In a new biography about Prince Harry’s time spent in war-torn Helmand Province, it is claimed that the fifth in line to the Throne was “inches from death” after he was nearly caught in a landmine explosion. Prince Harry was deployed to Afghanistan with the Household Cavalry in 2012.
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Prince Harry was based in the perilous Garmsir area near the border with Pakistan and according to his Commanding Officer, Major Mark Millford, “about as dangerous as it can get.” Being a member of The Royal Family did not mean Prince Harry was at any less of a risk.
A Ludgrove prep school friend of Prince Harry’s, Captain Dickon Leigh-Wood, described the moment that Prince Harry and his unit ‘drove over’ an unexploded IED. “One of the vehicles in the column suddenly noticed something flick underneath the tank in front and everyone was ordered to stop” Captain Leigh-Wood described.
Captain Leigh-Wood continued, “You automatically think, ‘This is gonna go off. This is it’. The previous vehicles, including Harry’s, had missed the pressure plate of an IED by about six inches. If any of us had gone over it, it would have been game over.”
During his time in Afghanistan, Prince Harry was employed as a Forward Air Controller tasked with studying what troops knew as ‘Taliban TV’ meaning he would study the images beamed to his laptop and hunt for troop movements or even signs of body heat that could betray the position of the Taliban.
On 17th March 2015, Kensington Palace announced that Prince Harry would be leaving the Army after a four-week secondment to the Australian Defence Force. Prince Harry’s attachment to the ADF ended on 8th May 2015 and his career in the Army ended on 19th June 2015.
Captain Leigh-Wood also said that Prince Harry always just got on with the job while in Helmand Province and commented, “I never once heard him complain.”
Photo Credit: Defence Images