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May 3, 2007

Prince Harry Of Mesopotamia

Prince-Harry-Wales-Iraq

Barely three weeks after the tabloid nation of Great Britain tried to pimp its released Iranian hostages to promote the Iraq war, the British Ministry of Defence is at it again.

Will he, won’t he?  Won’t he, will he?

And ta-da!  It’s official.  After agonizing for weeks over whether tank commander Prince Harry should be allowed to serve as a high-asset celebrity promotional vehicle (and prime IED target) soldier in Iraq, the military brass gives thumbs up!  (And, as I’m sure it was factored, the press is already squeezing new mileage out of Diana Spencer.  Stateside, leave it to Newsweek to lace a slide show.)

With the dirt and the camo, it looks like he’s been there already, as if making his participation seem that much more inevitable.  By the way, the name on the helmet is interesting.  Is allusion to title a necessary gesture to separate royal from commoner?  At the same time, however, doesn’t that function as much like a “shoot me” sticker? (See caption regarding Mahdi Army bluster below.)

Prince-Harry-Iraq Pat-Tillman-Afghanistan

Just because the U.S. has a different system for ascribing royalty, however, I couldn’t help comparing these two rough-and-ready images, between the now well-familiar war promo of football star and friendly-fire victim, Pat Tillman, and this particular shot of the Prince (out of the group of incredibly well-crafted military-produced images) now swarming the newswire.

On the subject of photos and propaganda, by the way, I know the Tillman – Lynch hearing last week was supposed to help uncover video supposedly taken of Tillman’s death by a military drone.

It’s just so easy to get the sex on the front end, and just so hard to get any kind of view afterwards.

(image 1 & 2 : Corporal Ian Holding/RLC/MoD/Handout/A.P. and Reuters, respectively.  image 3: AP Photo/Photography Plus via Williamson Stealth Media Solutions.  2003.  All images via YahooNews.  Caption 1: Ministry of Defence handout picture of Britain’s Prince Harry, younger son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, while taking part in his final training exercise, in Cyprus, in March 2006. A Shia commander in Iraq has claimed that the Mahdi army has people inside British bases who will leak information about Prince Harry’s arrival in the country on active service, according to a newspaper report Saturday April 28 2007. ‘One of our aims is to capture Harry, we have people inside the British bases to inform us on when he will arrive,’ Abu Mujtaba, a commander in the Mahdi army, the Shia militia loyal to radical cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, told the Guardian.  Caption 2: Britain’s Prince Harry wears the beret of the Blues and Royals in his final training exercise, Exercise Threshold, in Cyprus in this March 2006 handout photo released by the Ministry of Defence on April 11, 2006. Debate is raging in Britain over whether Harry, third in line to the throne, should be deployed to a conflict in which 11 British soldiers have died this month, April 2007.)

  • Joyce

    Just for info. re the name on the uniform, Wales is the closest to a surname that Prince Harry has right now. He is the son of the Prince of Wales, when Charles signes a paper he signs as Wales.

  • tina

    Green and mottled….the frog prince. I still wouldn’t kiss him though.
    As the frog prince he must go through the “humble” one-of-the-guys act for now, to come out in all his glory later. But for a prince, it’s all just an act.
    After wearing that Nazi uniform to a party, not to mention the get ups he’s worn to “colonial” themed get togethers, I wonder what delightful hi-jinks HRH Harry will get up to in a real 21st century colony:
    Harry: “Shall we amuse ourselves with the prisoners by setting dogs upon them, what say, old man?”
    American GI: “Nah, we already done that. Whatever we do, we can’t take no pictures now, remember”.
    Harry: “Oh, discretion is a royal’s first duty, I QUITE understand”.

  • ummabdulla

    When I saw the pictures of Harry, I thought of his connection to British colonialism – I mean, his entire life is a remnant of colonialism – and Tina covered that aspect. Many of the family members of British soldiers who will be around him aren’t happy; if he’s a prime target, then so are their loved ones.
    But actuallly I was more curious about that ubiquitous photo of Pat Tillman. Is it normal to have your military photo taken with no name tag or markings on the lapel or anything? It just doesn’t look very classy leaving the Velcro strips there with nothing on them. (Unless that’s not what they are… but that’s what they look like.)

