Prince Harry feels he would have been ‘better protected’ from the turmoil he has faced in recent months if he was still in the Army, sources have claimed.
The Duke of Sussex reportedly told friends he ‘cannot believe’ how his life has been ‘turned upside down’.
He is said to miss the ‘camaraderie’ of life in the forces. Harry was stripped of his military appointments when he and Meghan stepped back as senior royals on March 31.
He had to give up roles including Captain General of the Royal Marines and Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington.
Harry – affectionately known as Captain Wales in the forces – retains the rank of major and insisted he would ‘continue his unwavering support to the military community in a non-official capacity’.
The couple are now living in Los Angeles with their son, Archie, who will turn one on Wednesday.
‘Harry has told friends he is really missing the Army as well his military appointments,’ a source told The Daily Telegraph. ‘He misses the camaraderie of being in the forces.
‘He has been telling friends he still can’t believe this has happened. He can’t believe his life has been turned upside down.
‘He was in a happy place when he was serving in the Army, then he met Meghan and since then life has been great. But I don’t think he foresaw things turning out quite as they did.’
The source said Harry, 35, does not blame Meghan for wanting to return to her home country, the US, adding: ‘There is just a sense that he might have been better protected if he was still in the Army.’
Kensington Palace announced in March 2015 that Harry was to quit the Army after two tours of Afghanistan during a ten-year career. The prince said in a statement at the time that he was looking forward to a ‘new chapter’, adding he was at a ‘crossroads’ and leaving had been a ‘really tough decision’.
He had previously described military life as ‘normal as it’s going to get’ and said: ‘I’m one of the guys. I don’t get treated any differently.’
His decision to quit followed the launch of the Invictus Games in 2014, which gives sick and wounded military personnel the chance to compete in a Paralympics-style event.
On his decade of service, Harry said: ‘From learning the hard way to stay onside with my colour sergeant at Sandhurst, to the incredible people I served with during two tours in Afghanistan, the experiences I have had over the last ten years will stay with me for the rest of my life. For that I will always be hugely grateful.’
Harry’s most recent tour of Afghanistan was in 2012, during which he was an Apache helicopter co-pilot and gunner. He was described as an ‘exemplary soldier’. His superiors and General Sir Nicholas Carter, Chief of the General Staff, said that he ‘selflessly’ supported troops on the ground. He began his full-time career in May 2005 as an officer cadet at Sandhurst.
In April 2006, he was commissioned as an Army officer and joined the Household Cavalry (Blues and Royals). He spent ten weeks in Helmand Province in late 2007 but media reports forced him to abandon his secret deployment early.
Meanwhile, Meghan has helped to coach a young job hunter in Britain in a video call from North America. Footage of their online meeting was posted on social media by the Smart Works charity yesterday.
Meghan, 38, remains patron of the organisation – which helps women get into the workplace by giving them a smart interview outfit and coaching – despite quitting royal duties and moving across the Atlantic with Prince Harry.
The duchess wore a berry-coloured £235 cashmere jumper by British brand Joseph and layered gold necklaces, including a blue topaz ‘evil eye’ to ward off ill wishes. Speaking to the anonymous British hopeful from what is believed to be her new home in California at the end of March, Meghan praised her as a ‘beacon of hope and positivity’.
In a clip shared from their call, Meghan said: ‘You seem incredibly confident and prepared. Everyone here is so excited. So when I was reading what your interests were – you have a big focus in mental health, right? I think that’s excellent.
SOURCE: Daily Mail, Amelia Clarke