Harry interview: Prince admits killing Taliban and hits at press
'Take a life to save a life' muses royal as he heads home from tour of duty in Afghanistan
PRINCE HARRY has returned from Afhanistan after a four-month posting with the British armed forces, and in a series of interviews given at Camp Bastian before his departure has admitted killing Taliban insurgents.
The Prince also spoke about the pressures of being part of the royal family, his attitude towards the media and the pictures that emerged of him naked in a Las Vegas hotel last year.
But the most startling revelation was that, in his role as a gunner in an Apache attack helicopter, he had fired upon and killed Taliban fighters. "His remarks may be seized upon by insurgents to stir anti-British sentiment, but the prince said he was only doing his job," said The Guardian, while the Daily Mail said he came across as "thoughtful but unrepentant" in the interview.
Here’s what the 28-year-old prince said:
On 'taking out' the enemy: Harry's main role as an Apache co-pilot was to provide air support for ground troops and help rescue injured personnel. "Everyone's fired a certain amount," he said. "Take a life to save a life. That's what we revolve around, I suppose... If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game." An army source told the Mail: "It would be unthinkable for a gunner to go on a deployment and not have several engagements with the enemy. Of course he has killed."
On life as a prince: Harry revealed that his father, Prince Charles, was "always trying to remind me about who I am", and that he was often warned to remember his responsibilities not to drop his guard. But the prince said he had three different personas: "One in the army, one socially in my own private time, and then one with the family and stuff like that."
On army life: Being part of the military makes his life "as normal as it's going to get," he said. "I'm one of the guys, I don’t get treated any differently". He added that he is better suited to an active life in the army than he was to school, where he was "absolutely useless" at exams.
On his brother: He said William was jealous that he was banned from active service on the grounds that it would be too dangerous. "I think there is a bit of jealousy," said Harry. "Not just the fact that I get to fly [an Apache], but obviously he'd love to be out here. And to be honest with you, I don't see why he couldn't."
On the Las Vegas episode: The Prince accepted he had let himself and his family down when naked pictures of him playing strip billiards in a Las Vegas hotel room emerged last year. "Too much army, and not enough prince", he admitted. However, Harry added that he still believed that the images should not have been published and that he had a right to privacy.
On his distrust of the press: The Prince said he had grown up with a dislike of the media but still read what they wrote about him. "If there's a story and something's been written about me, I want to know what's being said," he explained. "But all it does is just upset me and anger me that people can get away with writing the stuff they do. Not just about me, but about everything and everybody." He even aimed a barb at The Sun over incorrect reports about his time in Afghanistan. "Because we haven't got mobile phones out here they obviously can't bug our phones," he said.