Public faith in Harry is vindicated
Despite his antics in Las Vegas, there is a great deal of public goodwill towards Prince Harry. The reaction to the disclosure of photographs which showed him naked at a party was not one of condemnation.
The general feeling seemed to be that it was no more than a case of youthful high spirits, rather than a royal scandal.
The prince's deployment to Afghanistan, announced by the Ministry of Defence yesterday, shows that the public's faith in him is justified.
Beneath the clowning around he is clearly a young man who shows an admirable sense of duty; prepared to put himself at risk in the service of his country.
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We already know that of the prince through his previous tour of duty in Afghanistan in 2007/8.
That mission – in which he served as a forward air controller directing bombing strikes against Taliban positions – was cut short after the Australian and US media revealed details of his deployment and the Ministry of Defence decided to pull him out believing the risk to his safety was too great.
It is to his credit, however, that he has gone back to the front line; even more so that he is in a combat role flying missions against the Taliban in an Apache helicopter.
The threat to Apache aircraft and crew in Afghanistan is regarded by the Ministry of Defence as "low" and the British have never lost one of these attack helicopters.
Even so, the risk is a real one and one can imagine that the Taliban would love nothing more than to bring down an Apache, particularly Prince Harry's.
The prince's determination to do his bit, despite that nightmare scenario, shows great courage.
His deployment to Afghanistan also provides a little more context to the partying he did in Las Vegas.
Faced with four months living in a shipping container at a military base where alcohol is banned, it is easier to understand why he wanted to let his hair down.
Good luck to him on his tour of duty. Britain is proud of him.