘But I was in a private area and there should be a certain amount of privacy that one should expect. Back at home all my close friends rallied around me and were great.

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Off-duty soldier: Prince Harry, seen here in Las Vegas, says we only see pictures taken during his time off, so we assume he's always 'gallivanting around'

Prince Charles Liverpool

Prince Harry on his controversial Las Vegas trip, left, and right, his father hard at work in Liverpool today. One of the boys: Prince Harry says everyone is the same in the army and he enjoys blending in

‘It was probably a classic case of me being too much Army and not enough prince. It’s a simple case of that.’

The leaked pictures were taken on a riotous boys-only pre-deployment holiday to Vegas last summer, weeks before he flew out to Afghanistan. They show a naked Harry cupping his genitals as he hugs an unnamed blonde, who is also nude. The pair had apparently been playing a game of strip billiards.

It is believed the photos, sold to a US entertainment website, were taken by one of the guests invited back to his £5,000-a-night suite in the Wynn Hotel.

Their publication provoked a debate over whether Harry violated his own privacy in showing such a lapse of judgment, and raised questions over the role of his taxpayer-funded Scotland Yard protection officers.

A rare glimpse of his day job: Prince Harry inspects his Apache helicopter before take-off from Camp Bastion

HRH Prince Harry inspects his Apache Helicopter before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion

Although the pictures were seen around the world, his solicitors threatened action against any UK newspaper that published them.

Only one, the Sun, chose to do so but St James’s Palace took no further action. Harry, however, says it is ‘unacceptable’ that anything was published, knowing that he was about to be deployed. ‘Yes people might look at it going, “Yes it was letting off steam, it’s all understandable now, he was going off to Afghanistan”. 'Well, the papers knew that I was going out to Afghanistan anyway, so the way I was treated by them I don’t think is acceptable.’ Harry openly admits that one of the reasons he likes his job as an Apache pilot so much is that it takes him away from the media interest. ‘My father always says, “Don’t read it, it’s rubbish” [but] I am surprised how many people in the UK do actually read it. Of course, if something is written about me I want to know what is said,’ he says.

‘I don’t believe there is such a thing as a private life any more ... I am not going to sit here and whinge [but] there’s the internet, there’s Twitter.

'Everyone’s phone has a camera on it now. You can’t move an inch without people judging you, that’s the way life goes.’

Asked how far his mistrust of the media goes back, Harry says sharply: ‘I think it’s fairly obvious how far back it goes. It’s when I was very small.’

But he adds: ‘But at least I have a job, many other people don’t.’

I'm not academic but I thrash the guys at Fifa: Harry's Camp Bastion downtime
  • Old Etonian soldier says he was 'useless at exams' but wins on the Xbox
  • The 28-year-old Prince says computer games helped him be a good pilot
  • He plays games, watches films, and works out at gym when not flying

Control pad demon: Prince Harry says he 'thrashes' his friends at games

Control pad demon: Prince Harry unwinds at Camp Bastion

Sitting exams at school was 'a nightmare' for Prince Harry, but like many of his age the third in line to the throne is a whiz at computer games on the PlayStation and Xbox.

Harry, who was educated at Ludgrove Prep School and Eton College, said he was 'absolutely useless' at written tests at school, but is making up for it now by beating his army colleagues at computer games.

He said: 'You can ask the guys: I thrash them at Fifa the whole time.'

In an interview conducted before he flew home to the UK from his deployment as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner (CPG), the 28-year-old revealed how he and his friends in 662 Squadron based in Camp Bastion played computer games and ate pizza when they had time off.

He also talked about his living conditions at the dusty army base, and revealed he was sent a jar of Clarence House honey made by bees at the Prince of Wales' official residence.

The young royal also said his father had sent him a box of Cuban cigars, some of which he traded with American soldiers in exchange for their treats from home.

Showing appealing modesty about his obvious skills as a pilot, the Prince said his skills at sports and games helped pave the way for him to become a top pilot.

He said: 'Exams were always a nightmare, but anything like kicking a ball around or playing PlayStation - or flying - I do generally find a little bit easier than walking, sometimes.

'It's a joy for me 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.'

The Prince said taking the controls in the helicopter came naturally to him, and he qualified top of his class as a CPG despite finding the academic side tricky.

