LONDON – A former teacher at Eton College who says she was ordered to contribute work to Prince Harry's (search) art project told an employment tribunal Monday she had assumed it was because he was regarded as a weak student.
Sarah Forsyth (search), 30, says she was fired on June 16, 2003, from Eton, one of Britain's most prestigious private elementary and secondary schools, after being harassed by Ian Burke, then head of Eton's art department. She said Burke ordered her to do some of the work on Harry's art project.
Forsyth, who is seeking 10,000 pounds ($18,000; euro15,000) in compensation, had already made the allegations before an exam board, which found Harry had not cheated.
The prince, son of Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, achieved a B in art and a D in geography at A-level, his final school exams.
These grades helped the prince win admission to his next school, Sandhurst, where he began training as a military officer Monday.
In a statement read Monday at the start of the tribunal in Reading, west of London, Forsyth said she wrote nearly all the text of an art project that Harry submitted to pass an important exam in 2002.
She said the night before a moderator was due, Burke asked her to prepare lines of text to accompany images prepared by the prince for his art project. She later saw Harry and Burke at a computer, apparently reading through her text and deciding which bits should go where.
"I was concerned that this was unethical and probably constituted ... cheating," she said.
"I assumed I had been asked to do this because Prince Harry was a weak student. I had been told some time before by (another teacher), who had marked his entrance examination, that he had been 'desperate' to find points for which to award marks," she said.
"I have recently seen for the first time extracts of the written material which was submitted on Prince Harry's behalf and can confirm that it was nearly all written by me."
She said she later secretly recorded a conversation with the prince in which she says he confirmed he had written "about a sentence" of the text of the project.
Forsyth said parts of a painting featured in newspapers as the prince's work for his final exams also had been completed by Burke, who would occasionally do painting for the boys while he talked to them about betting and football.
The college denies her claims.
In his own statement to the tribunal, Burke denied completing the prince's work and that of another pupil.
"This is a misrepresentation of a friendly atmosphere in which boys discussed their interests," he said. "The suggestion that I finished these two pupils' work is completely untrue."