Stay up to date with notifications from The Independent

Notifications can be managed in browser preferences.

‘How stupid can you be?’ Harry accused of putting family in danger after claiming 25 kills in Afghanistan

Memoir revelation ‘an absolute nightmare for his security teams’ it is claimed

Jane Dalton
Friday 06 January 2023 09:04 GMT
Spare: Revelations from Prince Harry's book

Prince Harry has been accused of putting his family’s safety at risk after saying he killed 25 Taliban fighters in Afghanistan in his autobiography.

Critics said the Duke of Sussex had turned himself into an even higher terrorist target with the details of his involvement in the conflict.

Twitter users in Afghanistan and Pakistan have branded Harry a “murderer” and a “crusader” after extracts from the book ‘Spare’ were leaked ahead of the planned release next week.

In the memoir, Harry says he killed more than two dozen people when he was an Apache helicopter pilot during his second tour of duty in Afghanistan.

He flew on six missions that resulted in “the taking of human lives”, something of which he is “neither proud nor ashamed”, he said.

In the heat of combat, the prince did not think of the 25 as “people” but instead as “chess pieces” taken off the board.

But his comments about the war have raised renewed questions about his security. The prince lost his taxpayer-funded protection when he and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stepped back from royal duties in 2020.

Andrew Neil wrote on Twitter: “Harry’s claim that he killed 25 Taliban is a nightmare – an absolute nightmare – for his security teams. How stupid can you be?”

Prince Harry left the army in 2015 (Getty)

Publicist Mark Borkowski said giving away his track record in Afghanistan was disastrous as the prince had put his wife and children at risk.

“He’s put a target on his back and if he’s protecting his family,” Mr Borkowski said on Sky News. “He’s put them in the greatest danger because I don’t believe they’ve got the same level of security he would have enjoyed while he was a member of the royal family.”

And a severely injured war veteran and friend of Prince Harry has told him to stop airing grievances against his family, following the book leaks.

Harry, or just plain Captain Wales as he was known in the Army, on a tour of duty in Afghanistan (PA)

Former commando Ben McBean, who was hailed a hero by the Duke of Sussex after losing an arm and leg in a bomb blast in Afghanistan, wrote on social media: “Love you Prince Harry but you need to shut up! Makes you wonder about the people he’s hanging around with.

“If it was good people somebody by now would have told him to stop.”

Conservative MP for Beckenham Bob Stewart, also questioned why the duke was being so open about his time in the army.

“I wonder why he is doing such things,” Mr Stewart told the Daily Mail. "Real soldiers tend to shy away. People I know don’t boast about such things. They rather regret that they have had to do it.”

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in