Prince Harry: Is his military past really being erased?

It was recently announced that Prince Harry would not be mentioned in a British Army book even though he did two tours in Afghanistan. Though some think this means he is being ‘erased’ from history, it doesn’t seem to be fully the case.

Prince Harry, military past erased
© Max Mumby/Indigo / GETTY IMAGES
Prince Harry, military past erased

Prince Harry might now be known as the member of the Royal Family who quit and ran away to America but the reality is, he is much more than that. Before becoming a full-time working royal, the young Prince joined the military.

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Joining the Armed Forces is not unusual for members of the Royal Family but Prince Harry took things further: he did two tours in Afghanistan where he served as a helicopter pilot. During his ten years in the military, Prince Harry evolved to reach the rank of Captain.

Now, it has been revealed that a British Army book (They Also Served: 200 People Who Served at Sandhurst) does not mention his name whereas it does mention Prince William. Some British royal experts are seeing this as a sign of the Prince’s erasure from history. While this, in some sense, might be true, it seems like Americans are less willing to follow suit.

Prince Harry’s name not mentioned in this Army book

They Also Served: 200 People Who Served at Sandhurst is described as a book featuring ‘200 such exceptional individuals’. As it focuses on the most renowned alumni of the military academy Sandhurst, the book includes recognisable names such as Winston Churchill, King Hussein of Jordan but also, Prince William.

However, as the heir to the throne is mentioned, his younger brother fails to be. Of course, it is true that Prince William also attended the academy but his professional military career is nowhere close to Prince Harry’s.

The choice not to include the younger Prince has of course been making headlines with numerous royal experts rushing to opine. On GB News Richard Fitzwilliams speculates on the reason why the name was omitted:

Behaviour such as listing the number of individuals you personally killed makes it pretty clear why he's not in it.

Another royal expert, Angela Levin, who coincidentally also often appears on GB News, also shared her opinion, but this time on X:

Harry left out of Sandhurst's new significant book. The military takes an oath of allegiance to the Monarchy, but Harry keeps attacking them.
Plus in his memoir Spare, he wrote the Army taught him to see the enemy as less than human, which goes against military behaviour.

Commenting on Prince Harry’s name not being included a spokesperson for Sandhurt said:

The book highlights the breadth of accomplishments and experiences across Sandhurst graduates rather than just focusing on the most well-known.

Americans honour Prince Harry’s military service

On 19 January 2024, Prince Harry will be inducted in the Living Legends of Aviation. This is an award which recognises extraordinary achievements in the aerospace industry. The ceremony will happen for the 21st time this year and will take place in Los Angeles, California.

It was announced that this year’s event will see Prince Harry recognised for his work in the military as a pilot. The timing of this news is interesting considering that it shows the contracting approach in honouring the Prince’s military work in the UK and the US.

The Living Legends of Aviation Awards previously celebrated people such as Buzz Aldrin, Elon Musk and Russian mechanical engineer and former astronaut Sergei Krikalev.

This celebration of his military work aligns with Prince Harry’s dedication to the Armed Forces. Indeed, every year, the Prince organises and attends the Invictus Games which he created himself. Moreover, over time, Prince Harry has always made sure to work with the military even since moving to the US.

So, is Prince Harry's military past being 'erased'?

The answer to that is: there is no way for it to be. Indeed, his service is known by all and there are many evidences of it. Furthermore, at the time of it happening, Prince Harry's dedication seemed to be the pride and joy of the Royal Family. The rift between the Sussexes and The Firm cannot erase it.

Moreover, his continuous work to celebrate and honour the Armed Forces is strictly separate from his work as a royal and that, once again, cannot be taken away or erased.

What do you make on the omission of Prince Harry's name?

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Express: Prince Harry 'erased from history' after 'lucrative' Meghan Markle move

Telegraph: Prince Harry to be named ‘Living Legend of Aviation’ at ceremony in Beverly Hills

Express: 'I'm a royal expert and this is why Prince Harry was left out of key military book'

New York Post: Prince Harry snubbed by British Army’s book on notable soldiers as brother William writes foreword

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