British military red-faced over security lapse around Prince Harry
LONDON (AFP) - A newspaper said that a reporter carrying a "fake bomb" penetrated Britain's elite military academy at Sandhurst which is training Prince Harry to be an officer.
The Sun newspaper claimed Harry, the younger son of Prince Charles and the late Diana, was at Sandhurst while its reporter spent seven hours wandering the grounds and corridors carrying a fake explosive.
The defense ministry said it had launched a review of security, without confirming whether the 20-year-old Harry was present at the time of the lapse.
"I have demanded an immediate investigation into this serious security breach. I have instructed Sandhurst to change their procedures to prevent a recurrence," Defense Secretary John Reid said Thursday.
At the beginning of last month, Harry began a tough 44 weeks of intensive training as an army officer at Sandhurst, in Camberley, southeast England.
He has completed the first five weeks which are known as the "breaking-in" period, when both male and female cadets train for up to 20 hours a day without leaving the academy grounds.
Once they get through that, the recruits can go out for a weekend.
The Sun said its reporter, whom it did not name, posed as a "warfare student", wandering into accommodation blocks where cadets sleep.
On its front page it printed a picture of the prince with fellow cadets.
The reporter sent an e-mail to the academy's chief librarian giving a vague outline of his research into 20th century warfare.
He reportedly received an e-mail back confirming an appointment and days later received an invitation from Sandhurst in the post.
The newspaper said the reporter was then waved through security and strolled into the library before wandering off.
He later went back to his car where he constructed a fake bomb with wires, plasticine, a battery and clock.
After seven hours at the base he was finally challenged but simply asked for directions to a shop and was sent on his way.
A policeman challenged him soon afterwards but was satisfied with the reporter's explanation and allowed him to stay on the base.
A spokeswoman at Clarence House, the residence of Prince Charles, said "we never comment on security matters."
Lapses in security around the royal family have occurred many times before.
In April, a reporter said he drove a "fake bomb" through the grounds of Windsor Castle just 72 hours before Prince Charles was due to hold a wedding reception for him and his new bride Camilla at the estate west of London.
The report came after police confirmed that two tourists wandered into a restricted area of Windsor Castle before being caught by police. In November and September last year, men campaigning for the rights of fathers to see their children in cases of divorce or separation breached security at Buckingham Palace,Queen Elizabeth II's residence in London.
PEOPLE MAGAZINE ARTICLES
Fake Bomb Rattles Prince Harry's School
Thursday Jun 16, 2005 3:00pm EST
By Stephen M. Silverman
CREDIT: HUSSEIN ANWAR/SIPA
A tabloid reporter toting a "fake bomb" said he penetrated Britain's elite military academy at Sandhurst, where Prince Harry lives and trains.
The Sun newspaper claims that Harry, 20, was at Sandhurst while its reporter spent eight hours wandering the grounds and school halls carrying a fake explosive. The reporter apparently approached the academy saying he would like to research the 20th-century military in the school library, the Associated Press reports.
In light of the Sun's story, Defense Secretary John Reid said Thursday that his department has launched a review of security. He did not confirm whether Harry was present at the time of the alleged lapse in protection of the third in line to the throne.
"I have demanded an immediate investigation into this serious security breach. I have instructed Sandhurst to change their procedures to prevent a recurrence," Reid said.
The Sun said its reporter, who has not been named, posed as a student, wandering into residential areas where cadets sleep. Early last month, Harry began a tough 44 weeks of intensive training as an army officer at Sandhurst.
A spokeswoman at Clarence House, the residence of Prince Charles, said, "we never comment on security matters."
I must say that some of these reporters are really pathetic. There are far more important things happening in the world than what Harry did today. This reporter really shouldn't have done what he did. Besides, one of those pics don't even look like Harry.
Harry scare story sparks Sandhurst security review
By Thomas Harding, Defence Correspondent and Caroline Davies
A major security review at Sandhurst was ordered yesterday after a newspaper reporter bluffed his way into the grounds and allegedly got within yards of Prince Harry.
John Reid, the Defence Secretary, called the intrusion a "serious security breach" after it emerged that the reporter wandered around the Royal Military Academy for seven hours.
