A former British soldier has revealed how Prince Harry stepped in to prevent a homophobic assault against him in 2008.
James Wharton, who was a 21-year-old British army Lance-Cpl at the time of the incident, tells in his new book “Out in the Army” how the royal, his tank commander during a training exercise in Alberta, Canada, confronted the group of six soldiers after a fearful Wharton had confided in him that he was afraid that he would be murdered by the men, who were from a rival regiment.
“I will always be grateful to Harry and I will never forget what happened,” Wharton, who told of how teary-eyed be was when he appealed to the prince for help, wrote. “Until he went over and dealt with everything I was on track for a battering.”
The 28-year-old prince, who was widely reported to have been moved to Alberta after his presence in Afghanistan was made public knowledge by a US newspaper six years ago, “wasn’t holding back” when he scorned the soldiers responsible for the attack, Wharton wrote. After warning the men that disciplinary measures could be taken if the attacks carried on, the prince informed senior officers of the incident, and told Wharton that the issue had been “sorted”.
Wharton said that he and Harry shared a tank for several weeks after the event, becoming friends.
Wharton remained in the army despite the threat of attacks and his fear that he might be “murdered by the infantry”, resigning earlier this year after a 10-year career.
The Labour Party’s Jim Murphy, the Shadow Defence Secretary, said that Prince Harry ought to be praised for his efforts. “The whole country will applaud Price Harry – our forces should reflect the modern day Britain they fight so hard to defend,” he commented.