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No one, least of all Prince Harry himself, would claim he is an intellectual. But he is a decent, amiable and courageous man. And for that our Armed Forces welcomed him with open arms.
As soon as Harry entered Sandhurst military academy in May 2005, he became one of their own.
Year - Officer - Household - Cavalry - Blues
When he was commissioned a year later as an officer in the Household Cavalry’s Blues and Royals, it was clear that here was a young man who had found his place and was thriving.
Everyone who served with him during his ten years as a soldier – not least those who encountered him on his two tours in Afghanistan, as a co-pilot gunner flying Apache helicopters – tells a similar story of good humour, gallantry and commitment to comrades.
Departure - Frontline - Brothers-in-arms - Doubt - Harry
All of which makes his departure from the royal frontline particularly disappointing for his former brothers-in-arms, many of whom no doubt believe that Harry isn’t just leaving his family behind, but them too.
Last week, an ex-captain in the Royal Marines broke ranks to criticise the prince’s decision.
James - Glancy - Conspicuous - Gallantry - Cross
James Glancy, who won the Conspicuous Gallantry Cross following three campaigns in Afghanistan, praised Harry for his work with the military – but added that his ‘behaviour’ over the past year was not appropriate for the Royal Marines Captain General – a position he took over from Prince Philip, and must now relinquish.
It is not easy for those of us who haven’t served in the Forces to appreciate the importance of the Royal Family’s involvement.
Philip - Lives - World - War - Lieutenant
Philip, who saved countless lives in the Second World War as a first lieutenant in the Royal Navy, was an avid supporter of his regiments.
He would turn up in far-flung barracks out of the blue to muck in, cheering the troops up with his sharp jokes, befriending them and their families.
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