Prince Harry To Leave Armed Forces
Harry with an Apache helicopter
Within days of the Prince arriving at Camp Bastion militants launched an attack on the base, naming Harry as a target
Prince Harry stands to attention at his passing-out Sovereign’s Parade at Sandhurst Military Academy in April 2006
Prince Harry is expected to leave the military later this year, according to Sky sources.
The move comes as a surprise as the 30-year-old Prince is a passionate member of the Armed Forces, who appeared to be focused on a long career serving as an Army officer.
He served two tours of duty in Afghanistan.
An Army spokesperson said: “We would not comment on the future careers of any of our soldiers and officers”.
Kensington Palace would not comment on the news.
It said in a statement: “Prince Harry is currently focused on his work supporting the Ministry of Defence’s recovery capability programme to ensure those who are wounded, injured or sick have appropriate recovery plans and the necessary support they require”.
The statement said the current job is “a natural progression from the work he did organising the Invictus Games”.
Sky’s Defence Correspondent Alistair Bunkall said Prince Harry had a “pretty distinguished” career within the Armed Forces.
“This is a natural time for Prince Harry to leave the Army. He could be expected to be promoted from Captain to Major next year, at which point he would undertake a nine-month course at the Staff College in Shrivenham. This sets you up for a long career in the Army”.
Prince Harry has allowed the media unprecedented access during his second tour of Afghanistan.
“It is therefore a moment when a lot of young officers find themselves at a junction: to stay or leave and pursue something else”.
In late 2007, Prince Harry undertook a six-month tour of duty fighting the Taliban in Helmand Province, Afghanistan, operating as a forward air controller. His tour was cut short after his presence in the front line was revealed by an Australian newspaper.
In September 2012, he returned to Afghanistan for a 20-week stint that gave him the chance to use his Apache flying skills and head out on operations in his role as co-pilot gunner.
In January 2014, he swapped his helicopter role for an Army desk job, organising ceremonial events.
London’s Evening Standard, which first reported the news, said Harry plans to focus on his charity work and aims to spend “a significant period abroad” on field projects in Africa.
Before his active military duties end, the Prince is expected to move to Australia for “several weeks”, seconded to serve with units there, according to the newspaper.
Later he will spend time in New Zealand but not be involved with the military there, it said.