The ‘Best Escape’ From Royal Life Prince Harry Ever Had

As a member of the royal family who is high up in the line of succession (sixth to be exact), not to mention the son of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, Prince Harry, the Duke of Sussex, has always been in the public eye.

While periods of his life have offered the prince more shelter from the outside world (like when he grieved the loss of his mother), he has, for the most part, had to deal with being one of the main faces of the royal family. But he, like everyone else, needs a break. Except he’s taking a break from being a prince and a public figure. Keep reading to learn what the prince considers to be the “best escape” he’s ever had from his life as a royal.

But he, like everyone else, needs a break. Except he’s taking a break from being a prince and a public figure. Keep reading to learn what the prince considers to be the “best escape” he’s ever had from his life as a royal.

Prince Harry on ‘the best escape’ he has ‘ever had’

“Being in the army was the best escape I’ve ever had,” Prince Harry told Newsweek in 2017, according to Reader’s Digest.  The now 34-year-old prince served in the British military for ten years and went by “Captain Wales.”

Prince Harry wears the beret of the Blues and Royals in his final training exercise, Exercise Threshold on March 11, 2006, in Cyprus. | Ian Holding/MoD/Anwar Hussein Collection/Getty Images

Prince Harry began his military training in 2005 after he passed a qualifying exam in 2004, according to the royal family’s official website. He spent nearly the entire year in 2005 — 44 weeks — training, then joined the Blues and Royals in 2006.

Prince Harry ‘resentful’ after first tour

Secretly, Prince Harry flew to Afghanistan in late 2007 where he worked as a forward air controller. But 10 weeks in, the press leaked his top-secret deployment causing the prince to return to London because of security issues.

“I felt very resentful,” Prince Harry told Newsweek. “Being in the army was the best escape I’ve ever had. I felt as though I was really achieving something.”

Prince Harry
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex visits Croke Park, home of Ireland’s largest sporting organization, the Gaelic Athletic Association on July 11, 2018, in Dublin, Ireland. |Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage

In another interview with Robin Roberts of ABC News, he described himself as being “broken” after leaving his “team” of soldiers behind. After being “literally being plucked out of my team,” Prince Harry reflected on what happened on the flight home. “And there was an element of me thinking, ‘I’m an officer, I’m leaving my soldiers and it’s not my own decision.’ I was broken,” he told Roberts.

He returned for a second tour

Five years later he returned to Afghanistan, based at Camp Bastion in the province of Helmand. The prince spent his second tour of duty as an Apache Helicopter pilot.

Prince Harry in 2015.
Prince Harry smiles while walking past journalists during a visit to the Sydney Opera House in Sydney on May 7, 2015. | SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images

“All I wanted to do was prove that I had a certain set of skills—for instance, flying an Apache helicopter—rather than just being Prince Harry,” he said. “I also felt I was one of the lads and could forget I was Prince Harry when I was with them.”

Prince Harry established the Invictus Games for veterans

During his Newsweek interview, Prince Harry discussed finding meaning in his life outside the royal family. “I feel there is just a smallish window when people are interested in me before [William’s children] take over, and I’ve got to make the most of it,” he told Newsweek.

And make the most of it he has. He started the Invictus Games, an athletic competition for wounded veterans. The prince’s inspiration stemmed from the 2013 Warrior Games, according to the Invictus Games Foundation.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry at the Invictus Games in 2017.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry attend the Wheelchair Tennis on day 3 of the Invictus Games Toronto 2017 at Nathan Philips Square on September 25, 2017, in Toronto, Canada. | Karwai Tang/WireImage

The Invictus Games hold meaning for Prince Harry in another way. When the games were held in Toronto in 2017, Meghan Markle, now Prince Harry’s wife, attended the games with him marking their first big public outing. The fifth Invictus Games will be held at The Hague in 2020.