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Prince Harry honored for Afghan army stint

  • Story Highlights
  • Britain's Prince Harry receives medal for recent military service in Afghanistan
  • The 23-year-old was one of 170 soldiers honored for completing tour of duty
  • Harry's planned four-month deployment was cut short after leak by media
  • He was in Helmand province for 10 weeks serving with troops on frontline
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(CNN) -- Britain's Prince Harry was honored on Monday for his recent military service in Afghanistan, which was cut short after news of his mission became public.

The 23-year-old was among 170 members of his regiment who were awarded the Operational Service Medal for Afghanistan at the Combermere Barracks in Windsor, west of London.

Dressed in desert camouflage, he received the medal from the Princess Royal -- his aunt Anne -- while his brother Prince William, father Prince Charles and girlfriend Chelsy Davy watched in support.

Britain's Press Association reported that he grinned and blushed as the princess pinned the medal on his chest, and that they chatted before he moved off smiling.

Harry served for about 10 weeks in Helmand Province earlier this year before details of his deployment were reported around the world, having intended to complete a four-month detachment.

His commanding officer in Afghanistan, Lieutenant Colonel Edward Smyth-Osbourne, who hands over command of the Household Cavalry Regiment this week, was also present at the ceremony, PA reported.

Smyth-Osbourne let Harry join troops on the frontline both at Garmsir and later Musa Qaleh rather than remain in the battlegroup operations room, where he was initially due to serve, PA said.

After the ceremony, Harry and his comrades marched across Windsor from their barracks to a church for a thanksgiving service. Video Watch Prince Harry get his medal from aunt Anne »

The march was supported by hundreds of members of the public, including retired housewife Joey Jones, 82.

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"I thought I would come to support the soldiers and especially because Prince Harry was parading," she told PA.

"I think they have a rotten job and for what they're doing out there we should show some support." E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

All About Prince Harry of WalesRoyaltyAfghanistanUnited KingdomArmed Forces

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