Royal security probe after newspaper sting

British Defence Secretary John Reid has demanded an investigation after a newspaper reporter walked around the grounds of military academy Sandhurst and built a fake bomb device.

British Defence Secretary John Reid has demanded an investigation after a newspaper reporter walked around the grounds of military academy Sandhurst and built a fake bomb device.

The undercover journalist took video footage of Prince Harry, a cadet at the academy, some of which was published in today’s edition of The Sun.

The newspaper said the reporter spent eight hours wandering the grounds and corridors of the college in Camberley, Surrey.

Despite being challenged twice he was on both occasions allowed to proceed on his way, it said.

Mr Reid said: “I have demanded an immediate investigation into this serious security breach.

“I have instructed Sandhurst to change their procedures to prevent a recurrence.”

A Ministry of Defence 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 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, taken from video footage, of the prince with fellow cadets.

Alongside was the headline: “I could have blown Harry to bits.”

The reporter had sent an email to the academy’s chief librarian giving a vague outline of his research into 20th-century warfare, the newspaper said.

He reportedly had an email back confirming an appointment and days later received an invitation from Sandhurst in the post.

The newspaper said the reporter then showed up and was waved through security, strolling 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, The Sun said.

After seven hours at the base he was 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, it was claimed.

A Clarence House spokeswoman said: “We never comment on security matters.”

Harry is an officer cadet at Sandhurst and has only just had his first weekend off from training.

He has completed the commissioning course’s gruelling initial five weeks – a “rite of passage” to transform him from a civilian into a soldier.

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