The army captain says he's "longing to see my brother and sister-in-law"

By Simon Perry
Updated January 23, 2013 01:50 PM
Credit: Rex USA

Prince Harry is back in Britain.

The army captain and Apache helicopter co-pilot gunner touched down at RAF Brize Norton, in snowy Oxfordshire, shortly after 4:30 p.m. local time on Wednesday.

And, like his colleagues, he had a family reunion on his mind, telling reporters that he is “longing to see my brother and sister-in-law.”

“Behind closed doors,” he added with a smile. “You guys aren’t invited.”

It will be the first time he has seen brother Prince William and his pregnant wife Kate since they announced they were expecting a baby in December.

Now that he’s home and away from the war in Afghanistan, he plans to focus “on more royal stuff” and hopes to “pay more attention to the charities” he supports in the coming 12 months.

The fun-loving prince arrived in the U.K. via a military base in Cyrpus, where he was debriefed and enjoyed some downtime (and likely a few beers) and, he said, “some comedy” with his squadron colleagues.

Harry, 28, is expected to take about a month off (servicemen get a day off for every seven they are on tour) but royal watchers will be eager to see him back at the family business of making appearances and doing good. While nothing is planned for the short term, once he has reported back for duty at the Army Air Corps at RAF Wattisham, in Suffolk, he will then be able to put his mind to carrying out royal engagements, palace sources say.

One thing on his mind, he revealed in one of his interviews given while he was based at Camp Bastion, is a daring trip to the South Pole.

He is patron of the mission by Walking With The Wounded to Antarctica, which takes place in November. (He pulled out of the group’s North Pole expedition to attend William and Kate’s wedding.)

“Medically, if I can do that, that’s perfect because I’d love to do it,” he told reporters in Afghanistan. “Because missing out on the whole North Pole thing was a real dig in the ribs, but that was another experience I had with a bunch of military guys who are really sound.”