Prince Harry to join esteemed army unit


LONDON -- Prince Harry, the third in line to the British throne, will join one of the army's oldest and most prestigious units, making him eligible for service in Iraq, the Ministry of Defense said yesterday.

Prince Harry, 21, will serve in the Blues and Royals regiment of the venerable Household Cavalry, which has been deployed to Iraq. The regiment is the one most closely associated with Queen Elizabeth II, Prince Harry's grandmother.

"It's fair to say that if his squadron goes to Iraq, he will probably go with it," a ministry spokesman said on condition of anonymity.

News reports said Prince Harry hopes to lead an armored reconnaissance troop, which deploys in Scimitar vehicles and acts as the eyes and ears of the force commander.

There are two divisions within the Household Cavalry: the armored division, in which Prince Harry will train, and the mounted regiment, which performs ceremonial duties, including guarding the queen on ceremonial and public occasions.

At such events, the soldiers are decked out in red or blue tunics, shiny breastplates, plumed helmets and thigh-length black boots, their horses immaculately groomed.

Clarence House, the office of Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles, said the young prince will join the Blues and Royals in April after completing training at Sandhurst military academy in southern England.

Other members of the Blues and Royals regiment include Andrew Parker Bowles, former husband of Prince Charles' wife, Camilla.

After being commissioned as an officer at Sandhurst, Prince Harry will become a second lieutenant in the Household Cavalry.

Clarence House said the prince based his choice of the Blues and Royals "on the variety of roles which the regiment undertakes, including reconnaissance support to airborne forces right through to ceremonial duties."

Associated Press

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