Prince Harry is on his way home from the war zone and says he "can't wait" to become an uncle.
"Obviously I'm thrilled for both of them," Harry, 28, says of his brother Prince William and sister-in-law Catherine, joking, "It's about time," he said of the couple, who are expecting their first child in July.
In an interview in Afghanistan, where he served since September, the prince says he had chatted to the couple – and didn’t text or send them a letter, despite reports he had done so – when their news was released in early December.
"I spoke to my brother and her, and they're both very well and both very happy obviously," he says. "I think it's very unfair that they were forced to publicise it when they were, but that's just the media for you."
Harry, in charge of the weaponry on his crew's Apache attack helicopter, was interviewed about 10 days after the pregnancy was revealed, but his remarks were kept under wraps for security reasons, released now because he's returning to the U.K.
"I literally am very, very happy for them," he says, "but I just only hope that she and him – but mainly Catherine – hopefully that she gets the necessary protection to allow her as a mother-to-be to enjoy the privacy that that comes with. I seriously hope that's going to be able to happen."
Now that he's back from his tour of duty, is there some pressure on him to follow his brother and find a wife?
"I don't think you can ever be urged to settle down," he says. " If you find the right person and everything feels right, then it takes time, especially for myself and my brother."
But, as he has hinted before, it is hard to find the right kind of woman who isn’t going to be scared off by everything else that goes with being with a royal.
"You ain't ever going to find someone who's going to jump into the position that it would hold," he says. "Simple as that."
Before Harry's deployment, of course, all eyes were on the "spare heir" and the nude photo scandal that emerged after a wild late August weekend in Las Vegas.
"I probably let myself down," he said. "I let my family down, I let other people down." Still, Harry says of the incident: "At the end of the day, I was in a private area and there should be a certain amount of privacy...The way I was treated by [the media] I don't think is acceptable."