Prince Harry has revealed one job he had during his stint as a teenage jackaroo in outback Queensland – castrating calves.

The Duke of Sussex spent nine weeks at Tooloombillah Station in late 2003 aged 19, between leaving Eton College and joining the British Army.

The 16,000-hectare cattle estate, 150km northwest of Roma, was owned by Annie and Noel Hill, friends of his late mother Diana, Princess of Wales.

Annie Hill was Diana’s roommate when Harry’s father, then the Prince of Wales and now King Charles III, first moved in with her. Mr Hill’s father was a professional polo player who taught Charles the game.

Prince Harry has revealed one job he had during his stint as a teenage jackaroo in outback Queensland – castrating calves. He is pictured at Tooloombillah station in Queensland with George Hill, the station owner’s son who became his mentor.

Harry took on a new surname during his time in Queensland.  During a break in Sydney, the prince visited Taronga Zoo and was photographed with an echidna named Spike.  George Hill saw the picture, thought Harry looked like an animal and named him Spike.

Harry took on a new surname during his time in Queensland. During a break in Sydney, the prince visited Taronga Zoo and was photographed with an echidna named Spike. George Hill saw the picture, thought Harry looked like an animal and named him Spike.

Harry writes in his new memoir Spare that Charles discouraged him from attending university after leaving school, suggesting he take a gap year instead.

‘It was no secret, she tactfully told me, that I was not “the intellectual of the family”,’ Harry writes in Spare. ‘He didn’t mean to hurt me. Still, I shuddered.’

Harry had planned to spend six months on an Australian farm, away from the prying eyes of paparazzi, and six months in Africa where he would continue his mother’s charitable work.

When the young prince arrived at Tooloombillah – twice as large as his family’s Scottish estate Balmoral – he soon realized it would be nothing like Eton.

Between leaving Eton College and joining the British Army, the Duke of Sussex spent nine weeks at Tooloombillah station in late 2003 at the age of 19.  The 16,000 hectare cattle estate was owned by Annie and Noel Hill, friends of the latter.  mother diana

Between leaving Eton College and joining the British Army, the Duke of Sussex spent nine weeks at Tooloombillah station in late 2003 at the age of 19. The 16,000 hectare cattle estate was owned by Annie and Noel Hill, friends of the latter. mother diana

The Hills had three children, Nikki, Eusty and their eldest son George, who – despite being Harry’s age – would become his boss, mentor and teacher.

The first change in his circumstances that startled Harry was the scorching heat. Coming from a cold climate, they were now forced to work in furnace-like conditions.

Luckily, Harry was allowed to stay in the Hills’ main house, which he describes as a lovely bungalow, while his bodyguards were trapped in an outbuilding on the side of the station.

Harry writes about feeling awkward at dinner when the conversation inevitably turned to his mother, who died in a Paris car crash six years earlier.

A typical working day begins a few hours before dawn with Harry and George completing as much work as possible before sunrise.

A typical working day begins a few hours before dawn with Harry and George completing as much work as possible before sunrise.  The pair would then climb into the saddle and go out to gather cattle, which sometimes did not end well if an animal became separated from the herd.

A typical working day begins a few hours before dawn with Harry and George completing as much work as possible before sunrise. The pair would then climb into the saddle and go out to gather cattle, which sometimes did not end well if an animal became separated from the herd.

The pair would then go out to collect cattle across the saddle, which sometimes did not end well if an animal became separated from the herd.

Harry writes, ‘From time to time, in the heat of the chase, you fall from your saddle when you hit a low branch and sometimes you faint.

Upon recovering from such a fall, Harry would check his body for fractures or internal bleeding. Some days he used to see George only at the station.

While Harry immersed himself in station life, there was one job he refused to do.

In ‘Spare’ he writes, ‘The only thing I did not take care of, the only difficult thing I avoided, was to cut off his testicles.’ ‘Every time George took out that shiny long blade I’d put my hands up. No way, man, I can’t. you do it.’

While Harry immersed himself in station life, there was an element of cattle management that he could not bring himself to do.  He writes in Spare, 'The only thing I did not take care of, the only difficult thing I avoided, was to cut off his testicles.

While Harry immersed himself in station life, there was an element of cattle management that he could not bring himself to do. He writes in Spare, ‘The only thing I did not take care of, the only difficult thing I avoided, was to cut off his testicles.

At the end of a long day, Harry and George would eat dinner and then sit on the verandah smoking cigarettes and drinking cold beers. He was in bed at 8.30 pm.

Harry writes that the exhausting work had caused him to lose so much weight that he felt he was wasting away and began to look and sound more like George the Stockman than an English prince.

Harry’s hair had not fully recovered since being shaved by his peers at Eton. Some threads stood up and some stuck to his head.

Following a visit to Taronga Zoo while attending a Rugby World Cup game in Sydney, the Prince posed for a photo with an echidna, which was nicknamed ‘Spike’ because of its quills.

George sees the picture and thinks Harry looks like an echidna and names him Spike, as do his bodyguards.

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“From time to time, in the heat of the chase, you fall from your saddle when you hit a low branch and sometimes, you are knocked unconscious,” writes Harry

Harry begins calling himself Spike over a walkie-talkie, talking to his security detail, some of whom don T-shirts that read ‘Spike 2003’.

Eventually, the name also became associated with some of Harry’s friends and family in England.

A Facebook profile which existed under ‘Spike Wells’ from 2008 to 2012 and is believed to have been used by the prince, had some of Britain’s wealthiest young friends.

Harry’s stay in Toowoombil was cut short by the presence of paparazzi. In December police found an intruder at the station, and two more the following day.

Not wanting to expose the Hills to an invasion of their privacy, Harry flies to England a few days before Christmas.

‘I’ve had a great time working here, meeting people and learning a bit about being a jackroo,’ Harry said in a statement at the conclusion of the visit.

‘And of course the rugby was absolutely brilliant. It is a great country.’

Harry's stay in Tooloombillah was cut short by the presence of the paparazzi.  The police found one intruder at the station, and found two more the next day.  Harry flew home in late December

Harry’s stay in Tooloombillah was cut short by the presence of the paparazzi. Police found one intruder at the station, and found two more the next day. Harry flew home in late December

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