LONDON – Prince Harry (search) has been told to brush up on his computer skills before starting his army training next month, a British tabloid newspaper reported Friday.
The Daily Mirror reported that army instructors were astounded to find that 20-year-old Harry lacked basic computer skills to pass a simple PC competence test, attributing the information to a military insider.
Harry's "familiarization course" took a turn for the worse when it was discovered he was considerably less advanced in computer skills than other new recruits, the paper reported.
The insider told the paper the prince slipped up when he was asked to perform a series of simple tests to assess his strengths and weaknesses before he starts as a trainee officer at the Royal Military Academy on May 8.
The insider added: "Although the computer test was a lot more complex than just sending e-mails, instructors were amazed that Harry failed it."
Colonel Roy Parkinson, protocol officer at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (search) in Surrey, southern England, told the UK's Press Association that Prince Charles' younger son underwent physical and academic tests ahead of his arrival at Sandhurst.
Parkinson said Harry "had no problem with the physical tests," but did not comment directly on the prince's performance in the computer skills assessment.
Asked to respond to the report, Parkinson said: "Every officer cadet coming to Sandhurst has a pre-course briefing, involving several tests.
"This took place for Harry in November because he was due to start in January," he said.
"One of the tests is a computer diagnostic test to detect what they have to brush up on before coming to Sandhurst," he said. "Harry has not failed anything. It's not a case of pass or fail, it's just a diagnostic test."
The report on Harry's computer skills is just the latest incident in which the third in line to the British throne has found himself in the media spotlight.
Earlier this year, Harry was pictured on the front page of The Sun newspaper wearing a swastika on his sleeve at the party. He was also holding a drink and smoking a cigarette.
Last year, Harry scuffled with a paparazzi photographer outside a London nightclub.
The photographer, who suffered a cut lip, claimed that Harry struck him without provocation. The incident was captured in newspaper pictures.
Three years ago, Prince Charles sent the then-Eton student to a rehabilitation clinic to warn him of the dangers of drugs after discovering he had smoked marijuana and drank alcohol.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.