The Sun reporter entered both Old College, where Prince Harry has a room, and New College, where he allegedly got close enough to the prince to film him conducting drill, although Clarence House denied this.
Despite twice being challenged at the campus in Camberley, Surrey, once by a Ministry of Defence policeman, the reporter, dressed in a blazer and slacks, was allowed to go on his way.
Mr Reid said yesterday: "I have demanded an immediate investigation into this serious security breach. I have instructed Sandhurst to change their procedures to prevent a recurrence."
Military sources said security had immediately been tightened following the newspaper's revelations.
Prince Harry already has a 24-hour armed guard. It is thought that this could be reinforced. Other measures could lead to greater gate security and the installation of more CCTV cameras. An MoD spokesman said: "We treat any kind of breach of security extremely seriously. Sandhurst is now conducting a review of its procedures and changes will be made."
The journalist e-mailed the academy's library and, posing as a war studies student, asked to study there for a day.
At the gate, the unnamed reporter handed over a letter that the library had sent him, and was allowed in without the guards searching his car, which contained two video cameras and fake bomb-making equipment.
Despite having no photo identity, the reporter was allegedly handed a parking pass and an identity pass after presenting a credit card. After touring the campus, the reporter made a fake bomb from Plasticine, a battery and a clock, and filmed himself in front of New College.
The paper claimed to have got so close to Prince Harry that it was able to take video footage of him with a hidden camera.
But Clarence House said: "We are of the opinion that it is not him in the footage."
It is understood that Prince Harry has seen the footage and denies it was him, or that he was in the vicinity of the building where it was shot.
A spokesman for The Sun said: "The footage is Prince Harry. The Clarence House denial is absurd."
Security is expected to be tight when the Queen visits Sandhurst on Tuesday.
https://www.itv.com/news/story2118016.160x120.jpg"I have demanded an immediate investigation into this serious security breach" - Defence Secretary John Reid
Security stepped up at Sandhurst
10.56AM, Fri Jun 17 2005
A massive security clampdown is in place at Sandhurst after a newspaper reporter was able to freely wander around the grounds carrying a fake bomb.
The Sun said guards had been posted outside Prince Harry's dormitory and every vehicle entering the site is now subject to inspection.
Meanwhile Royal officials remain locked in battle with the Sun over whether the reporter actually got anywhere near Harry.
Clarence House insists the prince does not appear in footage secretly filmed by the undercover reporter.
The Sun said it stands by its original story and that the denial by Prince Charles's office is "absurd".
Many observers claim that, in the long term, who is pictured is irrelevant.
Security at the military academy - where Prince Harry is undergoing training - suffered a serious breach nonetheless.
Defence Secretary John Reid has now demanded a full investigation. He said: "I have demanded an immediate investigation into this serious security breach.
"I have instructed Sandhurst to change their procedures to prevent a recurrence."
An MoD spokesman said: "We treat any kind of breach of security extremely seriously. Sandhurst is now conducting a review of its procedures and changes will be made."
DOESN'T the sun have any thing better to do?, all their doing is proving can be done and endangering the royals.
example being the Buckingham palace stut. When they got that man a job there and he went around taking pictures of the private apartments.
then later on, batman now knowing it could be done climbs on to the palace and stay there. not everyone want to have all the protection the US president needs. the Queen sure doesn't.
(no insalt to the americans intended)
What if a member of the Royal Family were Kidnapped?
Given that Prince Harry was not allowed to serve in Iraq because of various kidnap plots against him by the Iraqi insurgents I was wondering what would be the response of the British government if Prince Harry or any member of the Royal family were to be kidnapped?Would they take a no negotiation stance like the Italians did when their former Prime minister Aldo Moro was abducted in 1978? the result of that was that Mr. Moro was killed! Rescue probably would''nt be an option so would''nt the government have to meet the kidnappers demands?
I'm sure there would be a rescue attempt but
I don't think there would be any deals.
The main reason they have protection is to avoid kidnapping. It would put the government and the Queen in such a terrible position. If you make a deal one time, it would open the floodgates. Open season on the Royal Family.
I think the final call would rest with the PM and not the Queen.
