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Prince Charles speaks of his fears for Harry in Afghanistan as he pays tribute to 'unrelenting courage' of troops
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By Amanda Williams
PUBLISHED: 07:00 EST, 7 December 2012 | UPDATED: 15:51 EST, 7 December 2012
Prince Charles has admitted being wracked with worry while his officer sons are serving on the frontline, telling families of the armed forces 'I really do understand' during an emotional speech.
The Prince of Wales told families at a military awards evening how he had to persuade his youngest son Prince Harry, currently serving in Afghanistan, to write to him, but that fortunately 'he calls every now and then.'
Charles, 64, who was speaking at The Sun's Military Awards event, held to honour the bravery of the armed forces, said: 'As you can imagine being a parent of two boys in the armed forces, I do share with you the worry and anxiety of not knowing the exact details of our children's whereabouts.'
'I understand': Prince Charles, pictured being greeted by Sir Francis Richards Chairman of the Imperial War Museum, said he was wracked with guilt when his two sons were serving away
Charles, who along with wife Camilla presented awards to servicemen and women, paid tribute to the unending relentless courage of the military and added: 'When you think what they're doing it's truly remarkable', The Sun reported.
Frontline: Harry was deployed as an Apache attack helicopter co-pilot in September, tracking down and destroying Taliban targets
Harry, 28, was deployed as an Apache attack helicopter co-pilot in September, tracking down and destroying Taliban targets.
It was a return to the front line for Captain Harry Wales, as he is known in the army, having previously served a 10-week stint from December 2007.
The tour was shrouded in secrecy and Harry was forced to return home early after news of his presence leaked out.
When the royal flew back to the war zone in September for a four-month tour with the Army Air Corps, St James’s Palace said Prince Charles was 'immensely proud of his son'.
Son Prince William also serves as an RAF search and rescue helicopter pilot.
L/Cpl Sean Jones, who led a bayonet charge against the Taliban after his platoon was ambushed in Nahr-e-Saraj, was awarded the Most Outstanding Soldier from Prince Charles and Camilla, and they also met with Cpl Ricky Furgosson who survived horrific injuries in Afghanistan.
The prince paid particular tribute to the bomb disposal team who volunteer to put their 'lives on the line'.
A host of celebrities also attended the event, held at London's Imperial War Museum, including Dame Helen Mirren, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, I'm A Celebrity's Helen Flannigan, Olympic Cyclist Victoria Pendleton, and singer and presenter Myleene Klass.
Singer and presenter Myleene Klass (left) and Helen Flannigan (right) also attended the event
Hollywood actress Amanda Seyfried (left) and Christine Bleakley and Frank Lampard handed out awards
They met with brave servicemen and women including Captain Si Maxwell, who was maimed by a roadside bomb and was given a standing ovation when he was handed the Overcoming Adversity award from comedian Ricky Gervais.
Britan's Most Outstanding Sailor Cpl Justin Morgan was handed his accolade by Hollywood actress Amanda Seyfried and Eddie Redmayne, and Sgt Roy Geddes was given the Most Outstanding Airman gong from couple Christine Bleakley and Frank Lampard.
Sally Nightingale - wife of freed SAS hero Danny - met with Prime Minster David Cameron and wife Samantha.
Putting on a brave face: The Prince Of Wales, pictured with Camilla, took his mind of his family's recent troubles by switching the Christmas lights on in Tetbury, Gloucestershire
Prince Charles, who along with wife Camilla presented awards to servicemen and women, paid tribute to the unending relentless courage of the military
Mother Nikki Scott was commended for Support for the Armed Forces for her work setting up a charity for children orphaned by the war, and Sergeant Rick Clement who lost his legs in a roadside bomb met cyclist Mark Cavendish and his fiancee model Peta Todd.