Prince Harry has spoken fondly about his time in the army, but in his memoir, Spare, he revealed he joined the military late after suffering a terrible accident just before he was set to enter the forces.
Writing about an occasion in 2005 when he and Prince William spent a day training with the British Special Boat Service, Harry shared horrifying details about the injury that befell him during an unofficial training day.
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"In one exercise we scurried down a flight of metal stairs. Someone cut the lights, to make it more interesting, I suppose. In the pitch dark, four steps from the bottom, I fell, landed on my left knee, which was immediately impaled on a fixed bolt sticking out of the floor," the Duke of Sussex wrote.
"Blinding pain washed over me. I managed to get up, keep going, finish the drill. But at the end of the exercise we jumped off the boat's helipad, into the water, and I found my knee wasn't working," Harry continued.
"My whole leg wasn't working. When I got out of the water and stripped off the dry suit, Willy looked down and turned pale. My knee was gushing blood. Paramedics were there within minutes. The palace announced some weeks later that my entry into the Army would be postponed. Indefinitely."
Prince Harry was injured ahead of joining the army
Harry went on the reveal that while he rested with his leg iced and elevated, the palace communications team told the papers that he had injured his knee playing rugby.
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The Duke of Sussex shared the realities of his time in the army in both his memoir Spare, and during his interview with Anderson Cooper, explaining: "It got me out of the spotlight from the UK press. I was able to focus on a purpose larger than myself, to be wearing the same uniform as everybody else, to feel normal for the first time in my life.
Prince Harry during his time in the army
"[I accomplished] some of the biggest challenges that I ever had. I was a really good candidate for the military. I was a young man in my 20s suffering from shock," the 38-year-old continued.
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