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Royals lead tributes to those who served in Iraq and Afghanistan

telegraph.co.uk
Prince Harry 'calls for UK military to be given Purple Heart medal equivalent for soldiers wounded or killed in battle'
Prince Harry has reportedly called for British military personnel who are wounded or killed in service to be awarded with a medal based on America’

“Prince Harry has reportedly called for British military personnel who are wounded or killed in service to be awarded with a medal based on America’s Purple Heart.

Harry, 31, who served on the front line in Afghanistan, is a dedicated campaigner for injured troops and has previously spoken out about the stigma for those wounded in combat.

Now it is claimed he wants the British Armed Forces to recognise these servicemen and servicewomen.

Prince Harry is a huge ambassador for the wounded and feels it is hard to understand why there is no recognition for the wounded,“ a military source told The Mirror.

The pace of fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan heightened every week and field hospitals like the one in Camp Bastion, Helmand Province, worked at a furious pace. But Harry has been saying for some time that the wounded need to have their sacrifice and suffering recognised.

To be wounded fighting is a big deal and it would be a huge honour to receive such a medal as a symbol of gratitude from Britain, and Prince Harry knows that.

In the past whenever the subject of a Purple Heart-style medal for British troops comes up military commanders have dismissed it as not British.

"But that sentiment now looks outdated and inappropriate.”

The Purple Heart is a US military medal awarded to servicemen or servicewomen wounded on, or after, 5 April 1917. It  is also presented to the family of a member of the person who has been killed in this period.

The enamel and metal heart, suspended from a purple ribbon, bears the profile of George Washington.

The Purple Heart lost respect during the Second World War because hundreds of thousands were awarded, often for trifling injuries not sustained in combat. As a result, the American armed forces tightened up the qualification, and it is now again an esteemed award.

In the First World War, the British Army introduced “wound stripes”, a cloth bar worn on the cuff. But, again, the stripes were distributed too generously and they were dropped after the Armistice.

The British Elizabeth Cross medal was inaugurated in 2009 to honour the next-of-kin of military personnel killed in action, or as a result of a terrorist attack, since the Second World War - but there is no equivalent for the wounded.

Prince Harry left the military after spending 10 years in the Cavalry and Army Air Corps, and has since campaigned to help servicemen and servicewomen.

In 2014, he launched the Invictus Games for those injured in service to compete in sports.

At the opening ceremony, Harry told wounded troops of his time in battle: “I saw the sacrifices you and your families made to serve your nations.

"I began to understand the real, permanent cost of war.”

Kensington Palace and the Ministry of Defence declined to comment.”

Upcoming Engagements Update!

There are four confirmed official upcoming engagements for Catherine: 

  • February 22nd: The Duchess of Cambridge will visit two Action for Children Projects in Wales. This is Catherine’s first visit to the charity since becoming Patron. The two projects HRH will visit will be: 
    • Torfaen to visit “MIST”.
    • Caerphilly Family Intervention Team (FIT). 
  • February 28th: The Duchess of Cambridge will visit the opening of the new Ronald McDonald House in Evelina, London.
    • Catherine will learn more about the Ronald McDonald House and how it treats those in Evelina, London. 
    • Catherine will be given a tour of the new house and meet families.
    • Catherine will attend a reception in the “Day Room” and unveil a plaque marking the new Ronald McDonald House’s opening.
  • March 9th: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge will join other Royal Family members to attend the Iraq Afghanistan Memorial.
    • Afterwards, The Royal Family will attend a reception on Horse Guards Parade. 
  • March 17th - March 18th: The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge undertake an official two-day visit to Paris.
    • Details of The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge’s itinerary for the visit will be announced within the next few weeks.

Keep checking back at our site to keep yourself updated on all of Catherine’s upcoming engagements! 

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Prince Harry runs to the ice cream truck.  While being interviewed in Afghanistan