by Robert Fay
Being American, as well as a Gen X-er who grew up on the lyrics of the Sex Pistols, “God save the queen…she’s not a human being,” I never quite understand the U.K.’s loyalty to the British Royal family. Up through the Edwardian era, aristocratic veneration made sense in many ways, but the horror and folly of World War I should have thoroughly wrung that ancient habit from the English soul. But a young Queen Elizabeth took the reins in 1952, and proved an admirable monarch, and then Princess Diana arrived two over decades later adding a much-needed bit of Hollywood glamour to the House of Windsor. But I still didn’t pay the Royals any mind until I discovered a video of Prince Harry in a firefight with Taliban gunmen in Afghanistan.
Now this was interesting, I thought. Here was one of the world’s most privileged, poshest individuals and he was in Helmand Province, arguably one of the most dangerous places on earth in 2008.
I assumed it had been some kind of publicity event, until I did some research and found out Prince Harry had actually attended Royal Military College Sandhurst, the officer candidate school for British Army officers, that is six-months long, and has a solid reputation for toughness and professionalism. Prince Harry went on to serve as a Forward Air Controller in Afghanistan in 2008 and then as an Apache fighter pilot, also seeing action in Afghanistan in 2012. He was the real deal. Read more »