GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Online Extras

January 23, 2013

Prince's wartime role draws praise, fears

LONDON — Prince Harry’s admission that he killed Taliban fighters while working as a helicopter gunner in Afghanistan drew intense British media coverage yesterday and sparked concerns about possible reprisals.

The 28-year-old prince spoke in a pooled interview published late Monday after he was safely out of Afghanistan. He had spent the last 20 weeks deployed as a co-pilot and gunner in a heavily armed Apache attack helicopter.

Asked if he had killed from the cockpit, the third-in-line to the British throne said: “Yeah, so, lots of people have.”

The response was immediate: The Daily Mirror tabloid ran a page-one headline “Royal Sensation Harry: I Killed Taliban” along with a photo of a macho-looking Harry in combat gear and designer shades.

Other newspapers ran similar gung-ho stories about the prince’s military exploits. “Harry: I Have Killed” was the story in the Daily Mail.

Video shot during the prince’s deployment was shown dozens of times on Britain’s major news networks.

In Parliament yesterday, Defense Minister Mark Francois praised Harry, saying the prince should be commended for his bravery.

He “has done well for his country,” Francois said, offering kind words for a prince who has occasionally embarrassed the royal family, most recently by being photographed naked as he played strip billiards at a Las Vegas hotel.

Many in Harry’s family have also seen combat — most recently his uncle, Prince Andrew, who flew Royal Navy helicopters during the 1982 Falklands War. Prince Philip, his grandfather, served on Royal Navy battleships during World War II.

Not everyone was applauding the soldier-prince.

Lindsey German, leader of the Stop the War Coalition, called Harry’s comments “arrogant and insensitive” and raised the prospect that Harry might have accidently targeted Afghan civilians.

Former officer Charles Heyman, who edits a yearbook on British forces, said the prince’s words may raise the already high threat level against him.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Online Extras

NDN Video
Famous Internet Cats Help Big Cause With Viral Video Raw: Obama Gets Hug From Special Olympian Snoop Dogg Narrating Animal Footage Is Perfect Tigers Acquire David Price - @TheBuzzeronFOX Russell Brand Slams Sean Hannity Over Gaza Conflict Segment Chapter Two: Composing for a film in retirement Woman's Dive Goes Terribly Wrong Brian Williams Reports on Daughter Allison Williams' 'Peter Pan' Casting News Did Jimmy Fallon Look Up Heidi Klum's Dress? What Drama? Miranda Kerr Poses Topless Plane crashes in San Diego Costco parking lot Justin Bieber Takes To Instagram To Diss Orlando Bloom You Won't Believe the Celeb Cameos in "Sharknado 2" Pitch Invading Morons Cause Chaos - @TheBuzzeronFOX Orlando Bloom 'Takes a Swing' at Justin Bieber In Ibiza Sadie Doesn't Want Her Brother to Grow Up "Maxim" Hotness! See Jessica Alba's Sizzling Spread Two women barely avoid being hit by train Broken Water Main Floods UCLA Orlando Bloom and Justin Bieber Reportedly Came To Blows In Ibiza