By REBECCA ENGLISH
11th November 2007
Frustrated Prince Harry has threatened to quit the army after military chiefs cancelled plans to send him to Afghanistan.
The Prince, a second lieutenant in the Household Cavalry, had been told there was a chance he could be posted at the beginning of October.
But the decision was reversed with just days to go amid continuing fears for his safety.
Harry wants to fight on the front line but he only carries out menial office duties
The last-minute intervention is a major blow for Harry, who is still reeling from the disappointment of seeing his Blues and Royal troop go to Iraq without him.
He has always made clear that he sees no point in staying in the army if he is not given a chance to prove himself on the front-line.
But his military commanders fear that his presence would prove too dangerous for both himself and his men.
As a result, he has spent the last few weeks on regimental duties at Combermere Barracks in Windsor and is said to be so unhappy that he has threatened to walk out unless a suitable military post can be found for him.
"Harry is at rock bottom. He is a real hand-on soldier and cannot bear the thought of his career stretching out in front of him without anything meaningful to do," said a source.
The friend added: "He is not a quitter but it is so disheartening. Over the past few weeks he has often been the only Household Cavalry lieutenant in camp.
"He has spoken to his father about his feelings and has said he is not prepared to be a redundant soldier for another year.
"There is some talk of sending him abroad to be a military attache, but no-one really quite knows what to do.
"The MoD are going to have to do something about it, however, and quick."
Prince Harry has told his father he is not prepared to be a redundant soldier for another year
Harry has already spoken to his advisors about spending time in Africa and pursuing his charity work as an alternative to his army career.
But his Clarence House advisors fear that like his uncle, Prince Edward, who famously flunked his marine training course, the prince would never escape the stigma of quitting.
"Harry has no choice but to stick at it, however unhappy he feels," said a senior source.
"There is a great deal of sympathy for his situation but this is not just about him, it is about the monarchy as an institution. If the Royal Family cannot be seen to be serving its country then it makes a mockery of the Queen's role as head of the armed forces."