LONDON (Reuters) - Britain’s Prince Harry, who has been serving on the front lines in Afghanistan for the past 10 weeks, says he doesn’t like England that much and dislikes the nonsense British newspapers write.
The prince, third in line to the British throne, made his comments last week, before news of his secret deployment in Afghanistan leaked on a U.S. Web site.
He told an interviewer he was enjoying being in a combat zone and not “sitting around” in Windsor, the town outside London where the royal family has a castle and Harry’s regiment has its headquarters.
Asked if he would ever want to come back to Afghanistan, he said: “I don’t want to sit around in Windsor.
“But I generally don’t like England that much and, you know, it’s nice to be away from all the press and the papers and all the general shite that they write.”
The comments, made available to the media under a pool arrangement, are unlikely to be welcomed by Harry’s supporters in Britain or by the popular tabloid press.
Harry, 23, is no stranger to controversy.
He sparked widespread public anger in 2005 when he was photographed at a fancy dress party dressed in a Nazi uniform.
In London he is frequently photographed stumbling out of nightclubs drunk with his girlfriend, and has been in trouble with his father Prince Charles for smoking cannabis.
British newspapers were full of praise for the prince on Friday, before the comments were made public, calling him a hero and a model soldier. Messages have been posted on Web sites praising his bravery.
But the royal family has not always had a good relationship with the press, and the family of Harry’s mother, Princess Diana, blamed paparazzi photographers for the pursuit that led to her death in a car crash in Paris in 1997.
An inquest into Diana’s death has been told that she was contemplating buying a house in the United States before she died.
Harry is the first member of the royal family to go to war since the Falklands conflict with Argentina 25 years ago.
But he is now to be withdrawn from Afghanistan because of the leaks, which military commanders fear may expose his fellow soldiers to additional danger.
Reporting by Luke Baker; Editing by Kevin Liffey