Prince Harry’s tour of Afghanistan: What next for 'Captain Wales'?

Harry will return to the UK soon after his relaxation period for a few weeks leave, but after that, his future is somewhat unclear.

As Prince Harry winds down at the of his 20-week tour of duty in Afghanistan, 'Captain Wales' can reflect on another successful military campaign.

Harry, who is returning from a five-month stint as an Apache pilot gunner, is due a stopover lasting several days on his way back to Britain, where he can relax after months of active service.

He will be one of many servicemen and women reflecting on his experience - with the help of a few hard-earned beers - in preparation for returning to life in the UK.

During the rest period in Cyprus, he'll also have plenty of time to ponder his personal future now his latest military tour is over.

Mucking in: Harry cleans up while on duty in Afghanistan (PA)

Duty calls: Captain Wales inspects his Apache Helicopter before lift off on a night mission (PA)

From the interviews he gave in Afghanistan this week, it appears Harry is more comfortable in the company of his uniformed comrades than his much more formal royal engagements back home.

He was pictured this week playing computer games with his military colleagues, enjoying down time, and generally looking at ease during stints as part of the Very High Readiness (VHR) team at Camp Bastion.

Harry will return to the UK soon after his relaxation period for a few weeks leave, but after that, his future is somewhat unclear.

Much to ponder: Prince Harry will return to the UK in the next few days (PA)The Prince himself remains coy on his next move.

He said: "I'll always be here for my grandmother and whoever needs to send me abroad for whatever reason.

"I don't really have any plans. This was my main effort to get back out to Afghanistan - that's another tick in the box.

"As to how long I'm going to spend in the Army, who knows? I will continue to bounce between my Army job and the other job."

Asked if Harry has any public engagements lined up when he returns to Britain, a Clarence House spokesperson said there is 'nothing forthcoming for the immediate future'.

The Prince has said previously he wants to keep up his helicopter flying hours, but it is also thought he will eventually return to his old regiments, the Blues and Royals.

Harry has also made it clear he wants to continue his long association with veterans' charities, which include Walking With the Wounded.

The Prince is patron of the charity's trip to the South Pole, and he is likely to join the trip later this year after revealing he'd 'love to do it'.

In the meantime, he is likely to focus on domestic matters and settling into his new home at Kensington Palace.

He is said to have secretly moved into 'KP' (as the royals call it) last year and will now be able to focus on settling into Nottingham Cottage, a self-contained house within the Palace.

New home: Prince Harry moved into Kensington Palace last year (PA)

Family time: Harry can look forward to spending more time with his brother and sister-in-law when he returns to …

The property has a private, walled garden hidden from Kensington street noise and prying eyes - a key concern for the bachelor Prince given his fondness for letting his hair down and his disdain for the UK media.

Many might expect Harry to find his own princess soon, but in the interviews given this week the Prince gives short shrift to any queries about when he'll settle down.

He admits though, that his royal status makes it difficult for him to find love.

He said: "You ain’t ever going to find someone who’s going to jump into the position that it would hold.
Simple as that."

It seems that, whatever Harry's next move is, he will forever be juggling his royal role with a desire to be 'one of the guys'.