Prince Harry claims the media ‘did not cover’ British soldiers being wounded in Afghanistan as he discusses Press coverage of his deployment in Netflix documentary
Prince Harry has claimed the media ‘did not cover’ British soldiers being wounded in Afghanistan as he discussed Press coverage of his deployment in a new Netflix documentary.
Speaking on Heart Of Invictus, the Duke of Sussex, 38, described being evacuated home from the warzone after the American website Drudge Report broke a news blackout on his deployment.
In episode one of the new series, which was released today, he described a curtain on the aeroplane he was sitting in blowing open and showing three young wounded soldiers with their ‘bodies in pieces’.
He said: ‘I saw what only people had talked about. That was the real trigger to see the real cost of war. Not just those individuals but also their families and how their lives would change forever.
‘Stepping off the plane I was angry at what happened to these guys, I was angry that the media weren’t covering it. But at that point it wasn’t clear to me what needed to be done.’
The Duke of Sussex, 38, described being evacuated home from the warzone after the American website Drudge Report broke a news blackout on his deployment
Harry said the moment was the trigger to him founding the Invictus Games, which is the main subject of the documentary.
Harry also complains about the media ruining his deployment to Afghanistan, saying: ‘The whole reason I was allowed to go to Afghanistan in the first place was because it was kept a secret.
‘While I was there for the ten weeks no one knew apart from the British press who said ”we’ll keep quiet as long as we get access”.
‘To suddenly be on the way home I was angry. But it was important for everyone around me – their safety – to remove me.’
Harry’s cover was blown by the Drudge report in 2009 with a ‘world exclusive’ about ‘Harry the Hero’.
Today’s documentary also saw the Duke make another apparent swipe at his family as he claimed he did not have a support network after return from serving in Afghanistan and his trauma was ‘never discussed’.
Harry in a Spartan armoured vehicle on February 18, 2008 in Helmand province, southern Afghanistan
The documentary included footage of Harry while he was on active service in Afghanistan in 2007/8
The Duke of Sussex also said that he was not aware of the trauma he still had from his mother Princess Diana dying in Paris in August 1997 when he was aged just 12.
He said that when he returned from war in 2009, the ‘biggest struggle for me was no one around me really could help’, adding: ‘I didn’t have that support structure, that network or that expert advice to identify what was actually going on with me.’
Harry also told the show: ‘Unfortunately like most of us the first time you consider therapy is when you are lying on the floor in the foetal position probably wishing you had dealt with some of this stuff previously. And that’s what I really want to change.’
As the latest project in the Sussexes’ £80million deal with Netflix was released this morning, Harry also described himself as a father-of-two, dog owner and husband.
At the start, the Duke of Sussex was asked by an interviewer: ‘What’s your name?’, and replied: ‘My name’s Harry.’ The interviewer then said: ‘What do you do, Harry?’
Harry said: ‘What do I do? On any given day? I’m a dad of two under three year olds, got a couple of dogs, husband, I’m founding patron of Invictus Games Foundation. There’s lots of hats that one wears, but I believe today is all about Invictus.’
Also in the documentary, Harry and his wife Meghan Markle were seen in a private moment together before a speech at the Salute to Freedom Gala in New York City in November 2021, and the Duke was heard confiding in the Duchess about his nerves.
Harry in an earlier interview talking about the moment he was flown home
Harry describes how, as he was being evacuated back to Britain, a curtain on the aeroplane he was sitting in blowing open and showing three young wounded soldiers
Harry was heard saying: ‘We haven’t done this for a while.’ Meghan added: ‘I know.’ Harry said: ‘My heart like digidigadigadiga’ and paces around nervously backstage.
All five episodes of the docuseries were made available at 8am UK time (midnight California time), following prior speculation that Netflix had cancelled the show.
The show has been released ahead of next month’s Invictus Games which will be in Dusseldorf from September 9 over eight days and attended by Harry and Meghan.
Harry is its executive producer and the show forms part of the Sussexes’ deal with Netflix – with their main output so far being last year’s controversial Harry & Meghan documentary which included a series of swipes at members of the Royal Family.
The six-part series last December saw the couple accuse Kensington Palace of lying to protect Prince William.
Pressure is on the Invictus documentary to be a ratings success, after the couple’s other lucrative media deal with Spotify ended in June after one season of Meghan’s podcast Archetypes. Netflix unveiled its first trailer for the series on August 16.
It comes after Netflix paid £3million for the film rights to Carley Fortune’s romantic novel Meet Me At The Lake which Harry and Meghan will produce for the service.
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