The defence department has begun planning for Prince Harry – known more and more as the Warrior Prince – to spend six months on secondment with the Australian Army. Royal aides and security officials are now assessing the risks of such a deployment, according to an exclusive report leading the ANZAC 2013 issue of The Australian.
The report, by Jacquelin Magnay and Brendan Nicholson is headlined “Prince Harry's tour of duty, for Queen and a country down under”
They reveal that The Australian has learned that Prince Harry, a captain in the Household Cavalry Regiment, has said he is keen to serve alongside Australian soldiers.
Behind the scenes, top-level talks between his residence Clarence House in London, the British Army and Australian officials are continuing about where and when the deployment would occur and whether the third in line to the throne would serve on the frontline. He could be formally embedded with an Australian army unit or make an extended visit as an observer.
Although the Australian Defence Force does not fly Apache helicopters, which Prince Harry has flown on deployment in Afghanistan, the army is introducing Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters which perform a similar role.
…Captain 'Digger' Wales…
The Australian, which has softened but not completely resiled from its image in the 1999 campaign as the republican standard bearer – a role now taken by the Fairfax press – predicts that the emergence of a “Captain ‘Digger’ Wales, as Prince Harry would be known, would cement the upsurge in popularity of the royal family in this country.”
“Prince Harry's girlfriend, Cressida Bonas, whom he romanced with long letters and emails from his 20-week stint in Afghanistan last year,” Jacquelin Magnay and Brendan Nicholson write, ” is a big fan of Australia, having spent time working as an au pair in Sydney several years ago. His father, the Prince of Wales has also often spoken glowingly about his time as a teenager in Australia, at Timbertop school in Victoria.”