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Last Updated: Saturday, 27 September, 2003, 10:04 GMT 11:04 UK
Harry to stay at cattle station
Prince Harry
Prince Harry is thought to be planning a career in the military

Prince Harry is to continue his stay at an Australian cattle station despite the intense media interest it has generated, Clarence House has said.

It had been reported in the Australian media that police had taken him away from the Queensland ranch, where he is spending part of his gap year.

But a spokeswoman for Harry said on Saturday: "He's there. He's still at the ranch and he never left. He's absolutely fine, he's getting on with it and enjoying himself."

Clarence House said on Friday the prince might consider leaving Australia if the media interest in him there did not diminish.

We do hope the media will give him the space to enjoy his time there
Prince Harry's spokeswoman
Harry travelled to Australia on Tuesday and is working as a farm hand or "jackaroo" on the 39,500-acre Tooloombilla station in the outback.

His spokeswoman had said the Australian media were being "quite intrusive" and had "surrounded the place", adding that he could not move around and learn the trade he intended to.

If the interest continued the prince might have to review his options, she said.

But on Saturday, she said: "We increasingly hope he'll be staying to get the outback experience he wanted.

Sandhurst plans

"We do hope the media will give him the space to enjoy his time there.

"He wants to learn about agriculture in the outback."

The prince is intending to stay for three months in Australia, spending much of his time rounding up cattle and sheep for less than 100 a week.

On arrival in Sydney, Harry posed for the cameras at a zoo, but his entourage hoped media interest would then tail off.

After his gap year, the prince, who gained B and D grade A-levels at Eton, plans to join the military.

He plans to apply for the elite Sandhurst military college where the UK's top Army officers are trained.

The institution is also occasionally attended by the children of foreign heads of state.

Harry's Australia trip has already caused controversy with criticism of the estimated 600,000 cost for the 12-strong squad needed to protect the prince.

The BBC's Michael Peschardt
"This visit started off so well"


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