The deployment of Britain’s Prince Harry to Iraq is constantly under review, the Ministry of Defense said Thursday after a newspaper reported that his dream of fighting on the front line may be over.
Harry, who is third in line to the throne, is due to head to Iraq with his “A” Squadron of the Blues and Royals regiment in the coming weeks as part of the latest British troop rotation.
“Prince Harry’s deployment to Iraq, as we have always said, is under constant consideration,” a defense ministry spokeswoman said. “It is still our intention that Prince Harry will deploy as a troop leader.”
In this role, the 22-year-old red-haired prince would be leading 12 people in four Scimitar armored reconnaissance vehicles.
But the best-selling Sun tabloid reported that army chiefs had ordered an 11th-hour review of his planned deployment.
The move would likely end up with Harry being banned from going near the frontline, the Sun cited unnamed senior sources as saying. The younger son of Charles, the Prince of Wales, could still deploy to Iraq for six months but may be desk-bound for the duration, it reported.
“No one wants to gift a PR victory to the insurgents by withdrawing him,” one anonymous source told the tabloid.
“But there is a groundswell of opinion across senior ranks now that to allow Harry to serve in the open with his men will lead to an inevitable disaster.”
The prince, who as a Second Lieutenant has the rank of Cornet in his regiment, had reportedly threatened to quit the army if not allowed to serve on the front line.