herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

'Leaving the army was tough', reveals Prince Harry

Prince Harry
Prince Harry

BRITAIN'S Prince Harry has spoken of how leaving the Armed Forces has been a "really tough decision" but that he is looking forward to the new chapter in his life.

Kensington Palace confirmed that the Prince will end his military service in June after a four-week secondment to the Australian Defence Force in April and May.

Fourth in line to the throne Harry said his experience in the Army would stay with him for the rest of his life and that he considered himself "incredibly lucky" to have had the chance to carry out challenging roles.

He described how he found himself at a "crossroads" in his military career but insisted that he would always maintain his links with his fellow servicemen and women.

After his stint in Australia, which will see him spend time at Army barracks in Darwin, Perth and Sydney carrying out unit based activities, training exercises and domestic deployments, the Prince will undertake an official royal tour to New Zealand.

During his attachment in Australia, Harry will also join his father the Prince of Wales at the Gallipoli commemorations in Turkey on April 24 and 25.

When he leaves the Armed Forces in June, Harry will spend part of the summer in Africa - a continent he has a great affection for - carrying out voluntary work with field-based conservation experts to learn how local communities in sub-Saharan Africa are working to protect and conserve natural resources and wildlife.

In the autumn, the Prince will volunteer with the Ministry of Defence's Recovery Capability Programme supporting the rehabilitation of wounded, injured or sick service personnel where he has been working previously, while he considers what to do next.

TOURS

Harry revealed that a decision on his long term employment prospects had been left open.

"I am considering the options for the future and I am really excited about the possibilities," he said.

During his 10-year full time military career, Harry went on two tours of duty to Afghanistan and qualified as an Apache Aircraft Commander.

His decision to leave the Army was a surprise to many as the Prince is a passionate member of the forces who had always dreamt of being a career soldier even as a young boy.

In a statement released by Kensington Palace, Harry explained: "After a decade of service, moving on from the Army has been a really tough decision.

"I consider myself incredibly lucky to have had the chance to do some very challenging jobs and have met many fantastic people in the process.

"Inevitably most good things come to an end," he added.

hnews@herald.ie

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