Prince Harry meets with old friend

Published: Friday | March 9, 2012 Comments 0
Prince Harry on the firing range at the Jamaica Defence Force Headquarters, Up Park Camp, on Wednesday. Photos by Rudolph Brown/Photographer
Prince Harry on the firing range at the Jamaica Defence Force Headquarters, Up Park Camp, on Wednesday. Photos by Rudolph Brown/Photographer
Lieutenant Kayon Mills, former training partner of Prince Harry.
Lieutenant Kayon Mills, former training partner of Prince Harry.

Anastasia Cunningham, News Coordinator

LIEUTENANT KAYON Mills of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) was happy to re-establish his friendship with Prince Harry.

Both men became friends when they were assigned to the same platoon at the Royal Military Academy in Sandhurst, United Kingdom, from April 2005 to May 2006. Interacting on a daily basis through training, working, socialising, among other day-to-day activities, the two formed a bond. However, when Mills returned to Jamaica to take up his duties with the JDF, they lost touch with each other.

Twenty-seven-year-old Prince Harry moved on to become a lieutenant in the British Army.

On Wednesday, the two lieutenants were reacquainted when the prince spent the morning at JDF's headquarters at Up Park Camp, Kingston, performing a number of military activities and unveiling a plaque at the new Rappel and Fast Rope Tower.

Mills said the prince greeted him at breakfast and the two reminisced on their days at the academy.

Shooting skills

Later out on the firing range, Prince Harry got excellent ratings from the military men at JDF for his shooting skills, hitting both his targets dead centre with all 16 live rounds fired from 30 metres.

'Millsy', as Prince Harry affectionately calls him, said that was the soldier he knew and admired in the prince, both for his down-to-earth personality and military discipline.

"He was always a great soldier and trained very hard. He sticks to command, is disciplined, has a high sense of integrity and moral standards," said Mills.

"Although he was royalty, it did not appear like he was royalty. He was on the same level with us. He was one of the guys, one of the boys he was also a team player and a team member, with us through thick and thin, doing everything we did. Lying in the trenches, on the firing line, on the firing range, he was seen as an equal with us."

Remembering the first time he met Prince Harry, he said, after a few days, no one remembered he was royalty.

"He was humorous, jovial, and allowed people around him to be comfortable," shared Mills.

Noting that, while in England, he and the prince did both military and non-military things, including going out a few times, Mills said, now that he has re-established contact with Prince Harry he is going to keep the link.

"He is more than an officer or soldier to me, he is actually my friend. Although we have not kept in contact over the period, because his number changes ever so often, now we have re-established the bond and we are thinking about future endeavours, and we will definitely keep in contact going forward," said Mills.

Prince Henry of Wales (also known as Prince Harry) left the island yesterday for Brazil, as he wraps up his Diamond Jubilee tour of the Caribbean, which started in Belize then The Bahamas. The tour was in celebration of his grandmother's 60th year as the queen of England.

anastasia.cunningham@gleanerjm.com

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