Prince Harry, 38, used his Megxit memoir ‘Spare’ to claim he killed 25 Taliban while fighting in Afghanistan. The comments received huge backlash online from veterans who accused the royal of going against military etiquette and discretion.
“Without a doubt, the most dangerous lie that they have told it that I somehow boasted about the number of people I killed in Afghanistan,” Harry told Colbert.
The royal flew Apache helicopters and took part in six missions while he was out there.
The former soldier stated in his memoir that the “era of Apache’s and laptops” meant he could say “with exactness” how many enemies he had killed.
He wrote: “It seemed to me essential not to be afraid of that number. So, my number is 25.”
Harry added: “It’s not a number that fills me with satisfaction, but nor does it embarrass me.”
The comments have caused outrage on social media as journalists and royal commentators accused the royal of causing a security ‘nightmare’.
Royal commentator Phil Dampier said: “Prince Harry has said in the past one of his major aims is to protect his family. Is it really wise for him to admit killing 25 Taliban in Afghanistan?
“Surely this is not the best way of doing that? It must make him more of a target. I have never known any other servicemen talk in such detail about these things in a theatre of war before.”
The Duke of Sussex was pulled out of Afghanistan 10 weeks into a tour after security fears were raised when it was revealed he was flying helicopters.
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The Duke of Sussex continued his attack on the press by accusing it of taking his comments out of context and publicising a “lie”, adding that if he heard someone boasting about that kind of number, he would be “angry”.
Harry said: “It’s a lie, and hopefully, now the book is out, people will be able to see the context and it is really troubling and very disturbing that they can get away with it because they had the context.
“They have the whole section, they ripped it away and said ‘here it is, he is boasting on this’.”
The father-of-two added that he decided to share such sensitive information in his book due to his experiences over nearly 20 years of working with veterans.
He concluded: “I think the most important thing is to be honest and to give space to others, to be able to share their experiences without any shame.
“My whole goal and attempt with sharing that detail is to reduce the number of suicides.”