PRINCE Harry escaped death by INCHES after a bomb nearly killed him in Afghanistan.
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PRINCE Harry escaped death by INCHES after a bomb nearly killed him in Afghanistan.

Offshore Technology International -
PRINCE Harry escaped death by INCHES after a bomb nearly killed him in Afghanistan.

The 33-year-old, who will marry his American fiancé Meghan Markle, 36, on May 19, may not have even made it to the altar if the vehicle he was in drove over a hidden land mine.

The heroic Prince’s dramatic brush with death was revealed for the very fist time by Captain Dickon Leigh-Wood in a tell-all book called Harry: Life, Loss and Love by Katie Nicholl.

The Captain, who knew Harry since their days at Ludgrove prep school and trained with him at Combermere Barracks, Windsor, told of the Prince’s near-death experience, which happened just days after the brave Prince called in a helicopter to dispose of the first IED he almost came into contact with.

He said: “We almost drove over an IED (improvised explosive device) - it was a much closer shave than the first time.

“One of the vehicles in the column suddenly noticed something flick underneath the tank in front and everyone was ordered to stop.

“You automatically think, ‘This is gonna go off. This is it’.

“The previous vehicles, including Harry’s, had missed the pressure plate of an IED by about six inches.

He added: “If any of us had gone over it, it would have been game over.”

Prince Harry was deployed to southern Afghanistan with the Household Cavalry in late 2007 for ten years where for the first time in his life he was out of the spotlight.

He did two tours of war-torn Afghanistan before meeting his bride-to-be Meghan Markle in June 2016.

It is his life in the Armed Forces which shaped the royal into a man, and gave him a focus for his future charitable work.

After being inspired by his fellow army mates, but heartbroken at their own battles they have to face when returning from service, he set up the Invictus Games.

The international sports tournament gives servicemen and women the opportunity to regain the comrade spirit they may feel they have lost after suffering injury.

It was at last year’s games Prince Harry officially introduced Meghan Markle to the world as his girlfriend, with the pair attending a wheelchair tennis match as their first appearance as a couple.

Ms Markle also went to the closing ceremony with her mother, and was seen kissing Prince Harry in the stands fuelling speculation an engagement was imminent.

Just last week, Meghan Markle was was baptised into the Church of England by the Archbishop of Canterbury ahead of the Royal wedding on May 19.

The Archbishop, who will officiate Meghan's marriage to Harry, conducted the former actress's baptism in St James’s Chapel Royal, often used by the Queen.

Speaking of her baptism for the first time on ITV News, the spiritual head of the Church England described it as “very moving”.

He added: “It was very special, it was beautiful and sincere.'

Meghan's baptism was immediately followed by her confirmation.

Providing a rare glimpse into Meghan and Harry's wedding, the Most Rev Justin Welby also joked the couple should not “drop the ring”.

Chuckling at recent blunders at another wedding he led, the Archbishop quipped the lovebirds must not “forget to get the vows in the right order” too.

The secret baptism observed the full ritual, with holy water from the River Jordan from the private royal family font poured on Meghan´s head, according to reports.

Harry’s father Prince Charles and stepmother Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, are understood to have been at the ceremony.

On Thursday, the Queen gave her consent to the couple tying the knot at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, Berkshire.

However the Queen's blessing apparently had one striking omission.

When William and Kate got engaged, Her Majesty signed an Instrument of Consent in February 2011 describing the Duchess of Cambridge as “Our Trusty and Well-beloved Catherine Elizabeth Middleton”.

But Harry’s Los Angeles-born fiancee was simply “Rachel Meghan Markle”.

While it may look like a royal snub, a source revealed the Queen was not making the point she liked Kate more than Meghan.

A source said: “Trusty and well-beloved is language reserved for citizens of the UK or Her Majesty’s other realms.”

As an American citizen, Meghan does not qualify for this addition.

The Queen wrote: “My Lords, I declare My Consent to a Contract of Matrimony between My Most Dearly Beloved Grandson Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales and Rachel Meghan Markle, which Consent I am causing to be signified under the Great Seal and to be entered in the Books of the Privy Council.”

The Royal Marriages Act of 1772 stipulates that all descendants of George II are obliged to receive the Monarch’s approval prior to marriage.

The law was passed after George II’s grandson married a common widow against the wishes of the Monarch.

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