BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 29 February 2008, 17:40 GMT
What next for Prince Harry?
By Caroline Wyatt
BBC News

Prince Harry
What the prince does next is now a subject of discussion
As Prince Harry is brought back home, the next question for defence chiefs will be what role Harry can play.

The rest of his unit may remain in Afghanistan, but Prince Harry will be returning to the UK.

Like all returning soldiers, Prince Harry is likely to be given some time off for R & R - rest and recuperation - after seeing active service in Afghanistan.

Though disappointed that news of his deployment came out prematurely, most in the Army are relieved and delighted that he managed to serve at least 10 weeks - much of that time on the front line.

Royal Family

On returning from combat duty, most troops are allowed a period of leave before returning to their regular base for training and other duties.

Where Prince Harry goes next is not settled and is the subject of discussion between the Royal household and service chiefs.

Prince Harry would like to be seen as a normal 2nd lieutenant in his regiment, the Blues and Royals, which is part of the Household Cavalry.

However it's highly unlikely he'll be able to return to Afghanistan for the remainder of their tour, with discussions taking place about what kind of a role the prince will be able to play in the coming months - and whether there are other areas of operation in which he can see active duty without drawing undue attention to himself and his comrades.

That means it is possible he may get involved in another part of the Household Cavalry's role - guarding the Royal Family.

As defence chiefs decide on Prince Harry's future - and whether it's possible to ensure further frontline service - his brother, Prince William, is spending short periods of training with the RAF and the Royal Navy as part of the preparation for his future role as head of Britain's Armed Forces.

It may be that Prince Harry could follow a similar path - though clearly he appears keen to see the same service as the men with whom he trained.





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