Prince Harry flew out of Afghanistan tonight and admitted he had killed for the first time. Thoughtful but unrepentant, he said soldiers sometimes had to ‘take a life to save a life’. In an interview to mark the end of his four-month tour of duty as an Apache attack helicopter pilot, the third in line to the throne confirmed he had been directly responsible for the deaths of one or more insurgents as a co-pilot gunner.

 

Ready for action: Captain Wales carries an SA80 Carbine, modified for use in a cramped cockpit

'Everyone's fired a certain amount': Captain Wales, as he is known in Helmand, was involved in daring missions in his Apache helicopter

'Everyone's fired a certain amount': Captain Wales, as he is known in Helmand, says he has had to kill from the cockpit of his Apache helicopter in Afghanistan

'Pretty complex job': Prince Harry says he mostly worked on escorting Chinooks on daring evacuation raids

'It's a pretty complex job for everyone involved': Prince Harry says he mostly worked on escorting Chinooks on daring evacuation raids

Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, races out from the VHR (very high readiess) tent to scramble his Apache with fellow Pilots, during his 12 hour shift at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, races out from the VHR (very high readiness) tent to scramble his Apache with fellow Pilots, during his 12 hour shift at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

Prince Harry does a pre-flight check of his Apache Helicopter after starting his 12 hour VHR (very high readiness) shift at Camp Bastion

Prince Harry does a pre-flight check of his Apache Helicopter after starting his 12 hour VHR (very high readiness) shift at Camp Bastion. WHY IT'S SO HARD TO FIND MY PRINCESS. He is one of the world’s most eligible bachelors. But according to Harry, being a prince means he has a constant struggle to find love. In fact, the 28-year-old bemoans the fact that potential princesses are put off by his position, rather than attracted by it. ‘You ain’t ever going to find someone who’s going to jump into the position that it would hold. Simple as that,’ he says. Asked whether he was currently single, he responds: ‘I’m just out here doing my job. That’s all I can say at the moment.’ But he admits brother William, who married long-term girlfriend Kate Middleton in 2011, has suffered the same personal doubts. He says: ‘I don’t think you can ever be urged to settle down. If you find the right person and everything feels right, then it takes time. . . especially for myself and my brother.’ He is clearly delighted, however, at the thought of becoming an uncle, saying he ‘can’t wait’. William and Kate, he says, broke the news of her pregnancy to him in Afghanistan over the phone. ‘Obviously I’m thrilled for both of them – it’s about time! – and I can’t wait to be an uncle,’ he said. ‘I am very, very happy for them, but I only hope that she and him – but mainly Catherine – hopefully, that she gets the necessary protection to allow her as a mother-to-be to enjoy the privacy that comes with it.’For seven years, Harry was in an on-off relationship with Zimbabwean-born trainee lawyer, Chelsy Davy. Although the tempestuous couple, who split shortly after William and Kate’s wedding, adored each other, Chelsy hated the ‘straitjacket’ of royal life. Afterwards Harry briefly romanced underwear model Florence Brudenell-Bruce, but split with her to concentrate on the final phase of his Army Air Corps training. Shortly before being deployed, he began a romance with Cressida Bonas, 23, the daughter of Sixties It-girl Lady Mary-Gaye Curzon. Asked if he had killed from the cockpit of his £40million aircraft, the 28-year-old prince said matter-of-factly: ‘Yeah, so lots of people have. The squadron’s been out here. Everyone’s fired a certain amount.’ Harry discusses his military career, becoming an uncle – and the notorious photos of him gallivanting naked in Las Vegas shortly before his deployment. Tonight, as he began a few days of relaxation at a British base in Cyprus before returning to Britain, he admitted that while Prince Charles is ‘always trying to remind me about who I am’, he prefers to live by his own motto: ‘Work hard, play hard.’In the interview, Harry also:

  • Reveals his brother William is jealous at not being allowed to fly helicopters in Afghanistan;
  • Says he ‘can’t wait’ to become an uncle to William and Kate’s baby;
  • Bemoans the fact that despite being one of the world’s most eligible bachelors he ‘ain’t ever going to find’ someone who wants to ‘jump in’ and become his wife;
  • Suggests his skill at PlayStation computer games may have made him a better pilot.

