The former head of the Army today sensationally backed Prince Harry’s nude Las Vegas antics.
Former chief of general staff Sir General Mike Jackson, said many young soldiers have an “odd moment” they are not proud of.
Incredibly, he said the problem was simply that Harry got “caught” – referring to a rule he describes as “the 11th commandment”.
Sir Mike said: “All young officers are probably saying ‘there but for the grace of God go I’ and even some older officers are remembering perhaps the odd moment in their youth when they were being not as wise perhaps as they might have been.
“No. I have no difficulty with it. One does remember the 11th commandment – thou shalt not get caught.”
Military man Sir Mike – dubbed a hero in Kosovo for diffusing a tense stand-off with Russia in the war-torn Balkan state – also backed the decision to send Prince Harry back to war.
There were fears Harry’s presence might pose a security – particularly after a recent assault on Camp Bastion in which the Taliban claimed it was gunning for the prince.
But Sir Mike said: “He’s a young officer in the Army and he must do his duty along with all other soldiers. There is no question in my mind about that.
“Let’s be clear. It’s what he wants as any young officer with red blood in his veins is going to want – to go on operations.”
Sir Mike also revealed he does not believe the Taliban will overrun Afghanistan when coalition troops are pulled out.
He said: “No. I don’t think they will and the definition of success, or if you want to call it winning, is not an easy one.
“It’s more complex than that. What’s been going on over the last decade or so is a concerted international attempt to give Afghanistan as a country the ability to stand on its own feet.”
Sir Mike, who studied for a defence fellowship at Wolfson College Cambridge in 1989, joined the army at the age of 19.
He was reportedly nicknamed Darth Vader and The Prince of Darkness by his men because he instantly commanded respect among his troops.
His comments came before a dinner at the University Arms Hotel in Cambridge to celebrate the 90th anniversary of the Cambridge Rotary Club.
Last month pictures emerged of Prince Harry at a party in a Las Vegas hotel standing in front of a woman, wearing only a gold ring tied around his neck.
In another image the 27-year-old Prince appears to be shown “bear-hugging” a woman next to a pool table.