Gay soldier reveals Prince Harry defended him from homophobic abuse

16 January 2020, 07:27

Prince Harry served as a tank commander in the Blues and Royals
Prince Harry served as a tank commander in the Blues and Royals. Picture: PA
EJ Ward

By EJ Ward

A former soldier who served with Prince Harry in the army said that the royal defended him from other soldiers who had taunted him for being gay and that the abuse stopped once the prince confronted them.

James Wharton told the Forces Network that Prince Harry defended him against homophobic taunting back in 2008 when the Duke of Sussex was his tank commander. 

"I’d got myself into a bit of a situation with some soldiers from another regiment and, essentially, they didn’t like the fact that I was gay,” Wharton said.

“They were sort-of chest poking me and making me feel quite uncomfortable.

“I got into my tank where Prince Harry was doing something, and he could see that I was clearly affected by something and he asked me what the problem was.”

James Wharton served with Prince Harry
James Wharton served with Prince Harry. Picture: PA/JW

Mr Wharton continued: “I told him that there were a couple of soldiers outside who weren’t very happy with the fact that I was gay.”

The former soldier revealed that the Duke of Sussex was “quite offended” that he was being picked on.

“Prince Harry went out and saw these soldiers and spoke to them, and the problem went away,” he said.

“He told them off and they left me alone.”

Prince Harry has long been an ally to the LGBTQ community through his philanthropic efforts, and his mother Princess Diana worked to destigmatize the lesbian and gay community in the United Kingdom during the HIV/AIDS crisis in the 1980s.

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