Skip to main contentSkip to footer

Prince Harry: 'I never prepared myself' for horrors of Afghanistan

Share this:
Prince Harry

has said he was

unprepared for the hard reality of war

. The 29-year-old royal

served two tours of Afghanistan

, one in 2007-2008 and a second in 2012-2013. In a powerful column for

The Sunday Times

, he said he was

"hit" by the horror of what he had experienced

while flying home with injured personnel in February 2008.

Prince Harry at a briefing in Camp Bastion, Afghanistan, in November 2012


I had never seen it first-hand

," Harry wrote. "By 'it' I mean the injuries that were being sustained largely due to improvised explosive devices (IEDs). "Loss of life is as tragic and devastating as it gets, but to see young lads – much younger than me... missing limbs... was

something I never prepared myself for

." Harry has gone on to

dedicate himself to helping injured servicemen and women

. Next month, shortly before his 30th birthday, the prince's Paralympic-style

Invictus Games

will take place in London.

Prince Harry chats to former servicemen Andy Phillips and Daniel Whittingham about the Invictus Games


came up with the concept of the tournament

for injured service personnel after a 2012 visit to America, where he witnessed the

Warrior Games

and realised that sport could serve as a great motivation for rehabilitation. "The premise is simple: set yourself a target, take your mind off all the negative thoughts and

concentrate on the challenge in front of you

, all while relearning to use your body," he said. Of the

400 wounded men and women representing 14 countries

at the Invictus Games, Harry added, "

They want to put on a show for you

. All are in different stages of their rehabilitation, some are Paralympians, others just want to use sport to get their lives back in shape."The Invictus Games will take place in

London's Olympic Park


10 and 14 September


More Royalty

See more