|Written by Professor David Flint AM|
|Monday, 03 May 2010|
In 2008, against his will, Prince Harry was recalled from Afghanistan when his cover was blown by the Australian journal, New Idea. The military reason was obvious. His unit would have become not just a target of the enemy; every effort would have been made to take him prisoner or wipe out the unit to score a major propaganda victory against the allies, a sthe following video recalls. (“ New Idea apologizes,” 13 March 2008; "That leak: appalling republican allegation by media columnist in The Australian " 6 March, 2008)
According to an announcement 30 April, 2010 the Prince has completed the competitive British helicopter course. Media reports suggest this will boost his chances of returning to active service in Afghanistan.
It was ironical that it was in the United States media that Prince Harry’s qualities seemed to have first been recognized. This was when the Prince was preparing to go to Iraq. One particular example of this by Washington Post correspondent, Marie Cocco.(“ Prince Harry: honour, duty and service,” 29 February 2008 }
...an “uplifting” Royal tale...
Ms. Cocco wrote that a royal tale, even “more uplifting” than Dame Helen Mirren’s superb portrayal of The Queen in the film of the same name, had begun to unfold in London “just as the red carpets were being rolled out in preparation for the Academy Awards in Los Angeles. This was that Prince Harry is marching off to war in Iraq”.
“Having graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, the equivalent of West Point, the son of Diana and Prince Charles is fulfilling, at his own insistence, a duty to serve on the battlefront with the troops he was trained to command.
"There's no way I'm going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my a**se back home while my boys are out fighting for their country", the young prince said in a 2005 interview that has been circulated widely.”
Ms.Cocco writes that it takes no nostalgia for the Crown to hear the honour in Prince Harry's vow -- and to wince at the contrast with the US much larger force in Iraq, from which, she declared, the sons and daughters of the American well-heeled and the well-known are largely absent.
...with a heavy heart, The Queen does her duty...
Ms. Cocco was especially impressed by the fact that “England sends its prince into battle.” She will no doubt be impressed that rather than blocking Prince Harry’s wish to go to Afghanistan, The Queen understood it and approved it, no doubt with a heavy heart.
This sense of duty in the Royal Family is no new thing. Older generations remember it in the Second World War, when The King and The Queen, as well as the Royal Family, stayed with the people. Prince Harry’s grandfather, and his father saw distinguished service. More recently, in the Falklands war, Prince Harry’s uncle, Prince Andrew, also rode, or perhaps more correctly, flew into battle.
.....comparing royalty with the ruling class in a republic...
Ms.Cocco also contrasted the way US veterans are treated with that offered by the UK authorities to theirs. While they send their princes to war, she wrote that “…we ( Americans) are making paupers of our military families.”
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