The British Ministry of Defense revealed Monday that the prince is returning from a 20-week deployment in Afghanistan, where he served as an Apache helicopter pilot with the army air corps. It did not immediately divulge his exact whereabouts.
In interviews conducted in Afghanistan, he described feeling boredom, frustration and satisfaction during a tour that saw him kill Taliban fighters on missions in support of ground troops. He also spoke of his struggle to balance his roles as an army officer who is third in line to the British throne -- and relief at the chance to be "one of the guys."
"My father's always trying to remind me about who I am and stuff like that," said Harry, 28, the younger son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana. "But it's very easy to forget about who I am when I am in the army. Everyone's wearing the same uniform and doing the same kind of thing."
Stationed at Camp Bastion, a sprawling British base in the southern Afghan desert, the prince, known as Capt. Wales in the military, flew scores of missions as a co-pilot gunner, sometimes firing rockets and missiles at Taliban fighters.
Harry's second tour in Afghanistan was smoother than the first in 2007-2008, which was cut short after 10 weeks when a magazine and websites detailed his whereabouts after British media had agreed to a news blackout for security. This time, the media were given limited access to the prince in return for not reporting operational details.