  • jtfromBC

    Hear ye, hear ye !
    celebrity culture-celebrity warfare.
    Patrick Daniel Tillman, Jr.
    William Arthur Philip Louis Wales, Prince.
    Sons of empires
    present and past
    still fighting for freedom eh.

  • wmcq

    The idea that Harry thinks his last name is ‘Wales’ is pretty funny, since, I believe, his last name is Windsor. Are they sure he doesn’t think his last name is ‘ofWales’?

  • Fred in Vermont

    According to Wikipedia his full name is Henry Charles Albert David and a foot note explains:
    As a titled royal, Harry holds no surname, but, when one is used, it is Mountbatten-Windsor (or his father’s territorial designation, Wales)
    Clearly Wales is the best choice for a name tag. But I wonder if they call him Lt. Wales or Lt. Prince Henry of Wales.

  • http://www.bu.edu/chapel Jim Olson

    Say what you will, but I don’t see Jenna and Not-Jenna in uniform volunteering to go into Combat. The Prince basically demanded to be allowed to go with his unit into Iraq. Despite his wild-child past, he is a classy young man.

  • jtfromBC

    as Coronet Wales prepares to do *his* bit,
    “Army special forces have been sent to Iraq to provide increased protection for Prince Harry ahead of his tour of duty in the country”
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/Iraq/Story/0,,2068149,00.html

  • maureenh

    Instead of an ad for the War in Iraq, “Prince Harry Goes to Iraq” seems to me to be more of an ad for the monarchy- I can’t think of anything else that would revive a crumbling institution that seems to have no relevance to modern British people than to have one of the tabloid sons go to risk his life in Iraq.

  • Profbacon

    I immediately thought of the new onion
    http://www.theonion.com/content/news/prince_william_fells_prince_willem
    Prince William Fells Prince Willem-Alexander Of The Netherlands In Crucial Joust
    CHELTENHAM, ENGLAND—In a resounding display of horsemanship, lancemanship, and puissance that marked both his first major tournament success and a great victory on the international stage for the British crown, the gallant English Prince William did mightily unseat Prince Willem- Alexander of the Netherlands in combat at the Cheltenham Jousts this Sunday week.
    The prince, his aspect as always noble and his armour brightly agleam, did strike his gentleman-foe the Prince of Orange with a single shivering blow to the very center of his greatshield, all glory be to God, ensuring, as well, a victory in global currency exchange.
    “Alack! I am bested, and fall heavy to the ground, and must therefore renegotiate the terms of special exchange between our nations when managing debts that predate conversion to the new EU standard,” quoth Willem-Alexander as he tumbled from his steed, acknowledging his opponent the better man and meeting his fate with honour. “In sooth, a rate of 1.75 euros to the pound is more than fair, with interest compounding from the date of this match forward, so mighty is the stroke that undoes me.”

  • dasher

    Like many others, I’d presumed that Harry was not Charles’ son, but rather the product of Diana’s affair with what-ever-his-name-was (I don’t follow British royal scandals that closely – the guy she was assumed to have had an affair with). Harry DID look much more like him than Charles, after all.
    However, look at image #8 of the Newsweek slide show linked above. Harry’s nose and the Queen’s are mirror images.
    I guess I have to change my mind about Harry’s patrimony.

  • Rebecca

    Even though the Prince’s surname is Windsor, it is customary for he, William, and his father to use “Wales” as their surnames. They are not the only royals to do this and I doubt he used it as an officer for any egotistical reasons.

  • http://www.buckinghampalace.com The Duke of Windsor

    Harry has big British balls of steel my friend, while your sitting there behind your lap top typing in your holier than thou sound bites, Harry is out in Afghanistan shredding Terry Taliban with an AR-15…

  • Joe8389

    First of all stop saying he went to Iraq, he went to bloody Afghanistan! There was no American increase of protection as no one knew he was out there until just before he came back, he didn’t even spend that much time out on the ground to be honest.

    As for his surname on his helmet, basic training makes you wear a tag on your helmet (no one in the green army wears one though) it’s so your section commanders can see who you are and I can guarantee you that he didn’t wear that in Afghan.
    Fred is correct though, he is aloud to use the name his father uses to sign his name, Prince William uses the same name (and yes, they call him Lt Wales and is treated like any other officer when in work)

    ummabdulla if you look again at the picture you will notice that it’s not velcro, it’s the colour of the name tag…

    Please get your facts right next time ladies and gents

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