Queen Elizabeth Knew Prince Harry Had To Fight In Afghanistan, Was Hesitant For Prince William To Go To War As Heir To The Throne
The late Queen Elizabeth was an instrumental force in whether or not Prince William and Prince Harry were going to fight in Afghanistan.
In the new ITVX documentary series The Real Crown, former Army General Sir Mike Jackson explained that while Her Majesty was adamant about the Duke of Sussex joining the army, she was not keen on the newly minted Prince of Wales putting his life on the line.
The major general said the queen “was very clear” about them joining the military, emphasizing, “My grandsons have taken my shilling, therefore they must do their duty.”
When it came to Harry joining the forces, the monarch felt “the risk was acceptable,” but because William was “heir to the throne, the risk is too great” for him to go to war.
Despite his grandmother's hesitation, the future King of England was ready to fight. “William was very keen to go. Unequivocally,” director of the British Forces Foundation Mark Cann noted. “But it was complex, and some very great minds and experienced people took a view on it."
While William was unable to serve his country in the war, Harry completed two tours in Afghanistan, in 2007 to 2008, and then again from 2012 to 2013.
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In the red-headed royal's bombshell book, Spare, Harry admitted to taking the life of 25 people during active duty. According to the memoir, he admitted it's not possible to kill someone “if you see them as a person," but the army “trained me to ‘other’ them and they had trained me well."
“I made it my purpose, from day one, to never go to bed with any doubt whether I had done the right thing… whether I had shot at Taliban and only Taliban, without civilians in the vicinity," he wrote. "I wanted to return to Great Britain with all my limbs, but more than that I wanted to get home with my conscience intact.”