What a terrible thought. Though unfortunately, in the world we live in today, it's a very real threat. Actually, I take that back. Throughout history there have been kidnappings and murders of members of various royal families. So I guess it's not anything new. And there was that not-too-long-ago attempt at kidnapping the Princess Royal. Personal security is a must-have for any royal.
I think it was wise to not send Harry to Iraq for exactly this reason.
I agree that accepting the demands of a Kidnapper would mean that no member of the Royal familywould be safe and I agree the Prime minister would most
likely make the final decision.But the refusal to negotiate would most likely result in the death of the victim.Would any PM want to accept responsibility
for that? It would definitely be a no win situation.
Just why are we paying Princess Eugenie's £100,000 gap-year security bill? | Mail Online
I know it's Eugenie's name in the headline but the article is relevent to Beatrice as well.
Not only do you have terrorists, you also have stalkers. Redeeming a royal prisoner might be more costly than giving them minders.
Remember the close call Princess Anne had back in the 1970s? I think the man was probably closer to a stalker than a professional kidnapper. It was a very narrow escape for the princess.
The sisters are the grandchildren of Queen Elizabeth II so it's understandable to a degree for them to have security. What is not understandable though and very insensitive are the headlines they have been making these days (Britain badly effected by the recession, people being made redundant, struggling to keep their house or to make a decent living etc etc etc), by excessively enjoying themselves, partly sporting some indecent behaviour, and all this on the taxpayer's expense although the Princesses are completely unimportant for the crown.
Again, no common sense. It should come naturally for any sensible human being to try to keep quiet or at least to avoid any offence when other people, the British public, are forking out the salaries for your minder. And, if that's not possible and you just wanna have fun on your gap year or at university and do all these crazy and sometimes stupid or indecent things the average 19 year old does, ask your rich daddy to pay for the bill.
The majority of the young royal generation, headed by Eugenie and Beatrice, have the potential to change people's attitude from "I like or don't mind the monarchy" to "I am a republican".
I think the Duke of York should pay for his daughters“ minders. Remember professional security officers said they thought it wasn“t necessary to have that amount of security and they certainly know more about these things than most people do.
I think the press is more than a little to blame for people's attitudes towards Beatrice and Eugenie/their security. It's true that Beatrice and Eugenie haven't done many royal duties or been involved in many charitable causes, but at the same time, I don't feel like they really party as much or do anything as scandalous as the media makes out. I mean, all I ever hear about Beatrice is "doesn't she ever do anything but fall out of nightclubs?" But if you look back through this thread, how many times this month have we had an article on her going out to a party? I've found two. That doesn't really seem excessive to me...if she goes out once a weekend or so, she still has plenty of time to study. But articles about Beatrice and Eugenie partying are the only articles we ever get about them. And yes, to be fair, that's because we don't see them doing much else. But in Beatrice's case, she presumably spends the rest of her time studying or at school, which isn't something you can photograph or design a dramatic headline about.
It's a tough problem to solve. Whenever the girls are out and about, the press will take pictures of them. And because they don't carry out royal engagements yet, the only times they are out and about are usually social evenings. But that doesn't mean they always party or that their security is just being used to fund their party lifestyle.
I do understand, from the perspective of British taxpayers, that security for these girls seems like a waste of money. I somewhat support reducing their security, but the truth is, as unlikely as it may be, something could happen to them. And costs for security in general seem to be going up: for example, I know the security costs for the 2010 Winter Olympics here in Canada are significantly over budget and keep rising. Then again, I don't think this would apply nearly to the same extent to B/E's bodyguards...and I'm not sure why these men need to fly first class and stay in nice hotels when their royal charge is backpacking her way around. The government should possibly consider reducing the perks these bodyguards are enjoying, rather than scrapping security altogether.
These men are away from their families watching over a pair of spoiled little girls having their holidays from what seems to be an endless holiday and they have to do what teenagers find fun! Also the working hours of these men make it necessary for them to have a relief team of men fly out so that they can go home, these are grown trained men not boys out having fun with their mates, they are working unlike their charges who probably will never work in their lives.
It would be more helpful if the Duke of York invested his money in a governess who is there to advise his daughters on how to behave in public as a representative of a country instead of having the public pay for minders to protect his daughters against incidents that are unlikely to happen anyway.
Well written Duke of Marmalade, I agree completely. :flowers:
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