His admission that he killed insurgents is likely to be seized on by the Taliban for propaganda purposes. But the prince is unapologetic, saying: ‘Take a life to save a life, that’s what we revolve around. If there’s people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we’ll take them out of the game. ‘I’m not here on a free pass...our job out here is to make sure the guys are safe on the ground and if that means shooting someone who is shooting them, then we will do it.’ A senior Army source said: ‘Harry is flying an attack helicopter and that’s one of the jobs the guys do: Attack. It would be unthinkable for a gunner to go on a deployment and not have several engagements with the enemy. Of course he has killed.’ Harry was deployed with 662 Squadron, 3 Regiment Army Air Corps, to Camp Bastion in Southern Helmand in September. His first tour of duty as a forward air commander on the ground was cut short in 2008 when news of his deployment leaked in the US. Ministry of Defence officials deemed his continued presence there a risk to his fellow soldiers. Desperate to return to the front line, he retrained as a helicopter pilot and was picked to fly the 200mph Apache, the pride of the military’s airborne fleet, with his finger on the trigger of an arsenal of weapons including rockets, missiles and a 30mm cannon. British media were given unprecedented access during his time in Afghanistan in return for not speculating about his deployment in advance or publishing information that could exacerbate potential danger.

It is when talking about his work as an Apache pilot that he is clearly at his most comfortable. Harry – Captain Wales in the Army – was sent on all manner of missions over Helmand, from supporting Allied troops fighting the Taliban at close quarters to accompanying British Chinook and US Black Hawk helicopters on casualty evacuation missions.He has been hailed by his colleagues and superiors for being ‘on top of his game’ during the tour. Harry was given no special treatment and worked, ate and slept in the same basic conditions as the other pilots. It is, in his own words, ‘as normal as it’s going to get. I’m one of the guys, I don’t get treated any differently’. He admits that his work is interspersed with periods of intense boredom while waiting for a call-out and he whiled away his time watching DVDs and playing computer games. He even allowed himself to be photographed wearing a silly Santa hat, complete with blond plaits, to make his colleagues breakfast at Christmas and turn on their festive lights. His father, he revealed, had sent him a food parcel containing a jar of Clarence House garden honey and a box of huge Cuban cigars.

VIDEO Prince Harry confirms he killed Taliban insurgents

Prince Harry appears to be sharing a joke with photographers as he gets into his Apache helicopter during early morning pre-flight checks

Prince Harry appears to be sharing a joke with photographers as he gets into his Apache helicopter during early morning pre-flight checks

Prince Harry chats to reporters and a TV crew following the checks on his aircraft

Prince Harry chats to reporters and a TV crew following the checks on his aircraft

During his deployment his colleagues and superiors hailed him for fitting into his unit well and being 'on top of his game' during the 'extremely busy' and dangerous tour

During his deployment his colleagues and superiors hailed him for fitting into his unit well and being 'on top of his game' during the 'extremely busy' and dangerous tour

This previously unseen photograph shows Capt Wales flying off, left, as protection for a Chinook helicopter, right, above the British-controlled flight-line

This previously unseen photograph shows Capt Wales flying off, left, in his Apache as protection for a Chinook helicopter, shown right, during a raid in the desert

Captain Wales watches the return from a mission of an Apache helicopter at the British-copntrolled flight-line in Camp Bastion

Captain Wales watches the return from a mission of an Apache helicopter at the British-copntrolled flight-line in Camp Bastion

Prince Harry has spoken for the first time about how he killed enemy fighters from his Apache helicopter during his latest tour of Afghanistan

Prince Harry has spoken for the first time about how he killed enemy fighters from his Apache helicopter during his latest tour of Afghanistan

VIDEO Prince Harry talks about his brother's jealousy over active service

Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, inspects his Apache Helicopter before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, inspects his Apache Helicopter before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

Prince Harry inspects his Apache helicopter before lifting off on a night mission from his base in southern Afghanistan

Prince Harry admitted he had 'killed from the cockpit' before adding that 'many had'

In a revealing series of interviews given to the Press at the end of Prince Harry's second tour of Afghanistan, he also said that his older brother was 'jealous' of his job flying helicopters in the desert

In a revealing series of interviews given to the Press at the end of Prince Harry's second tour of Afghanistan, he also said that his older brother was 'jealous' of his job flying helicopters in the desert

In his job as a co-pilot gunner (CPG), he flew on missions both planned and unplanned, often for hours on end over the barren desert

In his job as a co-pilot gunner (CPG), he flew on missions both planned and unplanned, often for hours on end over the barren desert, supporting the International Security Assistance Force (Isaf), the Afghan National Army (ANA), and Afghan National Police

The Apache Helicopter co-piloted by Prince Harry or just plain Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion

