Prince Harry arrives home to England: ‘I don’t know what normal is anymore’

Prince Harry is home! Or should I say, Captain Harry Wales is home. Harry completed his 20 week tour in Afghanistan (he was an Apache Helicopter Pilot and Gunner with the 662 Squadron of the Army Air Corps) and he arrived home at Brize Norton, Oxfordshire yesterday. I’m thinking that only one photographer was at the arrival of Harry’s plane, because everyone seems to be using the same photos.

Surprisingly enough… I don’t think Harry’s family was at the base to greet him? Which is weird, right? Correct me if I’m wrong, but I can’t find any information about Prince William or the Prince of Wales being there to greet Captain Wales upon his arrival…? Maybe the royal family is still kind of pissed off about The Party Prince. Or maybe they wanted to distance themselves from Harry’s latest controversies. In one of the interviews Harry did while in Afghanistan, he compared video games to killing people (insurgents) with his thumb as he flew his Apache. Here’s the video about Harry’s latest controversy:

I’m not going to analyze this to the hilt, but I will say that while Harry could have definitely spoken with more eloquence and thoughtfulness to the lives being lost, I’ve heard WAY worse from soldiers, and I think this is a tempest in a teacup. Harry also tried to reframe the issue in an interview upon his return to England, telling media outlets:

“I don’t know what normal is anymore,” he said in a candid interview after stepping off the plane that brought him back from the war zone. “There is nothing normal about what we have been doing for the past four-and-a-half months… There is nothing normal about what is going on out there. In the last day I was there, a seven-and-a-half-year-old girl got shot down by the insurgents. So normality is [a] very, very ambiguous thing, if you know what I mean.”

The prince, 28, made headlines earlier this week when he suggested that he has killed insurgents in Afghanistan.

“You get asked to do things,” he said today. “You get asked to do things you would expect to do wearing this uniform and that is as simple as that really.”

He also suggested that he had been shot at while co-piloting his Apache attack helicopter in the war torn province of Helmand.

During his tour of duty, “Captain Wales” as he is referred to in the British Army, gave the British press several candid interviews covering everything from hunting down the enemy to his delight at finding out that his brother, William, and sister-in-law, Kate, are expecting and that he would become an uncle.

Harry arrived back in the UK today after taking a short break at a base in Cyprus for “a bit of blue sky, a bit of decompression [and] some comedy.”

The prince said his tour of duty was “a hell of an experience,” but he is “thrilled to be back.”

“I am longing to see my brother and sister-in-law as any other soldier just come off the plane,” he said. “I really am longing to catch up with people behind closed doors.”

“You guys aren’t invited,” he added, joking to the media.

He said that, given the opportunity, he hopes to “take on some royal stuff” and pay more attention to the charities he has been involved in.

Harry was an Apache helicopter co-pilot in charge of the weapons system. He sometimes flew an exhausting seven to ten hours a day.

As for what he’ll be doing with the rest of his year, the prince said, “The army will have an idea, and what that is I will do.”

“When I am wearing the uniform, I continue to be a soldier and I continue to be a soldier when I am not wearing the uniform,” he said. “I will continue with my royal duties as well.”

[From ABC News]

Seriously, I can’t believe William and Kate couldn’t take a break from their exhausting vacation schedule to welcome Harry home. That’s ridiculous. Oh well – I’m sure Harry will be out and about for his first weekend home. Calling all English girls: hit that and come and tell me how it was.

And here are photos of Harry in Camp Bastion in southern Afghanistan. These pics were taken weeks ago, but they were just released this week:

Photos courtesy of WENN.com.

 

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57 Responses to “Prince Harry arrives home to England: ‘I don’t know what normal is anymore’”

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  1. Hannah says:

    He doesn’t know what “normal” is, anyway. He’s a PRINCE!

    • jinni says:

      That’s what I was thinking. I know everyone’s normal isn’t the same, but even so most people normal is mostly similar. This guy has never lived anything close to a normal life, even amongst his peers (rich/aristocracy) he’s lives an exceptionally different life.

    • L says:

      He was talking about seeing a 7 year old girl killed by insurgents and how ‘normalcy is a ambiguous thing’

      I don’t think he was trying to equate regular folks to princely life. But more normal life at home to a war zone where people and children are being killed.

