They are six little words that will have brought a lot of happiness to all of Prince Harry’s Australian fans. As he prepares to depart the country after four weeks there with the Australian Defence Force, Captain Wales has said ‘I don’t want to go home’.
Harry was speaking to Woman’s Weekly as his month long attachment came to an end. While the world may have been watching as he dodged a marriage proposal and a full on kiss from a girl in the crowds that turned out to see him in Sydney, the Prince was also talking to journalists and sharing his thoughts on his time in Australia.
“It’s been fantastic” said the Prince as his time in the country came to an end. He also expressed surprise at the number of people who had come to see him in Sydney, saying he was expecting to hop out of his car and find “about ten people” waiting.
However, Harry also told the publication that it had felt strange to not spend lots of time with lots of different groups during his stay in Australia. “It probably feels as if I have been slightly locked away – I know it does for me”, he told them. He added that “it would have been nice to get out and have a beer”.
Harry also said that he thought he was very lucky to have had the chance to train with his Australian colleagues for so long and he had learned a lot from them, before adding “we don’t train enough together”.
Harry arrived in Australia at the beginning of April to spend a month with the country’s Army as his own military career comes to an end. He will end his decade of active service in June this year. His time with the ADF has seen him learn survival skills with NORFORCE, take a flight in an Armed Reconnaissance Helicopter (ARH) Tiger and join a team training exercise. He has also had the opportunity to meet injured service men and women and to learn more about the support offered to them – a cause very close to his heart.
The Prince’s chat with Woman’s Weekly also covered what he had heard about the treatment a British soldier, Ali Spearing, had received at the Macquarie University Hospital having travelled from the UK for support there. “Firstly the surgery went really, really well”, said Harry, before adding “I think what they are doing here is absolutely amazing”.
Prince Harry is heading from Australia to New Zealand for his first visit to that country. He will spend a week touring North and South Island in a packed itinerary which will start on Saturday in Wellington where, after an official welcome, he will lay a wreath at the National War Memorial. Other stops on his tour include Stewart Island, Christchurch, Whanganui and Auckland. He is scheduled to head back to the UK on May 16th.
There is no doubt his hosts in New Zealand will be hoping their country makes as big an impression on the now fifth in line to the throne as their neighbours have. Watch this space for Harry’s comments in a week’s time as he prepares to leave New Zealand to see whether he shows a reluctance to quit their shores as well.
Photo credit: Commonwealth of Australia, Department of Defence