Before setting foot on the battlefield, Prince Harry must win the battle he's waging to go to war.
The British prince is due to deploy within days to southern Iraq where he's supposed to command an armored vehicle in a British army regiment. But Harry's dream of fighting for his country might now be nixed. British army chiefs fear insurgents have just carried out a dry run of how they will try to kill him.
There are reports of detailed plans to take Harry hostage.
"We will return him home in a coffin," reads one posting on an insurgent Web site.
There is also word of informants being deployed inside British bases.
"It's perfectly clear he could be a target either for murder or kidnap," said Michael Portillo, Britain's former defense secretary. "If either of those things occurred it would be a disaster for Britain and a triumph for our enemies."
Harry remains as determined to fight as when he graduated from Sandhurst Military Academy.
"If they said, 'No you can't go front line then I wouldn't have dragged my sorry arse through Sandhurst,'" he said. "The last thing I want to do is have my soldiers sent away to Iraq or anywhere like, and for me to be held back home twiddling my thumbs thinking, 'What about David? What about Derek?' You know?"
But if he goes, Harry might endanger himself and his comrades.
"The men with him are being put in jeopardy by his very celebrity," said royal biographer Robert Lacey.
Harry isn't the first royal to go to war. His uncle, Prince Andrew, flew a helicopter in the Falklands and supports the military experience.
"My advice to Harry is that he should enjoy himself in the military," Prince Andrew said. "It's a wonderful life, it's a wonderful grounding."
But the military chief who sent Andrew to war thinks Harry should stay home.
"I think the decision to allow him to go was the wrong one," said former defense secretary Sir John Nott. "Now of course it's more difficult to change it."
If Harry can't prove himself in battle, he might have to do so by continuing his mother's work -- helping children around the world through charities.
"I don't want to take over from her because I never will," Harry said about his mother. "I don't think anyone can. But I want to try and carry it on and make her proud."
Harry has already started his own charity in southern Africa. But whether he will spend his 20s waging war or helping the needy remains to be seen.
According to the British ministry of defense, "The official position is that Prince Harry is still going to Iraq. But the decision is under constant consideration."