Page last updated at 13:36 GMT, Monday, 5 May 2008 14:36 UK

Harry given Afghan campaign medal


Prince Harry was given his medal by his aunt, Princess Anne

Prince Harry and other soldiers who served in Afghanistan have been awarded campaign medals.

The prince was among 170 members of the Household Cavalry, who recently served in the country, to receive the decoration at the Windsor ceremony.

Lieutenant Wales, as the 23-year-old prince is known, was presented the medal by his aunt the Princess Royal.

Prince Charles, Prince William and Harry's girlfriend, Chelsy Davy were among the guests at the event.

As the parade, led by the band of the Blues and Royals, arrived there was applause from about 600 family and friends who had gathered to watch.

After the ceremony at Combermere Barracks, the soldiers paraded through the town to the Household Cavalry's garrison church, Holy Trinity, in Windsor.

A service was held to remember British forces killed during the recent six-month tour of duty to Helmand Province, although their unit did not lose any men in that time.

Chelsy Davy, Prince William and Prince Charles

Among well-wishers gathered outside the church were Kevin and Maria Rhodes who had travelled from nearby Eton Wick.

Mrs Rhodes, 40, said: "We haven't come so much for Harry. We were coming here anyway and just wanted to show our support and say thank you to all the guys."

Retired housewife Joey Jones, 82, from Maidenhead in Berkshire waved a Union flag as the servicemen filed past.

She said: "I thought I would come to support the soldiers and especially because Prince Harry was parading.

"I think they have a rotten job and for what they're doing out there we should show some support."

Cut short

Princess Anne presented the medals in her capacity as colonel of the Blues and Royals.

She chatted with her nephew for around 30 seconds before moving off smiling.

Harry went to Helmand Province in December to work as a Forward Air Controller, serving at Garmsir in southern Helmand and Musa Qaleh.

But his four-month deployment was cut short after 10 weeks, when a news blackout broke down at the end of February.

He qualifies for the Afghanistan Medal after having served more than the minimum four-week period required.

It will be the second medal he is entitled to wear on regimental occasions, the other being the Golden Jubilee Medal, a gift from the Queen to mark her 50-year reign in 2002.

'One of lads'

Corporal of Horse David Baxter - Prince Harry's partner in the air control team - was among those at the ceremony and service.

Cpl Baxter, 28, from Coleraine, Northern Ireland, said the circumstances of Harry's forced departure from the deployment were "a bit disappointing".

"It doubled up the workload that we had and every time we had a major operation we had to get someone to replace him.

"A lot of people were disappointed about it, that he did have to go.

"He was just one of the lads."

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