Sixty Joyless De-Britished Uncrowned Commonpoor Years (1949-2009)

Elizabeth II Vice-Regal Saint: Remembering Paul Comtois (1895–1966), Lt.-Governor of Québec
Britannic Inheritance: Britain's proud legacy. What legacy will America leave?
English Debate: Daniel Hannan revels in making mince meat of Gordon Brown
Crazy Canucks: British MP banned from Canada on national security grounds
Happy St. Patrick's: Will Ireland ever return to the Commonwealth?
Voyage Through the Commonwealth: World cruise around the faded bits of pink.
No Queen for the Green: The Green Party of Canada votes to dispense with monarchy.
"Sir Edward Kennedy": The Queen has awarded the senator an honorary Knighthood.
President Obama: Hates Britain, but is keen to meet the Queen?
The Princess Royal: Princess Anne "outstanding" in Australia.
H.M.S. Victory: In 1744, 1000 sailors went down with a cargo of gold.
Queen's Commonwealth: Britain is letting the Commonwealth die.
Justice Kirby: His support for monarchy almost lost him appointment to High Court
Royal Military Academy: Sandhurst abolishes the Apostles' Creed.
Air Marshal Alec Maisner, R.I.P. Half Polish, half German and 100% British.
Cherie Blair: Not a vain, self regarding, shallow thinking viper after all.
Harry Potter: Celebrated rich kid thinks the Royals should not be celebrated
The Royal Jelly: A new king has been coronated, and his subjects are in a merry mood
Victoria Cross: Australian TROOPER MARK DONALDSON awarded the VC
Godless Buses: Royal Navy veteran, Ron Heather, refuses to drive his bus
Labour's Class War: To expunge those with the slightest pretensions to gentility
100 Top English Novels of All Time: The Essential Fictional Library
BIG BEN: Celebrating 150 Years of the Clock Tower

Wednesday, 21 February 2007

Is Blair doing it for Harry?

That's the question is asking after Blair's surprise announcement that Britain will reduce her troop numbers in Iraq from 7,100 to 5,500 within the next few months as security responsibilities are handed over to homegrown forces. This comes amidst increasing and intense speculation that Prince Harry is about to be deployed after Defence Secretary Des Browne briefs MPs this Thursday on which military units will be sent to Iraq in April.

Cornet Wales in the Combined Cavalry Old Comrades Association parade in London's Hyde Park last May. Instead of ceremonial uniforms, officers follow the "City suit" tradition with black bowler hats, dark suits and closed umbrellas reflecting the pre-Great War, Edwardian "proper order of dress". Prince Harry is also depicted wearing the navy blue and claret regimental tie of the Household Division as he marched with his regiment, the Household Cavalry's Blues and Royals.

It's a 'damned if they do, damned if they don't prospect' that Blair's announcement seems to go towards addressing because either the military is treating him with kid gloves or, if something happens to him, puts the third-in-line to the throne under unnecessary danger while attracting the attention of insurgents. Harry himself has 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."

Of course, it is worth remembering in an august site such as this that our Monarch served as as No 230873 Second Subaltern in the Women's Auxiliary Territorial Service during World War II while Prince Philip was having a distinguished career in the Royal Navy, and a quarter of a century ago Harry's uncle Prince Andrew (then also 22), served with honour as an helicopter pilot on the aircraft carrier HMS Invincible. At the time, he too had opponents who feared that his participation in the Falklands conflict would serve at best a distraction and at worst a liability to his colleagues. This was proven to have been anything but the case.


Beaverbrook said...

I do not believe Blair, for all his faults, would be so deprived as to make major British foreign and defence policy decisions to guard against the single whereabouts of one royal. This line of musing by the international media is quite laughable, to say the least.

I understand that the Royal Family, particularly Prince Philip, his grandfather, has been advocating his being sent. This is what royals do and should do - lead by example. That Coronet Wales shouldn't because he would be a "bullet magnet", ignores the basic reality that all British Forces in that part of the world are already bullet magnets. Prince Harry fatigued in an undifferentiated combat uniform would be no more or less so, in my opinion.

Dundonald said...

I suspect that this has more to do with the local elections in May, than Prince Harry.

Younghusband said...

This just in from The Times:
"Prince Harry moves into the line of fire as 1,600 troops get set to move out"