LONDON – Prince Harry, third in line to the British throne, is getting his wish to serve in
The Ministry of Defense ended speculation that had been swirling for about a week by announcing Thursday the 22-year-old prince will be sent to Iraq with his Blues and Royals regiment in May or June.
Harry, a second lieutenant, will assume a troop commander’s role.
Prime Minister Tony Blair said Wednesday that British troop deployments will be cut by 1,600 in the coming months and that all bases except for Basra Palace and Basra Air Base will be handed over to Iraqi forces.
The narrowing of the British presence to the two locations in southern Iraq will mean any insurgent groups looking to target Troop Commander Wales — as he is known to his colleagues — will not have to look far to find him. That has led to some concern that his presence could bring an extra risk to his fellow soldiers.
He will lead a team of 12 men in four armored reconnaissance vehicles, and could become the first royal to see combat since his uncle Prince Andrew served in the Falklands war against Argentina in 1982.