Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, will be deployed to Iraq, the Ministry of Defense said Thursday.
His 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.
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 months.