LONDON - Prince Harry, the third-in-line to the British throne, will be
deployed to Iraq, the Ministry of Defense said Thursday.
An undated file handout photograph
from Britain's Ministry of Defence, released February 22, 2007, shows
Britain's Prince Harry undergoing instruction in a Spartan armoured
vehicle, part of his Driver and Maintenance training at the Armoured
Fighting Vehicle (AFV) Driving and Maintenance School at Bovington in
Dorset, south west England. Britain's Prince Harry, who is third in line
to the British throne, is being deployed to Iraq, the Ministry of Defence
(MOD) said on Thursday. [Reuters]
regiment, the Blues and Royals, is expected to deploy to Iraq this spring, and
he could become the first royal to see combat since his uncle, Prince Andrew,
served in the Falklands war against Argentina in 1982.
Harry -- a second lieutenant -- has expressed his desire to serve alongside
his comrades in Iraq, saying that there was "no way" he was going to undergo
rigorous training and then stay away from the battlefield. He graduated last
year from Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst.
Britain's Ministry of Defense has previously said that Harry could be kept
out of situations where his presence could jeopardize his comrades.
The 22-year-old prince, known as Troop Commander Wales by his regiment, has
trained to command 11 soldiers and four Scimitar tanks.
But the deployment of Second Lieutenant Wales may be a major security
headache for military leaders as the prince could be a target for insurgents and
a magnet for suicide bombers.
Harry had reportedly threatened to quit
the army if not allowed to serve on the frontline. He has trained to become
troop commander of an armoured reconnaissance unit.
In joining the
military, Harry followed a royal tradition: his father, Prince Charles, was a
pilot with the Royal Air Force and Royal Navy, and a ship commander, and Harry's
grandfather, Prince Philip, had a distinguished career in the Royal Navy during
World War II.
On Wednesday, Prime Minister Tony Blair announced that Britain would be
reducing its commitment in Iraq, withdrawing 1,600 soldiers in the next few