Harry's latest tour will only enhance his popularity

Prince Harry sprints to his helicopter after being scrambled to war. Photo: PA

Prince Harry is heading home from Afghanistan, but a hero's welcome from the British media may be tempered by his scathing criticism of those who write about him.

Harry has lashed out at the British press in an unprecedented way.

"Everyone's guilty for buying newspapers I guess," he says. "But hopefully no one actually believes what they read. I certainly don't."

Harry gave a series of television interviews during his four months in Afghanistan, but made it clear he was doing so reluctantly.

"I never wanted you guys here," he said.

During the course of the interviews, he returned repeatedly to the issue of the press, displaying a dislike he said began when he was very young.

At one point he referred to the fact that as there were no mobile phones at the Camp Bastion military base in Afghanistan.

"They can't bug our phones, so they don't know what we're saying," he says.

The Prince believes his media treatment after being photographed naked in Las Vegas was unacceptable, although he admitted his behaviour there was "more army than Prince."

And he blames the media for the early announcement of the Duchess of Cambridge's pregnancy after she was taken to hospital with severe morning sickness.

"That's just the media for you," he says.

But Harry also shows his other side - his love for his life as a professional soldier.

He talks of the need "to take a life to save a life" as a pilot-gunner in an Apache helicopter.

And he believes Prince William should also have been allowed to serve in Afghanistan.

“He’d love to be out here, and I don’t see why he couldn’t. No one knows who’s in the cockpit,” he says. "We're not special."

Harry's second tour of duty as a fighting soldier will certainly endear Harry to the British public.

He's been controversial and at times perceived as a playboy prince, but he has again put himself in harm's way in the service of his country.

More on this story