Royalty and statesmen




The 22-year-old Prince is to join fellow soldiers in the Blues and Royals when they deploy to the troubled region in the coming weeks
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Army confirms Prince Harry is to serve in Iraq

1 MAY 2007

The news Prince Harry has been waiting for was confirmed on Monday - he is to go to Iraq with the rest of his regiment. Despite concerns for the safety of the third-in-line to the throne, the Prince will ship out with his men and begin operations in the coming weeks.

The decision comes in the wake of weeks of intense media speculation as to whether the 22-year-old Prince would remain behind when his Blues and Royals regiment deploys to the Middle East. It follows an urgent review of the situation last week after a rise in violence in the troubled region.

While intially having made it clear he wanted no special treatment, the 22-year-old Troop Commander has been at pains of late to emphasise that he would abide by his superiors' decision - whatever that might be. "I've waited a long time and just want to get out there and serve my country," he said during a moving farewell speech to friends at a leaving party last Friday. "I'm prepared to do anything they throw at me, whether it's to serve on the front line or carry out a desk job in Basra."

Harry's six-month tour of duty will make him the first royal to see active service since his uncle, Prince Andrew, served as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands conflict 25 years ago.

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