Prince Harry Saves Gay Soldier From Homophobic Attack
Prince Harry stepped in to save a gay soldier who feared he was to be murdered in a homophobic attack by a rival regiment, it has been claimed.
8:38AM BST 09 Jun 2013
Trooper James Wharton went to find the Prince – who was his tank commander -after the six soldiers threatened to “batter” him.
The third-in-line to the throne confronted the men and told them they would face severe discipline if they continued to make threats, he said.
Trooper Wharton describes the Prince as “one of my greatest protectors”, and claims that his acceptance of his homosexuality made him realise that he was right to be open about it, despite an attack which left him hospitalised.
Trooper Wharton went to find the Prince and tearfully told him “I think I’m going to be murdered by the infantry,” the Mail on Sunday reported.
As he explained what had happened Harry had a “complete look of bewilderment” on his face and responded: “Right I’m going to sort this —— out once and for all.”
Moment later Trooper Wharton poked his head out of the tank to “see him having a go”.
“I could see he wasn’t holding back,” added Trooper Wharton, who was 21 at the time and has since left the forces.
Harry, a Troop Commander in the Blues and Royals, informed a senior officer of what was happening before assuring the soldier that it was “sorted”.
Trooper Wharton, who was on training in Canada with the Prince at the time of the 2008 incident, said: “I will always be grateful to Harry and I will never forget what happened. Until he went over and dealt with everything I was on track for a battering.”
Trooper Wharton, who in 2009 became the first homosexual soldier to appear on the front of the Armed Forces magazine, has written about his experiences alongside the young Prince in his new book Out in the Army.
He claims that after sharing a tank for several weeks they became friend and Harry discussed his sex life and the fact that he had been told he and his brother Prince William were gay icons.
Shadow Defence Secretary Jim Murphy praised his efforts to protect his troops, adding: “The whole country will applaud Prince Harry. Our Forces should reflect the modern-day Britain they fight so hard to defend.”
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