    • LAK says:

      If you watch the first full interview he gave, which is on the british armed forces site, he was asked about any desire to be normal to which his reply was slightly longer than the one above, but he also says that as a prince his version of normal isn’t the same as regular people. At least he isn’t at war with his various roles and shirking them in pursuit of a utopian idea of normality like William.

      That first interview is 40mins long, and is very thoughtful if abit rambling. Unfortunately many newsites, per the ongoing media desire to paint him as a party prince, edited down to a minute or two from that longer piece, pulled quotes from longer sentences and put them out of context to fit their agenda eg he didn’t say killing was like a video game nor does he imply it. He shows the reporter the apache helicopter in detail, describing how it all works, and when he gets to the dashboard and the controls, he says it is built for the videogame generation because the controls are the same and it helps if one has the same sort of reflexes.

      This 2nd interview is thankfully only 6mins long, and he is more concise in his answers.

  2. Regina Lynx says:

    Erm, Harry?

    Over here! *waves hand*

    • Sunnyjyl says:

      Ha Ha, Regina. You get him, girl!

      It seems to me he is trying to say how surreal killing is. It shouldn’t be like a video game. Soldiers have to distance themselves from an often times horrific job, and he doesn’t want to lose sight of that. My thoughts, anyway.

  3. HWalesWatch says:

    Nobody met him (although someone thinks they spotted his secretary in the video.) I wouldn’t have expected anyone but Charles anyway. I don’t know why people think Will & Kate should’ve been there. Harry defintely wanted less media attention on his arrival not more.

    But yesterday was the only open day of the week on Charles’s schedule and Harry left on his own, not with his squadron. So perhaps he met with the family privately.

  4. aims says:

    Welcome home Harry! I would gladly greet you. I have no doubt that he wittnessed some heavy stuff while in duty. War is horrible,for lack of a better word. Im glad he has his family, brother and sister in law. It seems that he really does consider them to be his inner circle. Glad you came home safe Harry, if you were my man i would give be give you a hell of a homecoming, lol.

  5. Jenna says:

    I’ve never found him attractive, but when he was giving an interview in his uniform and then had to run away to pilot the Gunner I had a moment of weakness and was all: “Yep……I’d tap that”.

  6. Az says:

    It’s amazing how, as they grow older, William looks more like a Windsor and Harry looks more like a Spencer. He looks like Princess Diana’s brother.

  7. Dani says:

    Attractive, but dumb as a pile of bricks.

    • emmie_a says:

      Nice thing to say to a soldier who just came home after fighting for his country. What has your smart ass been up to??

      • Lisa says:

        Yeah wearing a swastika is super smart.

      • Meerkat says:

        He is! Not his fault – Diana wasn’t the brightest (and freely admitted it) and neither is his father.
        And I think the reality is that, if there is any threat of danger on the ground, he is rushed away to safety. This happened when he first arrived. Do you really think The Firm is going to risk him coming to harm?
        He seems to be happy being in the army – why doesn’t he give the whole “royal” business the flick and become a private citizen? Then maybe the women he fancies may be prepared to marry him.

      • Angelic 20 says:

        Lisa,
        Yeah I am sure you made all the smartest decision s in your teens and did nothing stupid or embarrassing in your life ever.

      • Lisa says:

        Angelic –

        The fact that you think wearing a swastika falls within the realm of teen pranks and stupidity says it all. How very sad that such thinking exists.

      • Angelic 20 says:

        Lisa, Meerkat,
        Oh my bad, you guys are right we should stone him for wearing a uniform once when he was young. I am not saying it was good or okay or acceptable but one stupid thing done by someone should not define who they are for the rest of their lives. Wearing Nazi uniform was the dumbest, insensitive and offensive thing he did once, and he faced criticism for it and rightly so but that one incident shouldn’t define who is for the rest of his life. He has done some very good things also but some people just can’t get past what he did years ago.

      • Leen says:

        I’m not going to defend the swatsika thing but the Paki thing… Well I guess a lot of people don’t find British banter funny. Especially since the person himself said that he wasn’t offended by it makes me think it is banter. I’m sure they call Harry a lot of other things considering he is ginger.but seriously Banter often borders on offensive anyway most of the time between friends or in this case regiments. When I lived in England I was friends with a group of Indians/Pakistanis/Brits and some of the banter bordered on offensive (and you can guess how offensive it can get with that group of people).

