Prince Harry 'couldn't imagine heartache of being apart' from family while in Army

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·Contributor, Yahoo Life UK
·3-min read
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Prince Harry says he couldn't bear to be apart from Meghan and their children. (Getty Images)
Prince Harry says he couldn't bear to be apart from Meghan and their children. (Getty Images)

Prince Harry made a secret vow to himself to leave the Army before starting a family as he couldn't imagine the heartache of being separated from his loved ones.

Harry is currently at the Invictus Games in the Netherlands with wife Meghan, but the couple have left children Archie, two, and 10-month-old Lilibet at home in California.

The Duke of Sussex told PEOPLE how being a husband and father had given him a new perspective on the sacrifices members of the armed forces make.

Read more: Prince Harry Says Having Duchess Meghan by His Side "Means Everything"

Harry said being a husband and father had given him a new persepctive. (Getty Images)
Harry said being a husband and father had given him a new persepctive. (Getty Images)

Read more: Prince Harry warns there are 'lots' of issues to overcome before attending Queen's Platinum Jubilee

"Being a dad certainly adds another emotional layer to it," the Duke of Sussex explained. "When I was in the Army, I promised myself I would be out before having a wife and kids, because I couldn't imagine the heartache of being apart for so long during deployment, the risk of possibly getting injured and the reality that my family's lives could be changed forever if that happened."

"Every member of the Invictus community has experienced varying degrees of these things. I have tremendous respect for what they and their families sacrifice in the name of service," he added.

"For the dads and mums who have served, and have been wounded or injured or fallen ill, there's nothing that compares to seeing them rediscover their ability to do whatever they put their minds to. There's nothing like seeing their kids watch proudly from the stands. It's a true inspiration and a deeply touching experience."

The Invictus Games hold a special place in Harry and Meghan's hearts. (Getty Images)
The Invictus Games hold a special place in Harry and Meghan's hearts. (Getty Images)

Read more: Prince Harry reveals he misses family in UK and working from home has been 'really hard' in interview with Hoda Kotb

A survey by the military charity SSAFA found that 81% of military families said periods of separation are standard.

Army wife Linda Kiff told the Royal British Legion about how much she missed her husband Mike when he was on deployment.

"My first encounter of the military was through Mike and being his wife. It was definitely a different experience to what I ever thought it would be,” says Kiff. “I suppose I didn't really know what to expect.”

“I’d never had a military background, I knew nothing. Mike came from a military background with his father being in the services.

“I had no idea how quick changing it is, how you can have a friend one minute, someone that you would happily talk to for hours and then that person's gone… because they’ve moved to somewhere and you can’t get hold of them.”

Watch now: Harry & Meghan reunite with The Queen

The Invictus Games holds a special place in Harry and Meghan's hearts as it was at the Toronto event that the pair first went public with their romance in 2017.

Harry has said he hopes one day to bring their children along to the games that he founded to help the rehabilitation of injured or sick military personnel and veterans.

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