The London Daily Telegraph is reporting today that Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth's grandson and the brother of Prince William, is headed for Iraq before the end of the month. He is scheduled to join an armored recon unit at Basra, where the bulk of British forces are stationed.
The Prince follows in the footsteps of many relatives who saw active duty in the service of the nation. His uncle, Prince Andrew, served as a helicopter pilot in the Falklands war in l982. Prince Philip, Harry's grandfather, fought throughout World War II in the British navy. Perhaps most significantly, a cousin, Prince Maurice Victor Donald of Battenberg, a grandson of Queen Victoria, fought in the difficult early months on the western front and died leading an infantry charge on October 27, l9l4, in the first battle of Ypres. His grave is easy to find--it's in the Ypres town cemetery.
Prince Harry has said in interviews that he plans to go anywhere his fellow soldiers in the Queen's Household cavalry go, and do everything they do. He wants no special treatment, in other words. I can't help wondering, though, whether his fellow soldiers will feel they've got a big bullseye on them. What more tempting target could there be for kidnap-minded insurgents than a Prince Royal and some fellows? Maybe the best thing he could do for his men is to stay home, given the circumstances of this particular conflict.
BTW, Prince William will NOT be going anywhere near Iraq or Afghanistan. He is getting acquainted with all the armed forces during his army duty, since he will one day be their boss.