AAFES turns away Prince Harry at register
RAF LAKENHEATH, England — Prince Harry learned last week that his royal status will curry no favor with Army and Air Force Exchange Service employees — unless he calls ahead.
The prince, who made an unannounced visit to the home of the 48th Fighter Wing last Sunday, was part of a contingent of British troops turned away from the register for failure to have a proper American identification card to shop at an AAFES facility.
“As soon as the first soldier got turned away, the prince and the other soldier left the line,” said AAFES spokesman Lt. Col. Dave Konop.
A local British paper reported that Prince Harry was trying to buy an iPod, Apple’s popular music player.
Under normal circumstances, British citizens aren’t allowed to shop at AAFES stores, Konop said. However, the store would have made an exception had it known the camouflaged soldier was, in fact, third in line to the English throne.
“If we had known it was him, we would have called the commander and gotten permission for him to shop there,” Konop said. “The cashier didn’t know it was the prince.”
Konop noted that British designated visitors are often granted the right to shop on-base when escorted by American military officials.
After being denied at the register, the youngest son of Prince Charles and the late Diana, Princess of Wales, left without incident.
“The prince did not seem to be upset at all,” Konop said.
It has been widely reported in the British media that Prince Harry, who serves as an officer in the British army, will be deployed to Iraq later this year.
The Bury Free Press reported Friday that the prince is undergoing training at Stanta battleground training facility outside of Thetford, roughly 20 minutes from RAF Lakenheath.