Prince Harry interviews: Key extracts
- 21 January 2013
- From the section UK
Interviews with Prince Harry conducted during his tour of Afghanistan as an Apache helicopter pilot with the Army have been broadcast. He talked, among other things, about his royal and military roles and the publication of secretly-taken pictures of him partying in Las Vegas.
Killing the enemy
"Take a life to save a life. That's what we revolve around, I suppose. If there's people trying to do bad stuff to our guys, then we'll take them out of the game I suppose. It's not the reason I decided to do this job. The reason to do this job was to get back out here, and carry on with a job."
Has he got a cushy job?
"We're not at the sharp end because we're stuck in [Camp] Bastion but I know there is hopefully a minority of people that seem to think I've got a free pass, that I'm in this aircraft and therefore I'm as safe as houses... You don't get a free pass no matter who you are and if the Army didn't think they could get me out here, then they wouldn't have put me in here..."
Does he feel pressure in the cockpit?
"There's a lot of pressures, obviously, when we go and support the Americans or when we're escorting the Tricky [mobile hospital].... but essentially I think it's less stressful being up here than it is down there. We don't have to put on all the kit and walk around through the desert, sweating our balls off."
"You presumably know what happened on my birthday? Well, it just so happened that it coincided with the, I think it was about 15 guys who attacked the base... this camp is in the middle of Afghanistan and it should be expected to be attacked at any point and the guys dealt with it really well and it was on my birthday so it was a bit of a reality check."
Interest in helicopters
"Our father flew, uncle's flown, all sorts of people have flown in my family - I wouldn't suggest that's where it's come from but it is great fun... I was given the opportunity in the end and I couldn't say no to it."
Is Prince William jealous you are in Afghanistan?
"I think there is a bit of jealousy - not just the fact that I get to fly this but obviously he'd love to be out here and I don't see why... he couldn't... no-one knows he's in the cockpit. Yes, he'd get shot at but you know, if the guys who are doing the same job as us are being shot at on the ground, I don't think there's anything wrong with us being shot at as well. Yeah, people back home have issues with that but we're not special - the guys out there are."
Does it feel normal, being in Afghanistan?
"For me it's not that normal, because I go into the cook house and everyone has a good old gawp and that's one thing that I dislike about being here, because there's plenty of guys in there that have never met me - and therefore probably look at me as being Prince Harry as opposed to Captain Wales, which is frustrating. But... it's as normal as it's going to get."
"I don't believe there is any such a thing as private life any more. I'm not going to sit here and whinge. Everybody knows about Twitter and the internet and stuff like that. Every single mobile phone has got a camera on it now. You can't move an inch without someone judging you, and I suppose that's just the way life goes."
"At the end of the day I probably let myself down, I let my family down, I let other people down. But at the end of the day I was in a private area and there should have been a certain amount of privacy that one should expect. Back home all my close friends rally round me and were great… but you know it was probably a classic example of me probably being too much Army and not enough prince."
"No-one actually believes what they read. I certainly don't. Of course I read it. If there's a story and something's been written about me I want to know what's being said, but all it does is just upset me and anger me that people can get away with writing the stuff they do. Not just about me, but about everything and everybody."
Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy
"Obviously I'm thrilled for both of them. It's about time. I can't wait to be an uncle... I just only hope that she and him, but mainly Catherine, hopefully she gets the necessary protection to allow her as a mother-to-be to enjoy the privacy.... I had a chat to them. I didn't send a letter of congratulation like most of the papers said."
Royal v Army role
"I will always be here for my grandmother, and whoever needs to send me abroad for whatever reason. I don't really have any plans. This was my main effort, to get back out to Afghanistan... As to how long I'm going to spend in the Army, who knows? I will continue to bounce between my army job and the other job... I've spent... six, almost seven years in [the] Army, and I only planned on spending three."
"The last thing my brother, myself and also Catherine, the last thing we want to do is spread ourselves too thin across the ground. We want to be able to pack the punch when it's needed. I'll still stay patron to the charities that I've got. I've got the Walking With The Wounded South Pole venture coming up. Medically, if I can do that, that's perfect because I'd love to do it."