Secret plans are being drawn up for Prince Harry to spend six months in the land down under, on secondment with the Australian Army, according to a report published in the Australian newspaper today. However, Harry's spokespeople told the Royalist that there are 'no such plans'.
Australia is part of the Commonwealth, the club of ex-British Empire nations which maintain a friendly confederacy and many of which, like Australia, retain the Queen as their head of state.
Royal aides and security officials are assessing the risks of such a deployment according to the paper, which says it has learned that Prince Harry has said he is keen to serve alongside Australian soldiers.The paper says:
Behind the scenes, top-level talks between his residence Clarence House in London, the British Army and Australian officials are continuing about where and when the deployment would occur and whether the third in line to the throne would serve on the frontline. He could be formally embedded with an Australian army unit or make an extended visit as an observer.Although the Australian Defence Force does not fly Apache helicopters, which Prince Harry has flown on deployment in Afghanistan, the army is introducing Tiger armed reconnaissance helicopters which perform a similar role.Any Captain "Digger" Wales, as Prince Harry would be known, would cement the upsurge in popularity of the royal family in this country.
If and when a deployment does happen, it will have to be fitted around his 335km Walking With The Wounded trek to the South Pole with a team of four wounded British servicemen and women in November and December.
Update at 16:30 London time: Harry's spokespeople say: "There are no such plans".