Prince Harry serving on the front line

Associated Press
Britain’s Prince Harry, 23, mans a machine gun in Afghanistan on Jan. 2. The British tried to keep the prince’s deployment secret because publicity could put him and his unit at risk.

Associated Press Britain’s Prince Harry, 23, mans a machine gun in Afghanistan on Jan. 2. The British tried to keep the prince’s deployment secret because publicity could put him and his unit at risk.

LONDON — Prince Harry has been fighting on the front lines in Afghanistan for 10 weeks, his presence there kept secret until Thursday in a remarkable deal between the British military and news media.

British military officials confirmed that Harry, 23, third in line to the British throne, deployed to Afghanistan on Dec. 14 and has been fighting the Taliban in southern Helmand province.

When news of the deployment was posted Thursday on the Drudge Report Web site, British newspapers and television stations instantly rolled out extensive special reports on the first British royal to see combat since the Falklands War more than 25 years ago.

Those reports included taped interviews with Harry just before his deployment in December and last week at his Afghan base.

"All my wishes have come true," Harry told reporters last week, noting that he had not showered in four days.

Perhaps the most startling disclosure Thursday was that Britain's famously feisty media agreed, en masse, to keep quiet.

With the news of Harry's presence in Afghanistan out, army officials said they would review whether to keep him there.

Prince Harry serving on the front line 02/28/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:19am]

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