Prince Harry, third in line to the throne, has been on a tour of duty with the British Army in Afghanistan since before Christmas, it emerged today.
The Prince has been on active duty in the country since mid-December, working as a Forward Air Controller – responsible for providing cover for troops on the frontline in Helmand Province. He has been personally involved in clashes with Taleban guerrillas.
His three-month deployment had been kept secret because of a Ministry of Defence agreement with news organisations, including The Times, but the details can now be made public after the news leaked out in publications in Australia and Germany and on an American website.
Not this American website, unfortunately.
Well good for them. I thought it was pretty rich for them to be complaining that the public doesn’t care about serving servicemen and women anymore but then not let Harry serve anywhere.
But he said that he had pushed privately to be sent to Afghanistan, where more than 3,000 British troops are serving in a battle against the Taleban, and was finally told that he would be going by his grandmother, the Queen.
Oh it figures.
Channel 4 news in Britain: ‘I never thought I’d find myself saying thank God for Drudge. The infamous US blogger has broken the best kept editorial secret of recent times. Editors have been sworn to secrecy over Prince Harry being sent to fight in Afghanistan three months ago. Drudge has blown their cover. One wonders whether viewers, readers and listeners will ever want to trust media bosses again. Or perhaps this was a courageous editorial decision to protect this fine young man?’
In his statement, Sir Richard said: “I am very disappointed that foreign websites have decided to run this story without consulting us.
“This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the UK print and broadcast media, along with a small number of overseas, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations.
“After a lengthy period of discussion between the MoD and the editors of regional, national and international media, the editors took the commendable attitude to restrain their coverage.
Yay Drudge. And this is right after Harry’s finished being quoted saying:
“I would never want to put someone else’s life in danger when they have to sit next to the bullet magnet,” he said. “But if I’m wanted, if I’m needed, then I will serve my country as I signed up to do.”
Despite knowing what happened before, he said: “I don’t think it’s putting anybody at risk at all … if I can get out there without anyone actually making it public – which is basically what’s happening at the moment with the deal that’s being made with numerous papers – things are looking up.”
(Okay so I just went back to this post and scrolled down to the bottom to go past the first update and …it wasn’t there. What the hell? I saved the damned changes. Thankfully I keep my ninme window open all day so I went all the way back and then hit forward till I saw the window with the changes which were still there. Stupid thing.)