Media could force Harry to quit outback adventure

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PRINCE Harry may have to rethink his plans to spend part of his gap year working on a ranch in Australia if the press does not leave him in peace.

St James’s Palace said it was "concerned and disappointed" that the media were not leaving the 19-year-old prince to learn new trades in the outback.

And a royal source indicated that if things continued as they were, he might have to review the situation.

The renewed signs of discontent with the media pursuing the prince came after an aide appealed yesterday for Harry to be left alone. The Prince of Wales’s press secretary, Colleen Harris, said Harry wanted to enjoy his outback experience as a jackeroo, or cowboy, without the world’s cameras focused on him.

He is spending three months working on a ranch as part of his gap year between school and further studies.

The prince arrived in Australia on Tuesday and held a brief photocall at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo before boarding a plane to Tooloombilla Station, 370 miles west of the Queensland state capital, Brisbane - followed by the media.

A St James’s Palace spokeswoman said: "Prince Harry has not made a statement, but obviously we are concerned and disappointed the media are not leaving him to learn new trades in the outback."

Harry has started working in a cattleyard, according to a report. The Courier-Mail newspaper ran a picture of him at work and said he "moved with ease, throwing his arms out wide as he jostled the cattle with a stick". It said he was sweating but grinning and worked continuously for about an hour at sunset yesterday.

The Royal Family has always been keen to protect Harry and his brother, William, from the kind of frenzied media coverage that dogged Diana, Princess of Wales, before her death in a car crash in 1997.

Relations between the Royals and the media have, however, improved lately, in part because the Royals have staged a number of well-managed photocalls and interviews with the young princes in an effort to sate the media’s appetite for coverage.