Prince Harry to spend 'six months with Australian army'

SYDNEY (AFP) - Planning is underway for Britain's Prince Harry to spend six months on secondment to the Australian army, a report said Thursday.

The 28-year-old younger son of Prince Charles could be formally embedded with an army unit or make an extended visit as an observer, News Limited newspapers said.

"Defence has begun planning for Prince Harry to spend six months on secondment with the Australian army as royal aides and security officials assess the risks of such a deployment," The Australian said in a front-page exclusive.

It said that top-level talks between his Clarence House residence in London, the British army and Australian officials were underway about where and when the deployment would occur.

The Australian Department of Defence refused to confirm or deny the prince's plans to AFP, directing all inquiries to Clarence House.

The newspaper said the prince, a captain in the Household Cavalry Regiment who has served two tours in Afghanistan, was keen to serve alongside Australian soldiers.

Harry returned home from a four-month Afghan deployment in January, stirring controversy by saying that his skill at computer games proved useful for killing Taleban fighters during missions as an Apache helicopter co-pilot.

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