Just moments after arriving from Kandahar, Prince Harry said that his 10-week stint as a soldier in Afghanistan was one of the best times of his life.
''It was fantastic. It was an opportunity that I was wanting to do the whole time and to be able to do it -- I was hugely grateful for having the opportunity," he told reporters. "I did enjoy it a little bit more that I should have, not in a sick way, but I enjoyed being out there, every element had something different about it. But actually being out in the middle of nowhere, with the stars out, is just a fantastic place to be,'' he enthused.
The Prince may have been in a war zone in the wilds of Afghanistan, but he still appreciated his surroundings."It's hard to actually bring yourself back to reality and say 'No, I could actually get shot at any point' just because the area itself was so nice. Two mornings before I left was the first morning I heard birds sing in the desert."
Fearing for the Prince's safety, a deal was struck between the British Ministry Of Defense and all British media outlets that they would leave him alone while he was on active duty. In return, British reporters were allowed to record interviews and film him in action, on the battleground. They were not however, able to report anything until he was safely home. The result is a detailed account of a warrior prince.
Harry praised the British media. ''I was surprised by the way that the British media kept to their side of the bargain and I hate to say it but, no, I'm very grateful for that and thanks to all the British media for keeping their mouths shut," he said, adding, "I know for a fact that there was stuff they did behind the scenes to stop stuff coming out which was massively kind of them. But at the same time it doesn't surprise me that once again it was media, foreign media, that spilled the beans, so yes it's a shame but to be expected I guess.''
Once dubbed 'the party prince' by the British tabloids, Harry has been known more for his late night carousing than his military career.
But these days he is known as 'Harry the Hero,' something which he insists he is not. ''No, I wouldn't say that I am a hero. There were two injured guys who came back on the plane with us who were essentially comatose throughout the whole way. One had lost two limbs -- a left arm and a right leg -- and another guy who was saved by his mate's body being in the way but took shrapnel to the neck. Both (were) out cold throughout the whole of the flight. Those are the heroes, those were guys who had been blown up by a mine that they had no idea about, serving their country, doing a normal patrol, doing what they know is best.''
Prince Harry appeared to be comfortable in his new role. In Afghanistan, he was manning machine guns and went on foot patrol. But his main military role was as a forward air controller or JTAC, calling on air strikes on enemy positions.
He described what was going through his mind when he was fighting on the frontline, at times just 500 yards from the Taliban. "It's war, it's hell, but no, I don't know, you do what you have to do, what's necessary to save your own guys. If you need to drop a bomb, worst case scenario, then you will, but then that's just the way it is, that's the way things go. It's not nice to drop bombs and sort of give that position to people to have to do but to save lives, that's what happens."