The Duke of Sussex said some British soldiers were not “necessarily” supportive of military efforts in Afghanistan.
During a live chat with author and therapist Gabor Maté, Prince Harry opened up about his military tours in Afghanistan.
In response to Mate saying he did not align himself with the west during the conflict, the Duke said: “One of the reasons why so many people in the UK were not supporting our troops was that they assumed that everyone who served was for the war.
“No, once you sign up, you do what you’re told.
“So a lot of us didn’t necessarily agree or disagree, but you were doing what you were trained to do, you were doing what you were sent to do.”
Harry, 38, also described how it would have been impossible for him to stay in the UK as part of the Royal Family and maintain his sanity and provide a loving environment for his wife and their two children.
Harry and his wife, Meghan, left Britain in 2020 and settled in Southern California, abandoning their roles as senior royals.
Speaking on Saturday, he was careful to avoid blaming anyone by name for the family rift. But his comments likening his move to America to a life-saving escape from a toxic, hostile and sometimes racist ‘lockdown’ will do little to quell the feud that has escalated with his father King Charles and brother the Prince. William since the publication of his tell -all Spare autobiographies in January.
It was reported this week that Charles had evicted Harry and Meghan from Frogmore Cottage, their British home donated by the late Queen.
“I lost a lot, but at the same time I gained a lot. Seeing my children grow up here the way they are, I just can’t imagine how that would have been possible in this environment,” Harry told Mate, as they faced each other in oversized armchairs in front of a robust log fire.
“You do your best to make sure you don’t pass on the traumas you have as a parent. But if you’re still stuck in the same environment, it still feels doomed. To be able to change what I would say is the root cause of so many of these issues, to be able to get up, get moving, feel like it gives me a lot more luck, the agency as parents to be able to bring our kids from a way that is really, really beneficial.
Alluding to his own emotionally difficult upbringing within the royal family, Harry added: “We are doing our best as parents, learning from our own past, perhaps riding on those mistakes and being able to grow together so that we can support each other. the needs of our children and be able to break this cycle. You certainly don’t make friends in the short-term process.
Marriage to his wife Meghan, he said, helped him realize who he really is.
“People said my wife saved me. I was stuck in this world. And she came from a different world and helped me out. But none of the elements of my life would have been possible without me seeing it for myself,” he said.
The event was organized by publishers Random House as an exploration of Harry’s journey from trauma to healing. Maté is a 79-year-old Hungarian-born Canadian doctor whose book, The Myth of Normal, is about “trauma, illness, and healing in a toxic culture.”
In a 2018 interview with The Guardian, he praised Princes William and Harry for speaking out about the mental pain caused by the 1997 death of their mother, Princess Diana. Harry was also widely praised for admitting he had sought counseling after 20 years of repressing his feelings.
During their conversation on Saturday, Mate said he had read Spare and concluded that Harry had attention deficit disorder (ADD), which he could overcome. “I don’t see it as a disease. I see it as a normal response to abnormal stress when a child is in a stressful environment,” he said.
Regarding previous views he has expressed on combat service in Afghanistan, British veterans have criticized the Duke of Sussex’s claim in January that he killed 25 Taliban soldiers while serving in the British Army in Afghanistan and warned that the high-profile admission could increase the risk to his personal safety.
The prince recounted in his memoir his time as a gunner in an Apache attack helicopter during his second tour of the country in 2012.
Retired army veteran Colonel Tim Collins said the prince’s disclosure was crude and that “we don’t notch the butt of the gun”.