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Last Updated: Wednesday, 16 May 2007, 16:41 GMT 17:41 UK
Full text of Army statement
Sir Richard Dannatt said the risk to Prince Harry was too great
Sir Richard Dannatt said the risk to Prince Harry was too great
This is the full text of the statement by the head of the British Army General Sir Richard Dannatt.

Over the last few weeks I have made a particular point of saying that I would keep under constant review my decision to deploy Prince Harry to Iraq with his troop.

As with any military operation, circumstances do change, and therefore so should decisions, if necessary.

I have decided today that Prince Harry will not deploy as a troop leader with his squadron.

I have come to this final decision following a further and wide round of consultation, including a visit to Iraq by myself at the end of last week.

There have been a number of specific threats - some reported and some not reported - which relate directly to Prince Harry as an individual.

These threats expose not only him but also those around him to a degree of risk that I now deem unacceptable.

Now that I have decided that he will not be deploying with his troop, the risks faced by his battle group are no different to those faced by any other battle group or other of our servicemen in Iraq.

I have to add that a contributing factor to this increase in threats to Prince Harry has been the widespread knowledge and discussion of his deployment.

Prince Harry is said to be disappointed
Prince Harry is said to be disappointed
It is a fact that this close scrutiny has exacerbated the situation and this is something that I wish to avoid in future.

Let me also make quite clear that as a professional soldier, Prince Harry will be extremely disappointed. He has proved himself both at Sandhurst and in command of his troop during their training.

I commend him for his determination and his undoubted talent - and I do not say that lightly.

His soldiers will miss his leadership in Iraq, although I know his commanding officer will provide a highly capable substitute troop leader.

In conclusion, two further points: first I have asked Prince Harry's commanding officer to continue to develop Prince Harry's professional career in the Army, but I am not prepared to speculate, either now or in the future, on what Prince Harry might be doing over the next few weeks and months.

Second, I pay tribute once again to the excellence and commitment of all our servicemen deployed around the world and I thank them, and their families, for the way that they are doing their duty in the best traditions of the Armed Forces.


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