Prince Harry rescued a gay soldier who feared he was going to be murdered in a homophobic attack by troops from a rival regiment, it has been claimed.
The prince stepped in to save Trooper James Wharton after he was confronted by six soldiers who were threatening to ‘batter’ him
The third-in-line to the throne confronted the men and told them they would face severe disciplinary action if they continued to make threats, he said.
Trooper Wharton describes Prince Harry as ‘one of my greatest protectors’, and claims the royal’s acceptance of his homosexuality made him realise that he was right to be open about it, despite another attack which left him hospitalised.
He revealed he had gone to find the prince – who was his tank commander in the Blues and Royals – and tearfully told him what had happened after being confronted by the soldiers.
‘I told him: “I think I’m going to be murdered by the infantry.” He had a complete look of bewilderment on his face. ‘I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up in my eyes. He said: “Right I’m going to sort this s*** out once and for all”.
‘He climbed out of the tank and I poked my head out of the turret a few moments later to see him having a go,’ Trooper Wharton said.
After taking on the gang, Prince Harry briefed a senior officer before returning to assure Trooper Wharton the situation had been ‘sorted’.
The soldier, who quit the Army earlier this year, 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.’
Details of the incident, which happened during a training exercise in Canada in 2008, have emerged after Trooper Wharton wrote about his experiences during his ten-year military career, called Out In The Army, which is being serialised by the Mail on Sunday.
News of the 28-year-old prince’s actions have been met with widespread approval.
Conservative MP Colonel Bob Stewart, who led British troops in Bosnia, said: ‘Well done Harry. It’s typical of him and of young officers in the British Army today, really superb.’
Ben Summerskill, of the gay and lesbian charity Stonewall, added: ‘I take my hat off to him for protecting James Wharton.’