The Apache Helicopter co-piloted by Prince Harry or just plain Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion

PRINCE WILLIAM ENVIES HARRY'S LIFE ON THE FRONTLINE

Prince William has privately expressed his frustration at not being able to serve on the frontline. The future king, 30, is barred from serving in a warzone because it is considered ‘too dangerous’ given his future role and, says Harry, is hugely jealous of his own second tour in Afghanistan. Harry is equally dismissive of the convention and says he cannot see why his brother shouldn’t get the chance to serve his country. ‘Yes, you get shot at. But if the guys who are doing the same job as us are being shot at on the ground, I don't think there's anything wrong with us being shot at as well,’ he said. ‘People back home will have issues with that, but we're not special. The guys out there are; simple as that.’

Downtime: Prince Harry claims he beats most of his co-fighters at Fifa on the PlayStation. Here he is seen celebrating a goal in a match against Pilot Captain Simon Beattie (left)

Downtime: Prince Harry claims he beats most of his co-fighters at Fifa on the PlayStation. Here he is seen celebrating a goal in a match against Pilot Captain Simon Beattie (left)

While he admits he didn't perform well academically, Prince Harry said he was good at PlayStation and gave many people on his base a run for their money

While he admits he didn't perform well academically, Prince Harry said he was good at PlayStation and gave many people on his base a run for their money.

I thrash the guys at Fifa: Harry's Bastion downtime. Sitting exams at school was 'a nightmare' for Prince Harry, but like many of his age the third in line to the throne is a whiz at computer games on the PlayStation and Xbox. Harry, who was educated at Ludgrove Prep School and Eton College, said he was 'absolutely useless' at written tests at school, but is making up for it now by beating his army colleagues at computer games. He said: 'You can ask the guys: I thrash them at Fifa the whole time.' In an interview conducted before he flew home to the UK from his deployment as an Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner (CPG), the 28-year-old revealed how he and his friends in 662 Squadron based in Camp Bastion played computer games and ate pizza when they had time off. He also talked about his living conditions at the dusty army base, and revealed he was sent a jar of Clarence House honey made by bees at the Prince of Wales' official residence. The young royal also said his father had sent him a box of Cuban cigars, some of which he traded with American soldiers in exchange for their treats from home. Showing appealing modesty about his obvious skills as a pilot, the Prince said his skills at sports and games helped pave the way for him to become a top pilot. He said: 'Exams were always a nightmare, but anything like kicking a ball around or playing PlayStation - or flying - I do generally find a little bit easier than walking, sometimes. 'It's a joy for me 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.'

Captain Wales relaxes with Simon Beattie under a shelter protecting them from the intense Afghan sun

Captain Wales relaxes with Simon Beattie under a shelter protecting them from the intense Afghan sun

As well as going on dangerous missions Prince Harry has to put up with the more mundane parts of life. Here he chats to a TV crew while making his breakfast

As well as going on dangerous missions Prince Harry has to put up with the more mundane parts of life. Here he chats to a TV crew while making his breakfast

Go Ugly Early: This picture shows Cpl Graham Carr's weapon, poppy, and badgy on his body armour at Camp Bastion

Apache ground crew member

Go Ugly Early: Prince Harry says he has always dreamed of having the 'Ugly' call sign of the Apache helicopters he flew on his second tour of Afghanistan. He had a vast firepower at his disposal when he was flying, as illustrated by this t-shirt worn by an Apache ground crew member

Eye on the ball: Prince Harry says he understands the different duties he has to carry out as a royal and as a soldier

Eye on the ball: Prince Harry says he understands the different duties he has to carry out as a royal and as a soldier

My father tells me to act more like a prince, admits Harry (but he's unrepentant about Las Vegas photos)

Prince Harry is regularly nudged by his father and told to remember who he is, he revealed today.

In a candid interview conducted on the eve of his return to Britain from Afghanistan, the soldier Prince said he found life in the Army made it 'easy to forget' who he was.

He added that he often needed reminding by Prince Charles about keeping his public face up.

He admitted he 'let himself and his family down' after he was photographed naked at a pre-Afghanistan party in Las Vegas last summer, but remained largely unrepentant, saying he deserved some privacy.

The 28-year-old royal, who has been an army officer for six-and-a-half years, said he felt far more comfortable as 'Captain Wales' than 'Prince Harry'.

'Definitely, I've always been like that,' he said.

