Security Breach at Prince Harry's School Probed

Journalist breached security, made fake bomb, wandered military academy grounds for hours


LONDON -- Britain's defense minister ordered an investigation Thursday into security at the military school where Prince Harry is training, after a newspaper said one of its journalists, who had a camera and a fake bomb, gained access.

It was the latest security breach involving the royal family in recent years.

The Sun tabloid said one of its reporters posed as a student to get permission to use the library at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst in Surrey, where Prince Charles' younger son is an officer cadet.

The journalist spent some eight hours wandering the grounds and took video of Prince Harry, stills from which were published in the newspaper. He also built what The Sun called a fake bomb, with wires, plasticine, a battery and clock in his car while at the academy, the newspaper said.

But Clarence House, the office of Prince Harry's father, Prince Charles, said the cadet shown in the video was not Prince Harry.

"Having reviewed the footage and spoken to people with Prince Harry, it's our opinion that it's not him," a Clarence House spokeswoman said on condition of anonymity.

The Sun insisted the video showed the prince and said it stood by its report.

A Ministry of Defense spokesman confirmed that The Sun's report was accurate.

Defense Secretary John Reid said he had ordered "an immediate investigation into this serious security breach."

"I have instructed Sandhurst to change their procedures to prevent a recurrence," Reid said in a statement. Reid didn't specify what the changes would be.

Prince Harry, 20, began his training at Sandhurst last month.

The Sun's stunt follows several recent lapses in royal security. In September, a protester disguised as Batman climbed onto a ledge on the front of Buckingham Palace and remained there for several hours.

A comedian dressed as Osama bin Laden crashed Prince William's 21st birthday party at Windsor Castle in 2003. Later that year, a reporter from the Daily Mirror got a job as a servant at Buckingham Palace and took pictures of the royals' living quarters.