Prince Harry will continue to serve the UK for the rest of his life, says close pal JJ Chalmers

PRINCE Harry will continue to serve the UK for the rest of his life, according to his close pal, Strictly Come Dancing star John-James Chalmers.

In an exclusive interview with The Sun, in his new role as a patron for Help The Heroes, JJ said Harry was motivated to act because it was drilled into him after spending ten years in the military where he reached the rank of captain.

When asked about Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, former Royal Marine JJ said: “Harry has made it very clear, not just throughout that interview but before it, that he wants to continue to serve the greater community – especially the ones he cares dearly about, including the armed forces community.

“Harry will continue to serve because he is a veteran and that is what he is doing now, albeit from a different place. All of us are in different places now.

“It is veterans looking after the wider community. And we have shared that goal since we met.”

JJ, 34, and Harry, 36, became close pals after meeting at Headley Court in 2014.

Harry encouraged JJ to take part in his Invictus Games and JJ went on to win gold and bronze medals before he started hosting the global sporting event for veterans in 2017.

JJ went on to attend all three parts of Harry’s wedding to Meghan Markle, 39, in May 2018.

He continued: “Harry to me is a remarkable veteran. And to me it is mainly because he is the world’s most famous veteran, but he would tell you the things he is doing are the same things that Dave Henson is doing, or David Wiseman, or JJ Chalmers.

“We are taking the skills and values that were ingrained in us in the military and we just don’t stop serving. Our oath of allegiance doesn’t end the day you take your uniform off. This is what drove us to the military in the first place, to help others.”

JJ, who left the Royal Marines in 2016, is now a patron for Help For Heroes, a charity which has helped him since he was badly injured in a IED bomb blast in Afghanistan in 2011.

He suffered injuries to his arms and legs, lost two fingers and was left with scars on his face and chest, where one arm was temporarily grafted to his body.

Speaking about how Help For Heroes helped him, JJ explained: “Help For Heroes have been there since day one.

“When I first heard of Help For Heroes, I was just like everyone else. I was a member of the Marines and I wore a wristband and supported them. Not knowing one day I would be swimming in the pool that was built by them at Headley Court.”

“And that continues throughout your recovery, every single part of it.

“So when you transition from recovery to normal life, say, me getting into the Invictus Games, I was supported by Help For Heroes, they bought my bike I rode on and arguably I changed my life.”

During his hugely successful turn on the last series of Strictly with his pro partner Amy Dowden, 30, JJ started to struggle with pain in his leg.

At the time he told The Sun he needed surgery and after reaching the quarter finals and leaving the competition – JJ was supported again by Help For Heroes as he went under the knife.

He explained: “It was a little chunk of Afghanistan. It was a chunk of mud or concrete that was in there. But it was the whole scar they needed to remove.

“I thought I was fixed when I left the marines in 2016 to be honest, I thought I won’t see another surgery for 20 years then my body will fall apart.

“But these things need maintenance, routinely to be looked after.

"It is something I and other people are realising, this is an ongoing situation. I shouldn’t be alive.

“Every day I did Strictly I woke up and it was painful and it needed plasters put on and being cared for. “And for the last month or so it’s not crossed my mind, and that is wonderful.

“It was one less thing, there might be another piece of shrapnel that pops up, but it is one less ticking time bomb.”

As part of his role as a patron for Help For Heroes, JJ started live dance classes with Amy on Instagram for veterans and their families.

The next installment, which begins at 6pm on April 7, will see JJ and Amy teaching how to dance the Cha-Cha-Cha.

When asked about what becoming a Patron for Help For Heroes meant, JJ made it clear he couldn’t be more proud.

JJ said: “One of the greatest things Help For Heroes has done in the past 15 years aside from the money they have raised and the people they have supported, they have re-established what a veteran is in this country.

“Twenty years ago you would rightly think of a person in their eighties, standing at the cenotaph with a raft of medals from the first and second world war.

“But actually veterans have changed significantly in the past two decades, we are a lot younger, we have a lot more life ahead of us.

“Veterans look different to what you thought, but if you can support a veteran to get back on their feet through their times of struggle then you’re doing yourself a favour as those people will go into society and will do good.

“Your money isn’t a donation, it is an investment.

“You get people like me back on our feet and the good we can do in the world is immense.”

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