'My father's always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that, but it's very easy to forget who I am when I am in the army.

Go ugly early: The Apache helicopters the young prince always dreamed of flying

For 28-year-old Prince Harry, flying Apache helicopters over war-ravaged Afghanistan has been a dream come true.

The 'Go Ugly Early' call sign is much coveted in the armed forces, and the Prince and his co-pilots proudly wore its badges on their kit.

Prince Harry said: 'I don't know the story behind it, but I've always wanted to be an Ugly.

'Ever since I was a JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) back in 2009, speaking to the Uglies was always the number one.'

He added: 'Things have changed now.  We've got no Harriers any more, the Tornados are working elsewhere, so this is the choice platform as far as we're concerned for the guys on the ground.

'I don't know where the Ugly came from but it is a pretty ugly beast, and I think it's very cool.'

The royal has his Ugly Badge fixed to his flying helmet, alongside one with 'Harry Wales' stitched in yellow onto a black Stars and Stripes flag, and another of the classic Blue/Red/Blue flash of the Household Division.

From his seat in the front of the two-man cockpit, he is in charge of the weapons systems, which includes Hellfire missiles, rockets, and a 30mm gun.

He said: 'It's a joy for me 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.'

Prepared to kill: Prince Harry at Camp Bastion

Prince william

Prince Harry, left, enjoys his job as an Apache helicopter pilot and says brother William, right, who is a Search and Rescue pilot in Wales, would like to see active service

Party prince

Party prince

Royal bedroom: Prince Harry dresses up in a Santa hat to amuse his colleagues and reveals the red mattress and uncovered duvet where he sleeps at Camp Bastion

Prince Harry scores on computer game

Prince Harry (R) relaxes during computer football game with his fellow Apache helicopter pilot Capt Simon Beattie

Downtime: Harry is one of the top-scorers in the Camp Bastion PlayStation league, pictured playing left and right with co-pilot Captain Simon Beattie.

Taliban insurgents have stepped up suicide attacks and bombings this month in what they are calling a "Spring Offensive", striking targets all over Afghanistan. Insider attacks on NATO and Afghan National Army forces have declined, possibly due to new "guardian angel" tactics, where soldiers are designated to provide security during training and oversight missions. I'd also like to take a moment to direct your attention to Ben Anderson's Afghanistan documentary on VICE.com, What Winning Looks Like. If you're at all interested in what the situation is like in Afghanistan right now, this documentary is well worth the time, showing the good, bad, and ugly sides of the war as we approach the 2014 withdrawal deadline. The photos below are show scenes from this conflict over the past month, part of the ongoing series here on Afghanistan.

My naked Vegas snaps? A case of too much Army and not enough prince, says Harry who admits 'letting himself and family down'
  • Soldier prince says his army officer job means he often forgets who he is
  • The 28-year-old says Prince Charles tells him 'Remember who you are'
  • He says his Las Vegas pictures were 'too much army, not enough prince'
  • But Harry says he ought to be afforded a 'certain amount of privacy'

Prince Harry has said it is 'easy to forget' who he is in the Army in a candid interview ahead of his return to the UK

Prince Harry has said it is 'easy to forget' who he is in the Army in a candid interview ahead of his return to the UK

There is only one rule as far as the soldier prince is concerned: Work hard, play hard.

But in one of the most candid admissions of his interview, Harry remarks that a concerned Prince Charles frequently attempts to remind him of what is required of the third in line to the throne. Harry confesses he ‘let himself and his family down’ after being photographed cavorting naked in Las Vegas last year, but, unsurprisingly given his comments, is largely unrepentant. The 28-year-old royal concedes he should have acted in a more ‘princely’ manner but says the media should never have published ‘private’ photos of him playing strip billiards with a group of women he had met in his hotel bar. Like many headstrong young men, Harry says he shrugs off his father’s wise words of caution, even if he is heir to the throne. ‘My father’s always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that. But it’s very easy to forget about who I am when I am in the Army. Everyone’s wearing the same uniform and doing the same kind of thing,’ he says. ‘I have always said work hard, play hard. I will always be enjoying the job … however long it may carry on for, and then I have the other job to fall back on.’ He adds: ‘Certain people remind me, “Remember who you are, so don’t always drop your guard”. At the end of the day I probably let myself down [in Vegas], I let my family down, I let other people down.‘But I was in a private area and there should be a certain amount of privacy that one should expect. Back at home all my close friends rallied around me and were great.

