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Prince Harry ‘aims to regain military titles he was forced to give up’

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The Duke of Sussex is keen to retain his honorary military titles and spend more time in Britain, a friend has claimed ahead of the one-year review of ‘Megxit’.

Prince Harry is expected to fight to keep the three patronages which he had to give up after stepping down as a senior royal last March and moving to the US.

The titles held by the 36-year-old were Captain General of the Royal Marines; Honorary Air Commandant of RAF Honington in Bury St Edmunds; and Commodore-in-Chief, Small Ships and Diving, Royal Naval Command.

Harry’s friend, who has not been named, told the Daily Telegraph: ‘His military work is one of the most important things to him. Of course he wants to keep them.’

The Duke is said to believe that he should retain the patronages, given that he spent ten years in the Army and has continuing links with the Invictus Games Foundation.

Prince Harry at the Royal Marines Commando Training Centre in Devon in September 2018

Prince Harry at the Royal Marines Commando Training Centre in Devon in September 2018

But it is understood that Harry, who married Meghan Markle in May 2018, may have to give up the titles because he does not plan to return to royal duties.

The friend added that he had always intended to regularly travel between the US and UK after moving to California, and only the pandemic has forced him to stay there.  

It comes after Harry’s commitment to the Armed Forces was described as ‘steadfast and unquestionable’ at the High Court in London on Monday.

His legal team said the Duke had made ‘concerted efforts’ to maintain his links with British servicemen and women despite now living in America.

It came as Harry settled a libel action over an article in The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline which wrongly claimed he had turned his back on the Royal Marines.

The Duke launched libel proceedings over the article published last October, and The Mail on Sunday and MailOnline published an apology in December.

Harry and Meghan arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020

Harry and Meghan arrive at the Commonwealth Service at Westminster Abbey in March 2020

The court heard the publications now accepted the allegations were false. The publisher, Associated Newspapers, also agreed to pay Harry’s legal costs.

Harry’s lawyer Jenny Afia told the court: ‘The duke’s commitment to the men and women who have put their lives on the line, to those who have made the ultimate sacrifice for their country and to military families, is steadfast and unquestionable.’

She said the stories ‘constituted not only a personal attack upon the duke’s character but also wrongly brought into question his service to this country’.

Yesterday, Harry announced the next Invictus Games in the Netherlands had been postponed for another year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Harry insisted its ‘mission will continue to shine through’ after the global event, which was due to be held this summer in The Hague was moved to spring 2022. 

The Duke salutes at the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, on November 8, 2018

The Duke salutes at the Field of Remembrance at Westminster Abbey, on November 8, 2018

Organisers considered staging the event for sick, wounded and injured veterans and serving military later in the year, and even digitally.

However they wanted to preserve the experience for competitors and provide them with certainty. The Hague Games were originally due to be staged in May 2020.

Harry was inspired to found the global tournament after attending the Warrior Games in Colorado in 2013 and seeing how injured US military personnel thrived on the challenge of taking part in competitive sports that aided their recovery.

He went on to stage the inaugural games in London’s Olympic Park in 2014, followed by Orlando in 2016, Toronto in 2017 and Sydney in 2018.

This post was first published on DailyMail.

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