Prince Harry prohibited from going to Iraq

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Prince Harry during Inspection of New Colours.
Image: Charles J. Sharp.

Prince Harry, known as Prince Henry of Wales, who was recently set to leave for Iraq with his regiment, has been prohibited from going. The Chief of the General Staff (Head of the British Army) General Sir Richard Dannatt, has decided Prince Harry would not be deployed based on his review of specific risks.

"I have decided today that Prince Harry will not deploy as a Troop Leader with his Squadron," said General Dannatt in a statement. ""There have been a number of specific threats – some reported and some not reported, which relate directly to Prince Harry as an individual. These threats place not only him but also those around him to a degree of risk that I now deem unacceptable."

Despite Prince Harry's previous threats to quit the army if he was not allowed to deploy to Iraq, a spokesman has said he will stay in the army. "Let me also make quite clear that as a professional soldier, Prince Harry himself will be extremely disappointed," added General Dannatt.

A number of threats have been a factor in the Chief of the General Staff's decision making, saying that "sending him in not only endangers those around him, the effect of being kidnapped would be a blow to the entire UK."

The UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) indicated in a press release Wednesday that the decision was based on a military assessment and that Clarence House, Buckingham Palace, 10 Downing Street and the Defence Secretary had been informed of the decision.

The MoD acknowledged that some insurgents in Iraq might try to claim victory with the decision, but that it was important to deny them "such a high value target".

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