BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 28 February 2008, 19:26 GMT
Harry's 'excitement' over posting
Prince Harry
He took part in final training in Cyprus

Prince Harry has spoken of his "excitement" at being allowed to fight on the front line in Afghanistan.

The prince said he had thought of leaving the army and described his reaction to the posting.

"A bit of excitement, a bit of 'phew finally, get the chance to actually do the soldiering that I wanted to do ever since I joined really," he said.

In a series of interviews which took place during his deployment he revealed he had not showered for four days.

"It's much better being out here and experiencing it rather than just hearing the stories of everyone coming back," he added.

Grandmother's blessing

Speaking before he left the UK, Prince Harry said the Queen knew about his deployment: "I have told my grandmother - she actually told me. She told me I'm off to Afghanistan so that was the way it was supposed to be."

Asked whether she knew before he did, he said: "No, well we've had a lot of talks about it since April, the last time this was supposed to happen, and she was very pro me going then.

you actually get out there you are being pulled left right and centre
Prince Harry

"So, I think she's relieved that I get the chance to do what I want to do."

Prince William knew where he was, Harry said.

"I don't think he'll be jealous, he's a little bit upset that he can't come out here and I can but I'm sure he'll have his time whether it's in a plane or in a helicopter....aircraft sorry, jet."

Asked whether his family were worried about him he said: "No I don't think so, no-one really knows where I am and I prefer to keep it that way for the meantime until I get back in one piece and then I can tell them where I was.

"At the moment I think they think I'm tucked away, wrapped up in cotton wool."

Before he left he said his exact role out there was unclear, and many soldiers were "multi-tasking."

He said: "You've got one job that you go out there for but when you actually get out there you are being pulled left right and centre helping out people.

"Essentially I'm going to be 'TACP' which is Tactical Air Control Party which is linked in with the RAF and fast jets and supply drops and all these bits and pieces I've still yet to find out all the details of what I'll actually be doing."

'Bullet magnet'

Describing how he was enjoying his experience, Harry said: "I haven't really had a shower for four days, I haven't washed my clothes for a week. It's very nice to be sort of a normal person for once, I think its about as normal as I'm going to get."

The prince said he was "a little" conscious he could be a target because of his status, but there were no civilians in the "no man's land" area he was fighting in.

He said: "I think that if, up north, when I do go up there, if I do go on patrols in amongst the locals I'll still be very wary about the fact that I do need to keep my face slightly covered just on the off chance that I do get recognised which will put other guys in danger.

"So yeah, the Gurkhas think it's hysterical how I am called the bullet magnet, but they've yet to see why."

Prince Harry said he had thought about leaving the army when he was told he was not allowed to serve in Iraq.

"The word quit - I wouldn't use quitting. It was a case of, it did feel very much like, well if I'm going to cause this much chaos to a lot of people, then maybe I should just, you know, bow out.

"Not just for my own sake but for everybody else's sake. It was something that I thought about obviously, but at the same time I was very keen to make this happen or hope for the opportunity to arise, and luckily it has."





FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

PRODUCTS & SERVICES

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific