(Transcript from World News Radio)
The news of a four week visit to Australia next month by Britain’s Prince Harry has been met with enthusiasm from those in the military and the general public.
The popular Royal figure announced that he will spend a month training with the Australian army in Darwin, Perth and Sydney.
The secondment will precede Prince Harry’s resignation from the military, after a decade in service.
Abby Dinham reports.
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Known as Captain Harry Wales in the British army, Prince Harry is heading to Australia for his last military tour.
Philip Benwell of the Australian Monarchist League says he expects a warm welcome for the fourth in line to the throne.
“A lot of Australians will be delighted to have him with us, proud to have him with us because he is in many ways a war hero and I think Harry likewise will be delighted to be amongst Australians.”
An Apache helicopter pilot, Harry will quit the British armed forces in June following a decade of military service, and two tours in Afghanistan.
Mr Benwell says his post-military career will take some getting used to.
“It will be a bit of a rough transition but I don’t think by any means there will be much sitting around I think he’ll commence a very active life in the civilian world.”
In a statement, the Prince said he’s at a crossroads of his military career, but is fortunate enough to continue to wear the uniform and mix with fellow servicemen and women for the rest of his life.
He also stated that spending time with the Australian Defence Force will be incredible and he expects to learn a lot.
The Australia Defence Association’s Neil James says Prince Harry will be a valuable temporary asset to the ADF.
“His particular skills as an attack helicopter pilot and we don’t have too many of them with combat experience so it’ll be very handy to pass on that knowledge in particular.”
Prince Harry worked in Queensland as a jackeroo during his gap year in 2003, then two years ago he came out to Sydney to mark the centenary of the Australian navy.
This time he’ll be embedded with the army in Darwin, Perth and Sydney.
Mr James says there will be many benefits of his secondment.
“It’ll work on the professional experience exchange it’ll work to broaden his experience in the Australian military and third the young women of Australia will get a kick for a month or so.”
The Australian Defence Force says it’s prepared a challenging program for the prince – with field training exercises and deployments here – giving plenty of opportunity for Royal followers to catch a glimpse of him.
“Obviously a lot of people would like to have him here.//He works in the military a noble thing to do.//He’s very nice.//Loveable rogue really haha.//He’s a very nice young man but I’m not a royalist.”
The Prince is expected to arrive mid-April.