Prince Harry is to be withdrawn from his tour of duty in Afghanistan after reports on US blog, Drudge Report, revealed he was serving with British forces there.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued a statement today confirming speculation that the third-in-line to the throne would cease active service and return to the UK.
“Following a detailed assessment of the risks by the operational chain of command, the decision has been taken by Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, Chief of Defence Staff, in consultation with General Sir Richard Dannatt, Chief of the General Staff, to withdraw Prince Harry from Afghanistan immediately,” read the statement.
“This decision has been taken primarily on the basis that the worldwide media coverage of Prince Harry in Afghanistan could impact on the security of those who are deployed there, as well as the risks to him as an individual soldier.”
The media blackout agreed between the Ministry of Defence and UK news outlets about Prince Harry’s secret deployment was broken after popular US blog, The Drudge Report, ran a story about his activities in Afghanistan.
The MoD and the media struck a deal that meant extended access to Prince Harry during his time in Helmand Province in exchange for news of his deployment to be held until after his tour had been completed.
A stipulation of the agreement was that media in the UK would hold its stories unless a foreign news publisher made the news public first.
When Drudge broke the story news groups in the UK were then forced to flood their stories on an unsuspecting public.
The MoD asked the media to refrain from speculating on Prince Harry location and other details of his mission until he returns to the UK.