Prince Harry saved gay soldier from homophobic abuse in the Army, claims new book

Captain Wales reportedly diffused tensions with members of a rival regiment over comrade's sexuality

A gay former soldier has claimed that Prince Harry saved him from homophobic intimidation by members of a rival regiment.

Trooper James Wharton said the Prince stepped in when he told him six soldiers had threatened to "batter" him during a training exercise in Canada in 2008.

Writing in his book, serialised in The Mail on Sunday, he writes: "I told him, 'I think I’m going to be murdered by the infantry.' I climbed into the turret and talked Harry through exactly what had happened. He had a complete look of bewilderment on his face.

"I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up in my eyes. He said, 'Right I’m going to sort this s*** out once and for all.'

"He climbed out of the tank and I poked my head out of the turret a few moments later to see him having a go."

Harry, a Troop Commander in the Blues and Royals, warned the aggressors they would face severe discipline if they didn't leave Wharton alone.

After talking to the gang, Harry told a senior officer about the incident, and told Wharton the situation had been "sorted."

Wharton, who quit the Army earlier this year, said: "I will always be grateful to Harry and I will never forget what happened. Prince Harry was sticking up for me and putting a stop to the trouble. I had been on track for a battering and had been rescued.

"He told me: ‘I knew one of his officers and we cleared everything up. I also told those other lads to back the f*** off, too.'"

Ministry of Defence and Buckingham Palace both declined to comment on the story.

Prince Harry entered the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in May 2005.

He completed more than two months service with the Army in Afghanistan's Helmand province, in 2008 and was soon after promoted from Second Lieutenant to Lieutenant.

Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy said: "The whole country will applaud Prince Harry. Our Forces should reflect the modern-day Britain they fight so hard to defend."

And Ben Summerskill, of the gay and lesbian charity Stonewall, said: "I take my hat off to him for protecting James Wharton."