Prince Harry has been fighting the Taliban on the front line in Afghanistan, the Ministry of Defence has confirmed.
The news became public today despite a news blackout observed unanimously by UK journalists. Editors have known for months that the royal was serving on the frontline but made an agreement with the MoD not to publish this fact to protect both Harry and the soldiers he is serving with.
The 23-year-old Household Cavalry officer has spent the past 10 weeks secretly serving in war-ravaged Helmand Province.
But the arrangement has broken down after news was leaked out on the US website the Drudge Report.
As part of the deal a group of journalists had visited the Prince in Helmand on condition that details would only be publicised once he was safely back in the UK.
The deal was arranged after Harry’s planned tour to Iraq last year had to be cancelled because of a security risk sparked by publicity.
After the disappointment over Iraq, when Harry was due to work as a Scimitar light tank troop leader, he retrained as a battlefield air controller known as a JTAC (Joint Terminal Attack Controller) with a view to going to Afghanistan.
He flew out on December 14, two months into the current winter tour.
He spent several weeks working in Garmsir in the far south of Helmand Province, operating just 500m from front line Taliban positions. He has since left Garmsir to work in another part of Helmand Province, details of which cannot be reported for security reasons.
There is no immediate steer from the Ministry of Defence on the future of his deployment.