The family of a soldier whose coffin was loaded onto the plane which flew Prince Harry back from Afghanistan has met the Prince for the first time.
Morten Krogh Jensen, who was 21, was killed in Helmand Province in 2008 while serving with the Danish military just as Harry’s tour with the Army came to an abrupt end.
His mother and father had a private meeting with Prince Harry in Copenhagen on his two day visit to Denmark.
There were just three of them in the room – the family asked for no publicity. Prince Harry has spoken often about that flight home from Afghanistan and how it changed him and his attitude to military service.
Harry was waiting to fly home on the transport plane as the coffin of the Danish soldier was loaded on board.
There were also three severely injured British soldiers on the plane – all being flown back for treatment to the UK in a coma.
The flight home was the reason why the prince later decided to set up the Invictus Games for wounded and injured veterans and military personnel. In Toronto this year, 550 wounded men and women took part.
At the Opening Ceremony in Canada, Prince Harry said: “As I was waiting to board the plane, the coffin of a Danish soldier was loaded on by his friends. Once on the flight, I was confronted with three British soldiers, all in induced comas, with missing limbs, and wrapped in plastic. The way I viewed service and sacrifice changed forever.”
Prince Joachim, from the Danish Royal Family, who accompanied Harry in Copenhagen today as his visited a military training centre, told ITV News afterwards that it was an emotional meeting for Prince Harry and that the death of that Danish soldier had been an “eye-opener” for him.
The Danish Prince told us that because of the Invictus Games, the death of Morten Krogh Jensen was “not in vain”.
“It will not lessen their loss”, he said, and Prince Joachim told the family before they met Prince Harry that “there is a meaning with everything”.
Prince Harry was also reunited today with the Danish soldier who won a gold medal in Toronto in the wheelchair rugby.
Maurice Manuel, who lost a leg while serving in Afghanistan, was pictured having his head kissed by Prince Harry at the medal ceremony.
Harry joked with him that his lips “have never recovered” and it was why Maurice had today positioned himself on the other side of the table from the prince.