‘I was broken’: Prince Harry opens up in interview 26



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Prince Harry has opened up in a television interview about the moment that ‘broke him’, but also inspired him to become a champion of wounded soldiers.

The young prince told ABC America he was gutted when he was forced to withdraw the front line during his first tour of duty in Afghanistan – something he had spent years working towards.

He was plucked from the line of fire after only 10 weeks on the ground after numerous media outlets leaked the location of his secret deployment in early 2008, putting the prince and his fellow soldiers in even more danger.

As he boarded his flight home, Harry said he was devastated that his dream of serving alongside his ‘brothers’ had been taken away from him, but it was something else that happened on that flight that changed his life for good.

‘I had done everything I could to get out there,’ he told GMA’s co-anchor Robin Roberts.

‘All I wanted to do was prove that I had a certain set of skills, let’s say, flying an Apache helicopter, for instance, rather than just being Prince Harry.’

He explained: ‘Literally being plucked out of my team, there was an element of me thinking ‘I’m an officer, I’m leaving my soldiers and it’s not my own decision.’

‘I was broken. I didn’t know what was going to happen to them and then suddenly, I find myself on a plane that’s delayed because a Danish soldier’s coffin was being put onto the plane.’

He described seeing soldiers on that flight with missing limbs and other traumatic injuries.

‘While I’m sitting there, I look through the curtain in the front, and there’s three of our lads wrapped up in plastic, missing limbs,’ he said.

‘One of the guys clutching a little test tube or whatever it is of shrapnel that had been removed from his head and he was in a coma, clutching this thing.

‘And I suddenly thought to myself, ‘People don’t get to see this.’

‘I never in those ten weeks, I never saw the injury part. I only heard about it. That’s how it all started for me.’

It was this moment that inspired Harry to launch the Invictus Games, an inaugural event that brings wounded soldiers together to compete in an array of sports and competitions.

The games have won high praise and are a much-loved event by the wounded veterans who are learning to live their lives bound by wheelchairs and handicaps after being horrifically injured on the battlefield.

Harry is a huge advocate for returned and wounded soldiers and says being in the army was one of the best experiences of his life.

‘Ten years in the Army was the best escape that I’ve ever had. I felt as though I was really achieving something. I felt as though I was part of a team.

‘All its done over those ten years is given me this amazing amount of knowledge and experience where I am now perfectly positioned to be their voice and champion their cause.’

He eventually returned to Afghanistan in 2013, where he completed a 20-week deployment as an Apache co-pilot.

What are your thoughts on the young prince?

Are you a fan of Prince Harry? Do you think he is a good role model for the younger generation?

Starts at 60 Writers

The Starts at 60 writers team seek out interesting topics and write them especially for you.

  1. Yes. Harry has proved to be a compassionate and deeply thoughtful young man. An inspiration to us all.

  2. Prince Harry is a good role model for all generations.

  3. This young man makes his family proud , he is so very much like his mother , very compassionate fun loving his own person . No wonder the world is in love with him . Keep up the good work Harry .

  4. This young man makes his family proud , he is so very much like his mother , very compassionate fun loving his own person . No wonder the world is in love with him . Keep up the good work Harry .

  5. Yes absolutely he is !!!! ….Like in history … our princes have ridden into the fray to gain victory over the enemy.. Harry is a marvellous asset to the British Royal family… a son and grandson, brother and uncle that anyone of us would be proud to say of….” He is one of our family ” ….the compassion he learnt about , at his Mother’s side , is proving to be a legacy that Diana deserves …keep up the good work !!!

  6. Harry is making his mother proud, as I am of this man’s man. He is a superb role model for all of us.

  7. Harry is making his mother proud, as I am of this man’s man. He is a superb role model for all of us.

  8. I think he’s a nice young man

  9. Yes. He is making his mother very proud of him. Excellent role model. He has proved himself.

  10. He has done a lot more to prove that he is not just a prince but a good man and he has done it by himself not because he is Dianas son, he is also the son of Charles but everyone seems to forget that Charles brought him up after Dianas death and I,m sure instilled certain values in him. I get fed up of hearing its because of his mother, its because of the type of man he has become.

    4 REPLY
    • I agree with you, Pat. He is a marvellous young man, a humanitarian and a hard worker. Not just a Prince, he is his own person!

    • I agree with what you said Pat,. People do seem to forget that he had a father as well & he raised those boys through the years where they needed that male guidance . Diana was an exceptional & loving mother but give Charles the credit he deserves as their father.

    • Thank you very much for acknowledging Prince Charles. People hold grudges and cannot seem to let gol
      Prince Charles has done a wonderful job of bringing up his sons after the death of Princess Diana. She was a very good mother to her sons, but Charles did play a big part in their upbringing. And to boot, he does have a very good relationship with them.

      For all the naysayers out there…..he without sin, let them cast the first stone.

    • I agree Pat but you also have to give credit where due royal family life is nothing like ours so credit should also go to the Nannies that raised the babies, the tutors the educated the young boys and those that guided them not just there mother or father as is the normal household.

  11. Harry is a good bloke. He’s a male version of his Mum in so many ways, and the best thing that has happened o the Royal Family for years. I have nothing but the greatest respect for him.

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