Prince Harry opens up about extreme torture training in the army - 'Two guys went mad'


Sunday January 8th at 9pm on ITV1 and ITVX 

Pictured: Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex interviewed by Tom Bradby in California.

ITV will show an exclusive interview with Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex, next Sunday in which he will talk in-depth to Tom Bradby, journalist and ITV News at Ten presenter, covering a range of subjects including his personal relationships, never-before-heard details surrounding the death of his mother, Diana, and a look ahead at his future. 

The 90 minute programme, produced by ITN Productions for ITV, will be broadcast two days before Prince Harry’s autobiography ‘Spare’ is published on 10 January, by Transworld.

The book has been billed by publisher Penguin Random House as “a landmark publication full of insight, revelation, self-examination, and hard-won wisdom about the eternal power of love over grief”.

Filmed in California, where Harry now lives, Harry: The Interview, sees the Prince go into unprecedented depth and detail on life in and out of the Royal Family.

Speaking to Tom Bradby, who he has known for more than 20 years, Prince Harry shares his personal story, in his own words.

Michael Jermey, ITV Director of News and Current Affairs, said: “It is extremely rare for a member of the Royal Family to speak so openly about their experience at the heart of the institution. 

“Tom Bradby’s interview with Prince Harry will be a programme that everyone with an informed opinion on the monarchy should want to watch.
Harry during a recent interview with ITV to promote his new memoir, Spare. (ITV)

Prince Harry's military career in Afghanistan has been subject to intense scrutiny after he revealed he killed 25 Taliban in his controversial memoir Spare.

Criticised widely for this apparent “boast” - a charge Harry has firmly rejected, saying his comments have been taken out of context - the revelation has even sparked condemnation from the Iranian government.

But Harry’s description of his time in the army contains much more than his personal kill count. He shares specific accounts of his experiences of serving in the army, including one section that details an intense training exercise intended to allow service people to withstand torture

CAMP BASTION, AFGHANISTAN - NOVEMBER 1:  In this image released on January 21, 2013, Prince Harry (R)  does a pre-flight check of his Apache Helicopter after starting his 12 hour VHR (very high ready-ness) shift at the British controlled flight-line in Camp Bastion on November 1, 2012 in Afghanistan. Prince Harry has served as an Apache Helicopter Pilot/Gunner with 662 Sqd Army Air Corps, from September 2012 for four months until January 2013.  (Photo by John Stillwell - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Prince Harry doing a pre-flight check of his Apache Helicopter during his second tour of Afghanistan, after the training exercise had taken place. (Getty Images)

The training exercise was called "Escape and Evasion" which Harry completed as one of the final parts of his training before being deployed as an Apache helicopter pilot. It was so extreme, Harry outlines in his book, that after it was over he found out "two other soldiers in the exercise had gone mad".

Harry explains that he and his fellow trainees thought they had completed the exercise, when they suddenly found themselves ambushed by "a group of men in camo jackets and black balaclavas".

What happened next, Harry claims, "was illegal under the rules of the Geneva Conventions, which was the whole point".

"Suddenly a group of men in camo jackets and black balaclavas appeared. My first thought was of Lord Mountbatten being ambushed by the IRA – I don’t know why. Entirely different circumstance, but maybe some vestigial memory of terrorism, deep in my DNA", Harry wrote.

The Prince of Wales and Lord Mountbatten, wearing full naval uniform, visited Nepal in 1975 to attend the coronation of King Birendra. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/WireImage)
Lord Mountbatten - pictured here with Charles in a 1975 visit to Nepal - was killed by the IRA in 1979. (Getty Images)

"There were explosions, gunshots, guys storming the truck and screaming at us to look down at the ground. They wrapped blacked-out ski goggles over our eyes, zip-tied our hands, dragged us off."

He then claims he was taken through a series of damp, underground rooms.

"In some rooms we were treated well, in others we were treated like dirt. Emotions went up and down. One minute we’d be offered a glass of water, the next we’d be shoved to our knees and told to keep our hands above our heads. Thirty minutes. An hour. From one stress position to another. We hadn’t really slept in seventy-two hours."

The purpose of this was to "confuse and disorient" them, and Harry describes a series of humiliating comments they were subjected to before being interrogated.

HELMAND PROVINCE, AFGHANISTAN - JANUARY 02:  (NO PUBLICATION IN UK MEDIA FOR 28 DAYS)  Prince Harry sits with Gurkha soldiers after he fires a 50mm machine gun at Taliban fighters on January 2, 2008 in Helmand Province, Afghanistan.  (Photo by John Stillwell - POOL/Anwar Hussein Collection/WireImage)
Prince Harry sits with Gurkha soldiers during his first tour of Afghanistan in 2008. (Getty Images)

The duke also describes how those holding them had learned private information through trawling one of his fellow soldier's social media accounts in an attempt to scare him before

Harry also claims he was subjected to comments regarding conspiracy theories surrounding the death of his mother, Diana — which he received a "half-arsed apology" for once the exercise was over.

"There was a debrief, during which one of the instructors offered a half-arsed apology about the stuff to do with my mother. 'Hard for us to find something about you that you’d be shocked we knew.' I didn’t answer."

"We felt you needed to be tested." Harry recalls them saying, before he claims that once the exercise was complete he found out that two others involved "had gone mad" during the 72-hour exercise.

Harry also discusses in Spare his disappointment when a planned deployment to Iraq was cancelled and how the army influenced both his relationship with his family and his own sense of identity.

Yahoo UK has contacted the Ministry of Defence for comment

Watch: What The Crown completely made up about Diana and Dodi