PRINCE WILLIAM prevented Prince Harry from taking a life-changing decision which he believed would have sent “a very bad signal” to everyone, a royal source said.
Prince William demonstrated both great statesmanship and affection for his younger brother by giving Prince Harry a valuable piece of advice. Prince Charles’s youngest son lived through a difficult period when he was told he would not be sent to Iraq in 2006 to fight – despite having trained relentlessly to join the war. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) had initially given him the go-ahead to head to the war zone.
But only weeks later, the Ministry backtracked amid fears the presence of the royal would have exposed the British troops to more danger.
This shocking U-turn plunged Harry into a deep personal crisis, and pushed him on the brink of leaving the Army, according to royal biographer Duncan Larcombe.
But Prince William told him “in no uncertain terms” not to follow through this idea for two reasons, according to a royal source who spoke to Mr Larcombe.
The biographer explained in his book Prince Harry: The Inside Story how vital Prince William’s support had been in such a moment of crisis for Prince Harry.
Prince William prevented Prince Harry from quitting the Army in 2006 (Image: GETTY)
He wrote, citing the royal source: “William made it clear to Harry in no uncertain terms that he must not quit the Army.
“He remained his brother of how hard he had worked to get through Sandhurst and complete his pre-deployment training with distinction.
“William was of the view that if Harry quit he would undo all that he had achieved as a young officer and send a very bad signal to everyone.
“He even went as far as to say quitting would look as though he was spoilt and truculent, and urged Harry to bite his lip and carry on.”
Both Prince William and Prince Harry served in the Army (Image: GETTY)
Prince Harry eventually quit the Army in 2015 (Image: GETTY)
The source believed this reaction to Harry’s outburst was a clear depiction of how different the royal brothers are.
They added: “Harry and William are very similar in many ways, but there are also ways in which they are very different.
“Harry wears his heart on his sleeve whereas William is more considered and cautious.
Prince Harry served in Afghanistan after being told he could not go to Iraq (Image: GETTY)
“But William is one of the few people Harry will really listen to.”
Prince Harry didn’t voice his disappointment over the decision taken by the MoD.
Clarence House, Prince Charles’s PR team which was at the time in charge also of the communication of the young princes, played down the impact the news had on Harry, saying he was “very disappointed” but he would not quit the Army as a consequence.
Harry eventually left the Army in 2015, under completely different circumstances and after having served in Afghanistan.
Prince William ‘is more considered and cautious’ than Harry, a source said (Image: GETTY)
Nevertheless, Harry revealed abandoning his military career had been a difficult decision for him to take, but he understood he was at “a crossroads” at which he could no longer simply juggle between royal duties and his military career.
Prince Harry said: “I’m in the same position now as most people in my year group or my rank would be in, and most of the guys I joined with have left for numerous reasons.
“It is the case that if we move on then more responsibilities come, and I suppose with wanting to take on slightly more of this royal role I don’t really feel as though I would be in the right position to take on the careers of more soldiers and to take on the responsibility to fly, for instance.
“So it is a balance, and I’ve been trying to get the balance right over the past six months to a year before I finished and it was getting hard.”
Source: EXPRESS CO UK