Prince Harry apparently came “close to death” several times while serving in Afghanistan, according to military sources

Just when you thought you knew everything about Prince Harry, a new biography on the royal prince has revealed that he was “inches from death” after his tank drove over a land mine during his service in Afghanistan.

The surprising detail comes from the new book Harry: Life, Loss, and Love, by royal expert Katie Nicholl. Nicholl told InStyle magazine that she was “very surprised and really hugely impressed actually to learn what I learned about Harry’s time in Afghanistan, particularly on his first tour. I’d never realized how much danger, maybe that was naïve of me, but I don’t think many people realize how much very real danger [he] was actually in.”

We’re surprised, too! Though we know all who serve their countries are risking their lives every day by constantly putting themselves in danger, it is a little shocking to learn just how many risks Prince Harry was taking considering he is a royal. It’s not a stretch to say that most people assumed he was sheltered and pretty much protected the whole time he was on active duty.

Apparently that wasn’t the case at all, though. In the book, Captain Dickon Leigh-Wood, who was with Harry at the time, spoke about their unit driving over an unexploded land mine.

"We were driving to another village when we almost drove over an IED. 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," he said. "We discovered that the pressure plate of an IED that the previous vehicles, including Harry's, had missed by about six inches. If any of the tanks had gone over it, it would have been game over for Harry, for any one of us."

Nicholls told InStyle, “This is a young man who has always been shadowed by protection officers, and he didn’t have any protection when he was out in the field of Afghanistan and fighting on the front line. It was him and his men. And I was completely bowled over really by the accounts that I was given by people who had served on the front line with him.”

Prince Harry has been pretty open about the harsh realities of war he’s experienced while serving. Last year he talked about the stress of serving in Afghanistan and the mental health challenges he faced afterwards to ambulance crews in London for his Heads Together campaign. Recently, he spoke at the Veterans’ Mental Health Conference about his experience in the Army.

Now, thanks to Nicholls’ book, it’s clear what he really went through.

Nicholls also mentions in the book how reluctant Prince Harry was to leave his military service, which speaks volumes on how committed he really was to serving.

However, we’re sure Meghan Markle is pretty happy with how things turned out.