Prince Harry recalled from Afghanistan

Prince spent 10 weeks on active duty, including calling in air strikes and participating in foot patrols.

Prince Harry afgh 224.88 (photo credit: AP)
Prince Harry afgh 224.88
(photo credit: AP)
The Druge Report Web site has defied a media blackout to reveal that Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, has been on active service with the Household Cavalry army unit in Afghanistan. The 23-year-old royal has spent the last 10 weeks serving on the front line in the Helmand Province fighting the Taliban. The British media accepted a news blackout, struck between the British Ministry of Defense and the media to preserve his and his fellow soldier's safety, in exchange for access to the prince for interviews and filming. However, the arrangement broke down after details came out on a US Web site and there are fears that the third in line to the throne could become a target for the Taliban. On Friday, the Ministry of Defense made the decision to withdraw the prince following the leak. In a statement, the Ministry of Defense described the reporting of his deployment by foreign media as "regrettable," but said that contingency plans for such a leak were in place. "This decision has been taken primarily on the basis that the worldwide media coverage of Prince Harry in Afghanistan could impact on the security of those who are deployed there, as well as the risks to him as an individual soldier," the statement said. "I am very disappointed that foreign websites have decided to run this story without consulting us," Chief of the General Staff Sir Richard Dannatt, head of the British Army, said. "This is in stark contrast to the highly responsible attitude that the whole of the UK print and broadcast media, along with a small number of overseas, who have entered into an understanding with us over the coverage of Prince Harry on operations." Prince Harry's work in Afghanistan has involved calling in air strikes on Taliban positions as well as going out on foot patrols. It is understood that the news was first leaked in an Australian publication in January, but the blackout was actually breached by a report on the Drudge Report. Last May, the prince's planned tour to Iraq had to be cancelled at the last minute because of a security risk sparked by the media coverage of his deployment to the region. Prince Andrew, Harry's uncle, served with the Royal Navy in the Falklands War in 1982. He said if he had not gone, his position in the navy would have become untenable.