Gay soldier says Prince Harry protected him from homophobic abuse

Prince Harry outside the Auwal Masjid in Bo-Kaap.
A former soldier has opened up about how Prince Harry protected him from homophobia in the army. 

James Wharton, a gay man, spoke with Forces News about his time under the Duke of Sussex, Prince Harry who was his tank commander in 2008.

“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.”

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.”

Wharton says that Prince Harry was quite offended that he was targeted and picked on because of his sexuality.

“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”.

Wharton praised Prince Harry as a “good” officer who was “well-liked,” but that hasn’t been the only time Wharton has opened up about Prince Harry’s support while they served in the armed forces together.

In 2013, his book Out in the Army, Wharton wrote that he was threatened by a group of soldiers, “I told him [Prince Harry], ‘I think I’m going to be murdered by the infantry.’ I climbed into the turret and talked Harry through exactly what had happened. He had a complete look of bewilderment on his face.

“I couldn’t stop the tears from welling up in my eyes. He said, ‘Right I’m going to sort this s**t out once and for all.’”

“I will always be grateful to Harry,” Wharton continued. “I will never forget what happened. Until he went over and dealt with everything I was on track for a battering”.

This little anecdote comes at a time when Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle have made headlines after announcing that they will be stepping down as senior members of the Royal family and splitting their time between the UK and the US.