Questions raised over Sandhurst entry delay

Senior officers are questioning why Prince Harry is continuing to delay his entry to Sandhurst due to a "knee injury" while he is fit enough for skiing and playing football.

Senior officers are questioning why Prince Harry is continuing to delay his entry to Sandhurst due to a "knee injury" while he is fit enough for skiing and playing football.

The Prince should have started his course at the Royal Military College this week. But the Army was told in December that he wanted to wait until May because of a bruised right knee. The Army says it is dependent on Clarence House for medical information about the Prince.

The Ministry of Defence said the controversy over Prince Harry wearing a swastika to a fancy-dress party would not affect his entry to Sandhurst. But there is said to be increasing concern in the military about the amount of adverse publicity that the Prince is gathering.

Defence staff say that although it is "not unknown" for cadets to delay the course for medical reasons, explanations would be demanded if it was discovered that they were taking part in active sports.

Clarence House said in November that a knee scan had revealed that the bruising had cleared up. But a few days later came the message that the Prince wanted to wait four months because of the injury.

He subsequently went skiing with friends.

A Sandhurst spokesman, Lieutenant Colonel Roy Parkinson, said: "When Harry delayed we all assumed he was starting in May. The upper age limit is 29, he could keep delaying it until he is fit enough."

A senior officer said yesterday: "There is a certain amount of surprise that he seems to have no difficulty in being so active in sport. The problem is that other cadets may feel he is getting preferential treatment."

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