Off-duty soldier: Prince Harry, seen here in Las Vegas, says we only see pictures taken during his time off, so we assume he's always 'gallivanting around'

Prince Charles Liverpool

Prince Harry on his controversial Las Vegas trip, left, and right, his father hard at work in Liverpool today

One of the boys: Prince Harry says everyone is the same in the army and he enjoys blending in

One of the boys: Prince Harry says everyone is the same in the army and he enjoys blending in. ‘It was probably a classic case of me being too much Army and not enough prince. It’s a simple case of that.’ The leaked pictures were taken on a riotous boys-only pre-deployment holiday to Vegas last summer, weeks before he flew out to Afghanistan. They show a naked Harry cupping his genitals as he hugs an unnamed blonde, who is also nude. The pair had apparently been playing a game of strip billiards. It is believed the photos, sold to a US entertainment website, were taken by one of the guests invited back to his £5,000-a-night suite in the Wynn Hotel. Their publication provoked a debate over whether Harry violated his own privacy in showing such a lapse of judgment, and raised questions over the role of his taxpayer-funded Scotland Yard protection officers.

prince harry graphic

A rare glimpse of his day job: Prince Harry inspects his Apache helicopter before take-off from Camp Bastion

A rare glimpse of his day job: Prince Harry inspects his Apache helicopter before take-off from Camp Bastion

HRH Prince Harry inspects his Apache Helicopter before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion

HRH Prince Harry inspects his Apache Helicopter before lift off on a night mission from Camp Bastion. Although the pictures were seen around the world, his solicitors threatened action against any UK newspaper that published them. Only one, the Sun, chose to do so but St James’s Palace took no further action. Harry, however, says it is ‘unacceptable’ that anything was published, knowing that he was about to be deployed. ‘Yes people might look at it going, “Yes it was letting off steam, it’s all understandable now, he was going off to Afghanistan”. 'Well, the papers knew that I was going out to Afghanistan anyway, so the way I was treated by them I don’t think is acceptable.’ Harry openly admits that one of the reasons he likes his job as an Apache pilot so much is that it takes him away from the media interest.

Hard at work: Captain Wales, as he is known in the army, in the cockpit of his Apache helicopter

Hard at work: Captain Wales, as he is known in the army, in the cockpit of his Apache helicopter

Harry walks towards the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to start his 12 hour shift, at Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

Harry walks towards the VHR (very high ready-ness) tent to start his 12 hour shift, at Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan But he says that being in the Royal Family requires both himself and his brother to constantly ‘flick a switch’ between their different personas. ‘There are three “me”s – one in the Army, one sort of socially in my own private time, and then one with the family and stuff like that,’ he says. ‘No one back home gets to see the stuff that I do while I’m at work and there’s no reason why they should... So whenever anybody sees me they presume that I’m off gallivanting around.’ Although he repeatedly says he ‘doesn’t want to whinge’, Harry lays the blame for his ‘bad boy’ public person at the feet of the media.

HRH Prince Harry (foreground) or just plain Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, relaxes with computer football games with his fellow Apache Helicopter crew, in Camp Bastion

HRH Prince Harry (foreground) or just plain Captain Wales as he is known in the British Army, relaxes with computer football games with his fellow Apache Helicopter crew, in Camp Bastion

Prince Harry celebrates after scoring a goal during computer football game with his fellow Apache Helicopter Pilot Capt Simon Beattie (left)

Prince Harry celebrates after scoring a goal during computer football game with his fellow Apache Helicopter Pilot Capt Simon Beattie (left)

Prince Harry relaxes with fellow Pilots in their VHR (very high ready-ness) at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan

Prince Harry relaxes with fellow Pilots in their VHR (very high ready-ness) at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion southern Afghanistan. ‘My father always says, “Don’t read it, it’s rubbish” [but] I am surprised how many people in the UK do actually read it. Of course, if something is written about me I want to know what is said,’ he says. ‘I don’t believe there is such a thing as a private life any more ... I am not going to sit here and whinge [but] there’s the internet, there’s Twitter. 'Everyone’s phone has a camera on it now. You can’t move an inch without people judging you, that’s the way life goes.’ Asked how far his mistrust of the media goes back, Harry says sharply: ‘I think it’s fairly obvious how far back it goes. It’s when I was very small.’ But he adds: ‘But at least I have a job, many other people don’t.’

 

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