Prince Harry left out of Sandhurst alumni book while Prince William writes foreword
Book lists ‘exceptional’ graduates but omits the Duke, despite his decorated military history
The Duke of Sussex has been left out of a Sandhurst alumni book that included a foreword written by his brother, the Prince of Wales.
In They Also Served: 200 People Who Trained At Sandhurst, author Vaughan Kent-Payne explores “exceptional” graduates who have “gained recognition beyond” the Armed Forces.
However, while alumni mentioned include the Prince of Wales, Winston Churchill and Tim Peake, Prince Harry only receives a small mention in a passage about his brother.
It reads: “His [William’s] status as a future king meant that he could not be deployed on operations like his younger brother, Harry.”
Ben McBean, a former Royal Marine and double amputee who inspired Prince Harry’s Invictus Games, said the omission from the book was “a bit petty”.
“He’s done enough to be in there,” he told The Telegraph. “He’s done more than most but people forget that. Afghanistan, twice. Pilot, set up Invictus Games.
“I just think he’s done enough to be in there. The reason he’s not is probably because he’s fallen out with his family. I’m pretty sure if he hadn’t he’d be in there.”
Prince Harry, 39, was accused of “betraying” the military and putting serving British soldiers and the greater public at risk after claiming in his memoir, Spare, that he killed 25 Taliban insurgents.
He revealed how in 2012 he flew on six missions during his second tour in Afghanistan and killed 25 Taliban fighters, whom he viewed as “chess pieces removed from the board”.
Colonel Richard Kemp, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, said the omission was likely a combination of the Prince having fallen out with members of his family and the comments over his tours in Afghanistan.
“Harry is a notable graduate of Sandhurst due to his royal status,” he said. “Beyond that he insisted on deploying to Afghanistan despite senior level opposition and did a great deal to help wounded veterans, such as through the Invictus Games.
“I think the reasons he was omitted were his efforts to undermine the Royal family in recent years plus his comments about how he was trained in the army to see the enemy as less than human and pieces on the chess board which could easily be used to radicalise jihadists.”
He added: “I suspect the editors would have considered him as a suitable candidate and omitted him for those reasons, although with a cast of only 200 many even more notable Sandhurst alumni have also been left out.”
Mr Kent-Payne is the executive director of The Sandhurst Trust, the academy’s official charity. All proceeds from his book will go to the trust. Defence sources stressed the trust was “entirely separate” from the Sandhurst Academy.
“During his research the author wrote biographies of over 300 notable RMAS alumni,” they added. “The most difficult editorial choice was to decide which of these deserving stories would not be in the finished book, and there were many exceptional individuals that were not included – including other Royals.”
A Sandhurst spokesman said: “They Also Served highlights the breadth of accomplishments and experiences across Sandhurst graduates rather than just focusing on the most well-known. It showcases a small and carefully selected cross section of more than 40,000 British and 5,500 international officers who have trained at the Academy since 1947.”