Prince Harry admitted to having the “taste of blood” in his mouth every time he boarded his Apache helicopter to attack the enemy in Afghanistan.

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The 28-year-old royal – who recently completed 20 weeks on the frontline in the war-torn country – says the adrenalin would kick in as soon as Harry and his fellow soldiers got the call to take to the air.

He said: “As soon as we get a shout, whatever it is, we all run to the aircraft, and at that point you have the taste of blood in your mouth.”

In a show aired on BBC Three last night (28.01.13), Harry – speaking from the Very High Readiness tent where he lived and slept while on 12-hour shifts – added: “I’m always down here wishing for the phone to go because then we’re in amongst it.”

However, Harry’s comments have risked fresh criticism as last week he was accused of handing a propaganda coup to the Taliban after he talked candidly about killing insurgents and taking them “out of the game”.

But his spokesman defended his remarks, saying: “He was describing how he copes with the adrenalin of a call-out, so it’s important to understand the context in which he was speaking.”