Prince William makes fleeting Afghan visit

Prince William met frontline British troops in Afghanistan on Monday in a secret three-hour visit, Clarence House has said

Prince William met frontline British troops in Afghanistan on Monday in a secret three-hour visit, Clarence House said last night.

The prince spent his time at the Kandahar airfield in southern Afghanistan meeting members of the 3rd Battalion of the Parachute Regiment, known as 3 Para.

He had flown out in a C-17 Globemaster military transport plane which left RAF Brize Norton, Oxfordshire, on Sunday, and landed in Afghanistan the following day - he flew the plane for part of the journey. After leaving Afghanistan, the prince flew on to Al Udeid airbase in Qatar. The round trip lasted about 30 hours.

A Clarence House spokesman said the trip had been kept confidential for security reasons and that the Prince of Wales and the Queen gave their consent.

"The purpose of the trip was for the prince to familiarise himself with the operations of the RAF in theatre."

The Ministry of Defence said the trip would have enabled the prince to understand the use of airpower and given him an opportunity to sample the "RAF's diverse range of the capabilities".

Earlier this month the MoD had to defend him when it emerged that he and his brother, Prince Harry, had travelled to their cousin's pre-wedding celebrations in an RAF Chinook helicopter. It was piloted by Prince William from RAF Cranwell in Lincolnshire to Woolwich barracks in London where he picked up his brother. The pair then continued on to the Isle of Wight, where they disembarked and met Princess Anne's son, Peter Phillips, who is getting married next month.

Last month Prince William was presented with his pilot's "wings" by Prince Charles at a graduation ceremony.


Thair Shaikh

The GuardianTramp

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