British royal Prince Harry was shocked when his sergeant ordered him to drop his trousers, so he could be checked for a rumoured tattoo of his girlfriend Chelsy Davy's name on his buttocks.

Harry, who knew nothing of the rumour, obeyed orders and unbuckled his belt, and pulled his combat trousers down as far as his knees before the joke came out and his platoon burst into hysterics.

A fellow cadet of the young Royal tells Britain's The Sun newspaper, "It was the funniest thing any of us has seen for ages. Everyone has heard the rumour but no one wanted to ask Harry if it was true.

"Then one of the colour sergeants decided to play a trick on Harry in front of the whole platoon. You should have seen Harry's face. We all fell about laughing. Harry blushed, then he also laughed."