“You don't have to be a monarchist to admire the courage of Prince Harry in demanding to serve with British forces on the front line in Afghanistan,” writes Gerard Henderson in The Sydney Morning Herald in his column on 4 March, 2008. He says that the Prince could have easily have avoided active service against the Taliban in Helmand province, one of the dangerous areas in southern Afghanistan. “But he chose to do his duty.”
He says that the Prince’s tour of duty serves as a reminder that it is the main English-speaking nations – the United States, Britain, Canada and Australia – which are taking on the most difficult tasks in the war against radical Islamism in the south of Afghanistan with support from the Dutch and the Danes along with some forces from Lithuania and Romania. He points out that most of the NATO nations – including France, Germany, Italy and Spain – are deployed in the significantly safer northern part of Afghanistan.
Dr Henderson, reaffirming his republicanism, says that it is difficult not to be impressed by Prince Harry “putting his life on the line in Afghanistan in support of the Afghan National Army and as part of the United Nations mandated International Security Assistance Force.”
This demonstrates, once again, he says, the significance of what unites the English-speaking nations, even as they become unceasingly multicultural.
According to the Sydney Daily Telegraph, 4 March, 2008, the editorial executives at New Idea who were responsible for breaking the embargo are to be promoted. The editor, Robyn Foster, says she was away at the time, denies any knowledge of the embargo, and refuses to give interviews.
So where is the front page apology for risking the men's lives?
In the meantime , “A Year with the Royal Family” continues to rate well. The episode shown on 3 March still attracted close to a million viewers nationally – 959,000.