Prince Philip’s blunt response to Harry’s Afghanistan tour ‘Make sure you come back alive’


Prince Philip had a “matter-of-fact” reaction to the news of Prince Harry’s Afghanistan tour, as new BBC documentary reveals the crucial piece of advice he gave his grandson.

Prince Harry has spoken of his grandfather’s reaction to the news that he would be travelling to Afghanistan to undertake a 20-week tour with the British Armed Forces. In his “matter-of-fact” manner, Prince Philip only offered one important piece of advice to the Duke of Sussex, who later shared that his grandfather would always “set the scene” for his family to share their stories.

Prince Harry spoke of Prince Philip's reaction

Prince Harry revealed Prince Philip’s blunt reaction to his Afghanistan tour (Image: Getty Images)

During an interview for the special BBC documentary, Prince Harry said: “Going off to Afghanistan he was very matter-of-fact and just said ‘Make sure you come back alive.’

“And then when I came back there wasn’t a deep level of discussion, more a case of ‘Well, you made it, how was it?”

He continued: “But that’s just how he was, he very much set the scene for you to be able to share as much as you wanted to share.

“He would never probe.”

Prince Harry undertook two tours of Afghanistan

Prince Harry undertook two tours of Afghanistan with the British military (Image: Getty Images)

Prince Harry joined the military in 2005, and completed his officer training in April 2006, when he graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy.

He was commissioned in the Blues and Royals, a regiment within the Household Cavalry. His unit announced in 2006 that they were scheduled to be deployed in Iraq the following year, causing a public debate over the prince’s safety.

Speaking of his desire to serve on the front lines, Prince Harry said: “There’s no way I’m going to put myself through Sandhurst and then sit on my arse back home while my boys are out fighting for their country.”

However, due to security risks, it was later announced that he would no longer be able to accompany his unit to the war zone.

Despite this initial disappointment, the Duke of Sussex was secretly deployed for ten weeks to the Helmand Province in Afghanistan in late 2007, to assist NATO forces as a forward air controller.

He was forced to return to the UK after a German media outlet revealed his location, therefore endangering his unit.

Prince Harry continued to serve within the British Army, and returned to Afghanistan in 2012 for a 20-week combat tour as a co-pilot and gunner for an Apache helicopter.

He subsequently qualified as an Apache aircraft commander, and retired from active service in 2015.

Prince Harry had followed in the footsteps of several other members of the Royal Family, including his grandfather, Prince Philip.

Before joining the Royal Family, the Duke of Edinburgh had reached the rank of Commander within the Royal Navy and had seen active service during the Second World War.

Prince Philip passed away at the age of 99 at Windsor Castle, with the Queen reportedly at his bedside.

In line with his wishes for a ‘fuss-free’ service, his funeral honoured his military connections to the British Armed Forces and the Royal Navy.


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