I’ve Harry’s back for 15 years and always championed him but he’s wrong on this one: Double amputee war hero who inspired Invictus slams Duke’s claim British press did not cover plight of wounded troops in Afghanistan
An amputee war hero blown up in Afghanistan and hailed a ‘hero’ by Prince Harry has told how disagrees with claims made by the duke the media did not cover the plight of wounded British troops.
In his new Netflix series, Harry claims he felt furious that UK media ignored British troops wounded in Afghanistan – despite multiple newspapers running regular front pages on the conflict and special features about the troops who lost their lives.
The Duke of Sussex‘s controversial comments are featured in his new ‘Heart Of Invictus’ series, a five-part documentary that follows the struggles faced by injured veterans. But his comments have provoked fury among military heroes, who are now turning their back on the once ‘beloved’ royal.
Former Royal Marine Ben McBean, 36, lost an arm and a leg to a landmine blast in Helmand Province, Afghanistan in 2008, aged just 20 and reportedly inspired the Prince’s Invictus Games for disabled servicemen
But taking Twitter, Ben hit out at the Prince’s claim the UK press had overlooked wounded troops and wrote: ‘Still love Harry but again I have to disagree. Not sure what media he’s on about but I know the British media did cover veterans for years.’
He also told The Sun: ‘I have had his back for 15 years. I’ve always championed him but it doesn’t mean I have to agree with everything that comes out of his mouth. On this one the Duke of Sussex is wrong.
‘One of the only positives post-injury was how the media supported the troops. They didn’t write us off and told the world about us and our disabilities.’
The news comes as other commanders and senior veterans rounded on the prince over his comments, with SAS hero Andy McNab saying: ‘To claim media outlets weren’t fighting for our injured servicemen is offensive and rubbish.’
Ex-forces commander Lord Richard Dannatt echoed the late Queen, saying: ‘Recollections may vary.’
The 72-year-old veteran was Chief of the General Staff when Harry served and brokered the news blackout deal which enabled his tour to go ahead.
Speaking to The Sun about the Prince’s comments on Netflix, Lord Dannatt said: ‘Being kind, I would say that Prince Harry’s recollections are not as clear as they might be.
‘He may recall the support he and William gave to Help For Heroes in the early days given it was launched on October 1, 2007.
‘There is no doubt that Prince Harry returning from his deployment to Afghanistan with injured soldiers brought a fresh focus to the sacrifice many families made.
‘But his comments and that focus were one amongst many and there had already been a shift in public support for our service people.’
Colonel Richard Kemp, the former commander of the British forces in Afghanistan, said the prince’s constant media sniping of his family was turning servicemen and women against him.
He told TalkTV: ‘Prince Harry enjoyed enormous popularity with the armed forces both for his determination to serve in Afghanistan on two occasions and also for the help he gave to wounded soldiers, partly through the Invictus Games.
‘Unfortunately he has blown most of that away now. A combination of him turning on his own family, the Royal Family, which means such a lot to the armed forces, and his attempt to exploit his own service for his own publicity purposes.
‘We only need to think back about what he said about how he killed so many Taliban members a short while ago in his memoir Spare…. What [Harry] was doing was fighting a very, very remote distance, not the kind of thing in my view that would result in in serious stress and PTSD.’
The former commander previously critised Harry’s public revelation about how many Taliban he had killed and claimed the royal had distorted the truth about the way the British Army fights and was trying to justify his service to ‘the woke elements’.
It came after the Duke of Sussex claimed in his autobiography Spare to have killed 25 enemy fighters during two tours of Afghanistan – calling his victims ‘chess pieces’ rather than people as a means of bearing the emotional strain of taking dozens of lives.
Prince Harry later justified revealing his Taliban kill-count to US Magazine People because soldiers should discuss ‘parts of our service that haunt us’.
As well as criticising the media in his latest Netflix offering, Harry also claimed he did not have a support network after returning from serving in Afghanistan and his trauma dating back to his mother Princess Diana’s death was ‘never discussed’, in another apparent swipe at the Royal Family.