Guardian journalist (deputy fashion editor) Hadley Freeman is branching out; fresh from a fawning column on Obama's inauguration, she chooses a similarly royal figure as her next subject - Captain Harry Wales, aka Prince Harry:
No matter how many times he insists he is just a normal soldier, and no matter how many members of his squadron are trotted out to parrot the line, the fact remains he is royal and his presence there arguably – as many have pointed out previously, including Harry – puts his fellow soldiers in danger.Harry's part of the UK Apache contingent, Hadley. They have been top of the Taliban target list ever since their deployment in 2007. Apaches are hated and feared by the Taliban - see for instance the book "Apache" by UK AH-64 pilot Ed Macy. Having Prince Harry in Bastion or cruising around the sky in an AH-64 is not going to make the Apache crew any more of a priority target than they already are. The Taliban would like nothing better than to kill an Apache crew, or better yet capture them and film them having their head slowly sawn off. I'm sure that if they caught Harry rather than J. Random other Apache pilot it would be an extra frisson for them, but that doesn't make it any more likely to happen. They would have to be exceptionally lucky with a heavy machine gun or RPG, or be in luck when an Apache suffers a serious mechanical failure far from base.
Hadley's take on Captain Wales is fairly clear:
The nation's eyes will collectively remain unbatted at the revelation from Captain Simon Beattie, Captain Wales's commander, that his charge is "pretty forward on the banter". No word on whether that banter includes racist terms such as "Paki" and "raghead", as it did three years ago in reference to one of Harry's then Sandhurst colleagues.Ah yes, the racially prejudiced and colonial UK monarchy. Now we see where you're coming from, Hadley. No doubt you're waiting with baited breath for a UK version of Bradley Manning to leak UK Apache gun camera tapes showing Captain Wales mercilessly gunning down Afghan civilians.
I perhaps ought to take up commentary on fashion, since I'm clearly at least as well informed on that topic as Hadley is in matters military.