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LONDON (Reuters) - A documentary film to be aired on British television this month will examine what might happen if Prince Harry, Queen Elizabeth's grandson, were kidnapped while on military duty in Afghanistan.
"The Taking of Prince Harry," on public broadcaster Channel 4 on October 21, recreates a helicopter crash in the south of Afghanistan and the subsequent capture of the royal, who is third in line to the throne.
Harry served with British forces in Afghanistan in 2008, becoming the first member of the royal family to see action since his uncle Prince Andrew flew helicopters in the Falklands War in 1982.
Harry, 26, has spoken of his desire to return to Afghanistan, which he was forced to leave prematurely after news of his presence there was leaked.
"The Taking of Prince Harry raises questions about the far-reaching ramifications for Britain should Prince Harry be granted his wish to return to Afghanistan and be captured -- and asks if Britain is prepared for this potential ransom note," Channel 4 said in a statement.
A spokeswoman for the broadcaster added that Channel 4 had contacted the royal family about the film, but had received no response.
The concept of the feature-length documentary has already come in for criticism.
"What these people forget is there is still a war going on," said tabloid newspaper The Sun's in-house security expert Andy McNab. "This comes at a bad time and is in bad taste.
"It's highly likely Harry will be going back to Afghanistan now they have spent so much money on his Apache (helicopter) training. But it's not just insensitive to Harry, it's insensitive to all the troops and the mums, dads, wives and kids with lads out there."
Reporting by Mike Collett-White; Editing by Steve Addison