Prince Harry felt a sense of relief as he walked to a battlefield

Prince Harry in his newly published memoirs about his military career, spare partand shares his unique feeling upon learning he would be deployed to Iraq.

He begins the story by sharing the honor he felt when his grandmother attended the “knocking out” ceremony, which she hadn’t done in decades. He remembers her smile as he walked past her and the pride he felt when he saw it. Prince Harry says that as Grandma inspected the troops for him, she gave him a sweet “Oh, hello,” which left him smiling and blushing. He felt he was on top of the world, and since his brother William embarked on the route to university first, he also shared that for a brief second the ‘reserve’ trumped the ‘heir’.

Prince Harry opens up about his feelings as he heads onto a battlefield, which isn’t what you’d originally expect. He knew that relieving a unit conducting “predictive reconnaissance” in southern Iraq would be no easy task, and he also knew that forty soldiers had been killed in the six months prior to his force’s arrival.

Of course, the thought was unnerving, but he wasn’t afraid of what was about to happen.

“I have searched my heart. I was not afraid. I was obliged. I was excited. But also: war, death, whatever, anything was better than staying in Britain, which was its own kind of battle. Just recently the newspapers had run a story about Willy leaving a voicemail for me pretending to be Chels. They also ran a story about me asking JLP for help with a Sandhurst research project. For once, both stories were true. The question was – how could the newspapers know such deeply private things?”

Prince Harry remembers being just as paranoid as his brother Willy at the time. It brought her back to her mother’s oft-cited “paranoia”; they saw it differently. It was like they had a front row seat to some of what she was experiencing.

They had begun questioning those around them, even some of their closest friends. They wondered who would leak such stories to the media, who might have gotten wind of private matters, and who might their closest circle confide in? It made Prince Harry feel like his head was spinning. He didn’t know if anyone could be trusted; In fact, it felt like nobody could.

For these reasons, Prince Harry felt that Iraq would offer him something concrete.

“What a relief, I thought, to be in a real war zone where this is part of my daily calculations. Please put me on a battlefield where there are clear rules of engagement. Where there is a certain sense of honor.”

Honor on a battlefield is something the military understands, and if Prince Harry puts it as he did. It’s easy to see why Iraq felt like something it could achieve, as it would no longer live in a gray area with no clear target to attack.

While no one would feel comfortable in a war zone, for Harry it made sense. You can read more about his experiences in Iraq and some other parts of Prince Harry’s story in spare partout now. Prince Harry felt a sense of relief as he walked to a battlefield

Lindsay Lowe

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