Royalty and statesmen




There has been speculation for months over whether or not Prince Charles' younger son would ship out to the war zone. Now it has been confirmed that he will remain in the UK. The decision is likely to hit the young Prince hard as he's always stated his wish to accompany his men and serve his country
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At 11th hour Army confirms Prince Harry will not serve in Iraq

16 MAY 2007

After weeks of speculation about Prince Harry's possible deployment, Army bosses have decided that he will not go to Iraq due to the risk it poses for him and his fellow soldiers.

The head of the British Army, General Sir Richard Dannatt, confirmed the Prince would not be sent to the region despite having stated on February 22 that Harry would be joining his regiment in the troubled country.

"Following a visit to Iraq last week I discovered a number of threats relating directly to Prince Harry and those around him and I am not prepared to export those risks," the General explained. "I know Prince Harry will be extremely disappointed and his soldiers will miss his presence in Iraq."

General Dannatt was also keen to emphasise Harry's skills were not in question and that he was a professional soldier who had proved himself every step of the way. "I commend him for his determination and undoubted talent - and I do not say that lightly. His soldiers will miss his leadership in Iraq," he added.

Harry has always stated his desire to lead his troops on active service, and on April 27 held a leaving party in London during which he gave a emotional farewell speech. In it he admitted to being "a nervous wreck" and said: "I've waited a long time and just want to get out there and serve my country. 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."

At one point Harry was reported to have said he would leave the Army if he was not allowed to join his troops. The General declined to comment on the Prince's position in the forces, however, other than to say: "I've asked his commanding officer to develop his future career, but I won't speculate on that," he said.

According to a statement from Clarence House, Harry "fully understands and accepts General Dannatt's difficult decision, and remains committed to his Army career. Prince Harry's thoughts are with his troop and the rest of the Battle Group in Iraq."

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