Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Should Prince Harry go to Iraq?

The determined Prince

Prince Harry, third in line to the throne behind father Prince Charles and older brother Prince William, is expected to accompany his troops to Iraq in April or May, an unidentified military source told CNN.

Harry's arrival in southern Iraq,would coincide with ongoing massive security clampdowns by coalition forces in Baghdad and in Basra.

The Daily Mail newspaper claimed the prince is already referred to as a "bullet magnet" by fellow soldiers as his Blues and Royals regiment prepares for an anticipated six-month tour of Iraq. As the grandson of the Queen of England Harry would inevitably be a 'prime target' for Iraqi insurgents.

The Iraq war is far from popular with the British population. Yesterday British Prime Minister Tony Blair announced Britain's first large-scale cut of troops numbers in Iraq, with nearly a quarter set to return home within months.

Six British soldiers have been killed in southern Iraq since Christmas, four of them by roadside bombs. More than 1,200 British troops are currently engaged in 'counter-insurgency operations' in southern Iraq. There are a total of 7100 British troops in Iraq.

Harry's brother, 24-year-old Prince William, who is currently training as a troop leader in the Blues and Royals, cannot be deployed to war zones because he is second in line to the British crown.

Harry's opinion

'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,' Harry said in an interview marking his 21st birthday.

From the moment he left Sandhurst military academy last year to join the regiment of the Blues and Royals as a Second Lieutenant, Harry has been pressing to serve on the front line.

Troop Commander Wales, as Harry is known among his army colleagues, had warned his superiors that he would resign his commission if he was denied active service in Afghanistan or Iraq on security grounds, reports said.

Guarding Harry

The British police protection officer responsible for Prince Harry has flown to Iraq to begin making security arrangements for the royal soldier's deployment to Iraq amid fears for his safety, according to British press reports.

The question of whether Harry, under constant royal protection at home, should be accompanied by a police bodyguard to 'oversee' his security, is being reviewed. Harry's current police protection/ bodyguards have not been trained to operate in a war zone.Their skills, said one expert, would offer 'little protection against roadside bombs.'

An alternative would be to assign a team of Royal Military Police bodyguards, who specialize in guarding senior commanders and VIPs.


Prince Harry was born on 15 September 1984 at St Mary's Hospital, Paddington, in central London, England.

His father is Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. His mother is the late Diana, Princess of Wales, who died in 1997, the former wife of the Prince of Wales.
His full title is His Royal Highness Prince Henry of Wales, although he is seldom referred to as anything but Prince Harry.

Harry has graduated prestigious Eton College and from Sandhurst military academy last year

In April 2006, Prince Harry launched a charity with Prince Seeiso of Lesotho to aid children orphaned by HIV/AIDS. The charity is named Sentebale: The Princes' Fund for Lesotho. Sentebale is a Sesotho word meaning forget-me-not. The name is meant to honour both princes' mothers: the former Princess of Wales, who died in 1997; and Queen 'MaMohato of Lesotho, who died in 2003.

One of his mother Princess Diana's favorite causes was for the research and treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Diana, Princess of Wales

Princess Dianna died on August 31 1997 in a car accident in Paris.

Her death came only a few days after she spent a holiday in northern France with William and Harry. The princes were staying at Balmoral Castle; it was Charles who awoke them and broke the news.

At Diana's funeral, their father, grandfather Prince Philip, and uncle (the Earl Spencer) walked with the two princes behind Diana's funeral cortege from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Abbey. On Diana's coffin was a card from Harry, made out to Mummy.

Princess Dianna's was also a champions for a worldwide ban on landmines and medical treatment for those injured by explosives.

posted by Paul Grant (follower of Basho)


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