Prince Andrew says he returned from Falklands War ‘a changed man’ in deleted post

Duke of York shared 700-word account about his experience as helicopter pilot on 40th anniversary of conflict but it was quickly removed from ex-wife’s Instagram

<p>Prince Andrew said he returned from the Falklands War ‘a changed man’ on Instagram before deleting post</p>

Prince Andrew said he returned from the Falklands War ‘a changed man’ on Instagram before deleting post

Prince Andrew said he returned from the Falklands War “a changed man”, in a now-deleted 700-word piece of writing posted to his ex-wife’s Instagram account.

The Duke of York wrote an account of his time spent as a Sea King helicopter pilot with HMS Invincible to coincide with the 40th anniversary of the conflict.

His reflection appeared in three posts on the Instagram account of Sarah, Duchess of York, on Saturday – but were removed within a couple of hours.

Beneath the last post, it said it was “written by HRH The Duke of York” before the “HRH” was deleted.

It is unclear why the posts were taken down, however the Queen stripped Andrew of his honorary military roles in January and he gave up the right to use HRH in an official capacity after he faced a US civil sex case, brought against him by Virginia Giuffre.

She was suing Andrew for allegedly sexually assaulting her when she was 17 and trafficked by convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein.

The duke, who has always strongly denied the allegations, reached a multimillion-pound out-of-court settlement in the case a few weeks ago.

In the first Instagram post, Ms Ferguson said she asked her ex-husband about his reflections on the war on the 40th anniversary of his sailing from Portsmouth to the Falkland Islands.

Andrew’s account began: “As I sit here at my desk on this cold crisp spring morning thinking back to April 1982 I’ve tried to think what was going through my mind as we sailed out of Portsmouth lining the flight deck of HMS INVINCIBLE.”

The 62-year-old concluded: “So whilst I think back to a day when a young man went to war, full of bravado, I returned a changed man.

“I put away childish things and false bravado and returned a man full in the knowledge of human frailty and suffering.

“My reflection makes me think even harder and pray even more fervently for those in conflict today, for those family’s (sic) torn apart by the horrors they have witnessed.

“And, i’m (sic) afraid to say, that the historical perspective my short war has taught me is this - war is failure to keep peace; war is failure of human judgement; war is failure to recognise we need to seek permission to understand another persons perspective or reality, whether or not we agree or disagree with that perspective or reality.”

Prince Andrew at Port Stanley, Falkland Islands, in his capacity as a helicopter pilot with HMS Invincible

Andrew also recalled being shot at, writing: “I was flying and saw a chaff shell fired from one of our ships that passed not that far in front of us.

“For a moment it was on a steady bearing before it began to cross to our left.

“The terror that that was going to be that, just for a moment, has had a lasting and permanent effect on me.”

Andrew has spoken about being shot at before – in his infamous Newsnight interview, given to defend himself against Ms Guiffre’s accusations and to explain his friendship with the late Epstein.

Addressing a claim he was sweating heavily during an alleged night out with Ms Guiffre, Andrew told Emily Maitlis in 2019: “I didn’t sweat at the time because I had suffered what I would describe as an overdose of adrenaline in the Falklands War when I was shot at and I simply ... it was almost impossible for me to sweat.”

Prince Andrew, the Duke of York, flew missions as a Sea King helicopter pilot during the 1982 Falklands War

Andrew was the first member of the royal family to have an official Twitter account under his own name, though that account was deleted in January.

His reflections on Sarah’s Instagram account came on the 40th anniversary of the Falklands War.

On 2 April 1982, Argentine forces invaded the islands, which had been in British hands since the 19th century, sparking the sending of a Royal Navy task force south to recapture them.

The resulting naval and land campaign led to the recapture of the islands on 14 June at the cost of 255 British lives. About 650 Argentines died.

Additional reporting by Press Association

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