Photographs showing a day in the life of Prince William posted online by St James' s Palace have caused an embarrassing security blunder for the Ministry of Defence in the United Kingdom.
The ministry was yesterday forced to reset the user names and computer passwords of dozens of Royal Air Force staff after 10 pictures of Prince William were published on the Duke and Duchess' new official website, the Daily Mail reported.
Apparently sensitive information was visible in four of the shots which capture the 30-year-old's normal working day as a Search and Rescue helicopter pilot.
A spokesman for the ministry said in a statement yesterday that the security breach was an "administrative oversight".
"These photographs were not properly cleared at RAF Valley and the images showed unclassified MoD user names, passwords and computer screens on a restricted system.
"The passwords and user names shown have now been reset as a precaution and we are satisfied the images do not contravene security regulations," the spokesman said.
He said all images had been "re-issued" and requested that media use these instead.
By the time the error with the pictures was spotted some four hours after being published they had already been printed in newspapers, had appeared on websites around the world, and had been broadcast on television, the Mail said.
"In one picture William can be seen leaning back in his chair in a briefing room, laughing with colleagues, in front of a computer with a password prompt screen open," the Daily Mail said.
"Another shows the prince at a computer with a document on the desk next to him, an iPhone at his side, with an email open on another computer behind him.
"Other shots show details of passwords and user names pinned up on a wall behind the future king."
A St James's Palace spokesperson said the photographs were taken by an RAF photographer.
No special treatment for prince
The amended photos show that the prince does not get the royal treatment at base on Anglesey, north Wales.
When on round-the-clock duty Flight Lieutenant Wales stays in staff accommodation at RAF Valley, and in the images can be seen making a cup of tea and even his own single bed in his tiny bedroom, which is just like that of any officer.
The prince flies Royal Air Force Sea King helicopters and is part of a four person crew, which includes two pilots (an aircraft captain and a co-pilot), a winchman, most of whom are fully-trained paramedics, and a radar/winch operator.
Each morning his day will begin with a briefing from the off-going duty SAR crew from the previous shift. Typically, this will include an engineering brief about the state of their aircraft, an update on specific air and ground activities in the area and the local and national weather forecasts for the next five days.
From the moment a crew goes on duty it aims to be airborne within 15 minutes of receiving a search and rescue call.
During the shift, the crew is constantly on-call, meaning the prince must remain in constant contact and can never be more than 60 seconds away from his helicopter in case an emergency call comes in.
When the crew is not conducting a search and rescue mission or preparing for a training exercise, they can often be found in the crew-room playing video games or eating a meal in the nearby dining room.
Once the outgoing crew has clocked off, they remain on standby for the majority of the next day, to support more complex search and rescue operations if the call for help is made.