Prince Harry has phoned home from the front line in Afghanistan three times, the Prince of Wales revealed today.
Like any other serviceman away on operations Harry, an Apache co-pilot gunner, rung his father to presumably catch up with family life and let everyone know he is doing well.
Charles had an emotional farewell with his son a few weeks before he flew to Camp Bastion, the UK's biggest military Afghan base, so would have welcomed hearing the Prince's voice.
Prince Harry, phone home
The heir to the throne revealed he had spoken to Harry a number of times since his deployment in early September during a Sydney reception with the Duchess of Cornwall for Australian servicemen and women who have recently returned from operations around the world.
The Prince chatted to Major Karl Reynolds, from 19th Chief Engineer Works, and a group of his military colleagues at Garden Island, home to the Royal Australian Navy's largest Pacific Ocean base.
Charles joked about the awesome firepower of the Apache telling the men and their partners: "They're a nasty piece of work, I wouldn't like to get in their way."
Maj Reynolds, 33, who returned home to Kincumber near Sydney in July after a six-month deployment building military accommodation and airstrips in Afghanistan, said after chatting to the Prince: "He was talking about the Apache and what a lethal bit of kit they are - once the Taliban see it they disappear.
"And he was also saying he had received calls from his son, he said he had phoned three times.
"It's good Harry is phoning home, it's so easy to do now with the internet, a letter is always good but you can't beat a call home."
The Queen and Charles were both fully briefed about Harry's return to the front line and St James's Palace said when the royal flew out that the Prince was "immensely proud of his son".
Captain Harry Wales - as he is known in the Army - spent around 10 days acclimatising and training to hone his skills when he first deployed but will now be well into operations as a co-pilot gunner.
He is likely to have been flying various types of missions, from escorting RAF Chinook helicopters carrying servicemen or equipment to targeting Taliban fighters who have attacked ground troops.
As the Apache's gunner, he operates its armoury of wing-mounted aerial rockets, Hellfire laser-guided missiles and a 30mm chain gun positioned directly under his seat.
Harry's four-month tour coincides with Operation Herrick 17, which is the British military codename for current operations in Helmand province.
The Prince had made no secret of his desire to return to active service and spent the past three years changing the direction of his military career from an armoured reconnaissance troop leader to an Army helicopter pilot in order to be posted back to Afghanistan.
Suggested For You
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more