Gay Soldier: Prince Harry Saved Me From Beating


A gay British soldier says Prince Harry stepped in to protect him from being beaten by several other soldiers in 2008.

Trooper James Wharton writes in his book about his 10-year military career as an openly gay soldier, "Out in the Army," that he was confronted by "six extremely angry infantry sergeants" during a training exercise in Canada, The Sunday Times reported.

The sergeants accused him of spreading rumors about one of their soldiers and Wharton, a 21-year-old gunner at the time, went to Prince Harry, his tank commander, telling him he believed he was "about to be murdered."

"I climbed into the turret and talked Harry through exactly what had happened," Wharton wrote. "I didn't hold back, I told him everything that had gone on. I couldn't stop the tears welling up in my eyes. He said, 'Right, I'm going to sort this [expletive] out once and for all.' "

The Sun reported the prince made good on that pledge.

"He climbed out of the tank and I poked my head out of the turret a few moments later to see him having a go," Wharton wrote. "I could see he wasn't holding back.

"I will always be grateful to Harry and I will never forget. Until he went over I was on track for a battering."

The Express reported shadow Defense Secretary Jim Murphy said everyone "will applaud Prince Harry. Our forces should reflect the modern-day Britain they fight so hard to defend."

Ben Summerskill of the gay and lesbian charity Stonewall told the Express he "take[s] my hat off to him for protecting James Wharton."

Buckingham Palace had no comment on the incident, the Express said.

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