    • Meerkat says:

      Angelic 20 – yes, I did stupid things in my teens. Never thought wearing a swastika would be a fun idea, though. And Harry in 2005, was hardly a teenager.
      Sorry, Dani, am not replying to you, trying to reply to Angelic 20.

      • LAK says:

        Firstly, i will categorically say that i understand why the swastika offends.

        However, Harry apologised unreservedly. He has never shown any racist inclination or attitudes,so this one is filed under stupid thoughtless things that Harry once did.

        And just so you know, he visited Auchwitz in recent years, so i am sure he is fully aware of the significance of it now, if he wasn’t before.

      • Meerkat says:

        You are forgetting the “Paki” comments, too. Come on, I know he’s not very smart, but he is still what he is and will be unless he makes the moves to change his life.
        And, sorry, I don’t thinks his hot ginger looks are going to last…

      • emmie_a says:

        I can always count on LAK to be the voice of reason!

      • LAK says:

        meerkat – Why the selective bashing? Not just from you but the entire world it seems. It wasn’t just the two of them in the video, there were others present who were just as culpable.

        Further, that particular comment renders entire regiment racists because the injured party made a public statement defending Harry AND saying it was his REGIMENTAL nickname ergo everyone in the regiment called him ‘Paki’. He went on to say that he wasn’t offended by it.

        So if one of the guys in the regiment is being called a ‘Paki’ by ALL of them, and we deem that term racist, though HE specifically says that in his own context, it is used as a term of affection by his own colleagues, then that makes them ALL racist. Not just the guy who was heard saying it on camera. Even if the guy apologised for it.

        Which, if taken to it’s logical conclusion, makes the army institutionally racist if they are creating an atmosphere in which an entire regiment can comfortably racially abuse one of it’s own with no consequences.

        Finally, he has made moves to change his life. However when the improvements are reported on, they are twisted to fit the mold of his earlier stupid, thoughtlessness.

        The man started his own charity from the ground up rather than wait to see which charities he would be given to patronise. He is very hands on with all the charities he does support. he makes films for them to raise awareness, takes part in fundraising drives, gives interviews that show in-depth knowledge of the charities. For which he has now received 2 charity awards from serious think tanks, one of which is chaired by Colin Powell no less.

        He has the support of the army. Not just as a mascot but full support from most of not all his work colleagues.

        He rarely attends galas/premieres unless he is piggy backing on WK who ONLY do galas/premieres.

        He lives on base. with his fellow soldiers. no special ‘cottage’ off base which would cost us the tax payers extra in security and goodness knows whatelse.

        vegas aside, he has seriously cut down his drinking and partying. He is papped late at night, but not falling out of clubs anymore, and mostly sober

        the list goes on, but the press always frames it differently.

      • LAK says:

        correction: The Atlantic Council isn’t chaired by Colin Powell. He is merely a supporter.

        He was tasked with giving the award to Harry for his charity work last year.

      • Kate says:

        When I was a child, one of the most successful TV programmes on was a comedy about WW2 called “Allo Allo!” It was about the occupation of France by the Nazis. Who were shown as bumbling, inept comedy figures. Nobody ever appeared to think there was anything wrong with that at all. It’s a successful DVD release to this day – and they only released it in the format in 2006.

        And before someone points out Harry’s position, the BBC is a state broadcaster, funded solely by a compulsory tax on every household with a telly. So it was taxpayer’s dosh funding those uniforms. And it’s available on DVD… since 2006. The media haven’t ever turned a hair.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/%27Allo_%27Allo!

        The Sun newspaper – who went ballistic over Harry and this story – excitedly reported that the series might make a comeback. In 2007: http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/showbiz/tv/21055/Allo-Allo-comedy-hit-to-return.html

        Just seems a double standard. Comedy Nazis are either a harmless joke, or very serious. You can’t say the BBC are fine, but Harry is a racist pig. If Harry joins the National Party or expresses similar sentiments, I’ll be first in line to condemn him. Dragging this up, when in context an identical joke is seen as hilarious by the same country, is just manufactured outrage.

