An openly gay British soldier credits Prince Harry with saving him from a potential gaybashing while training at CFB Suffield in Alberta.
Lance Corporal James Wharton details the confrontation with six fellow soldiers in September 2008 in his new memoir, Out in the Army: My Life as a Gay Soldier.
Exclusive excerpts of the book were published June 9 by the British Daily Mail newspaper. In them, Wharton describes climbing into a tank turret and tearfully telling Harry, his tank commander, that he was in danger.
Wharton describes Harry’s look of bewilderment at the news and his words of reassurance: “Right, I’m going to sort this shit out once and for all.”
Wharton says that Harry then confronted his tormentors, warning them of severe disciplinary action if their threats of violence continued, and adds that Harry later took the matter to a senior commander.
Wharton was the first openly gay serviceman to appear on the cover of Soldier magazine.
Harry isn’t shy around gay issues and male affection. He jokingly told the press in March that he might consider dating men if his relationship with Cressida Bonas went astray. And in 2009, British gay rights activist Peter Tatchell commended Harry after a video surfaced showing the prince telling a fellow soldier he loved him and giving him a kiss.