  8. Angelic 20 says:

    troops in England don’t meet their families on there arrival, it’s not done in England. They fly straight to the base, spend a week or so decomposing after their tour and then they go to their families. He was doing exactly what his Co workers were doing, no one’, family was there to greet them. It’s not a royal thing nor his family trying to distant themselves from him, it’s just how arrivals are done in England. He is going through a regular procedure with his colleagues, having his family there would have been a special treatment which he didn’t want.

  9. Talie says:

    The truth is, he is not a deeply intelligent person… despite all that fancy schooling, he’s just not very introspective. Without the accent, it would appear more obvious. I bet he can barely spell.

    It’s sad, but he will be pushed down further when William and Kate have their babies, so that’s probably for the best.

  10. m says:

    Harry didnt compare killing to video games, hesaid that video games helped his hand eye cordination which then improved his flying skills. The press just loves to twist his words, dont they?

  11. izzy4ya says:

    That closeup pic…no bueno.

  12. Jaded says:

    At least he’s actively involved in an important effort to destabilize the Taliban instead of being just another louche prince partying on yachts and knocking up strays **coughPrinceAlbertcough**.

    It’s certainly more responsibility than William’s rescuing lost day-trippers once in a while then having to rush off on vacation because he and Kate are exhausted. They really are 2 of the laziest punters in the royal family.

  13. EmmaStoneWannabe says:

    Let’s see..

    Hot, young, single Ginger: Check
    Fun Brittish: Check
    Beefy and manly: check
    Royal and not pretentious about it: check
    Military Captain: Check
    5 months in the desert and just arrived, ready for some fun: check check check

    ..sigh, I so wish I was a hot, single British party girl hanging out in London this weekend. They will be lined up around the corners for a while for sure..bet many of them have spent extra time in the gym the last couple months while awaiting his arrival to look as hot as possible lol…sigh sigh sigh

  14. Apples says:

    My heart goes out to him- and any soldier returning from the intellectual confusion that is War. I don’t think I could live a life where people were constantly twisting my words and constantly bringing up every dumb joke I have made for the rest of my life.

  15. KellyinSeattle says:

    He’s a man-child, but he has a lot of life in his eyes. And probably other places.

  16. kate says:

    Harry is super hot, his voice makes him even hotter.

    man child though and that brings it down a couple of notches. video games and partying? he is 28 not 20.

    people believe that beiber is an entitled asshole? Hes 18! and a millionaire! Most 18 year old boys are assholes. Dont ever say no to one, and he becomes a mega-douche.

    Bieber will be Harry in 10 years. a BIT more wiser but still a man child douche.

  17. Lindsay says:

    Harry would make a good Christian Grey.
    Become an actor Harry!

  18. Thinker says:

    Curious. All the recent news in the States regarding studies on returning soldiers have been showing the significant importance of a supportive community of friends and family for mental health and successful readjustment. Because returning from active combat is a huge readjustment, because PTSD is real, because mental health can be achieved with support, therapy, and treatment if necessary.

    Charles, particularly, as the only living parent seems noticeably absent. Diana would have been there. She would have been there for every plane of returning soldiers, greeting them, wishing them well, crying with the families of those fallen. Nothing would have kept her from the plane that brought her boy home.

    That was her gift. Her empathy was not manufactured. Impulsive, yes, but more often than not her heart was in the right place. She had the heart of a woman and a mother.

    As someone else raised by a cold, distant but financially supportive father and a deceased but in her life, endlessly loving mother — In this moment, I really feel for Harry how devastating his mother’s absence has been. He inherited her manners and I believe her character- often I think he reminds of Diana. Even the way the palace always scowls at his nonchalance and frankness.

    • JulieM says:

      Thinker- I agree with almost everything of what you said. PTSD is a terrible after effect of being in a war zone. Suicide among returning American soldiers is at epidemic proportions. And yes, Diana, though not academically inclined, possessed an empathy one can’t learn in a book or in a classroom.

      But, I’m not sure where this Charles is a cold and distant father thing came from. By all accounts, he is a very loving father. Lousy husband to Diana. Oh, yes, that a thousand times. And I am sure Harry misses his mother every day. I miss mine. But, as several other commenters have stated above, none of the families were present to meet the transport. It is apparently not the way it is done in the UK. Who knows where Harry went after his arrival.