The Australian magazine that revealed Britain's Prince Harry was serving in Afghanistan apologized on Monday for the news leak.


Prince Harry is seen with his father Prince Charles and his brother Prince William after returning to England from Afghanistan. ((Lefteris Pitarakis/Associated Press))

New Idea, a lifestyle magazine, said it wasn't aware of an embargo agreement between the British Defence Ministry and major news organizations not to reveal the information.

The story, published by the magazine in January, was later picked up by a German publication before U.S. website Drudge Report posted the information in February.

Within a day, the 23-year-old prince was sent home from Afghanistan, cutting short his four-month deployment to 10 weeks. British officials said the leak jeopardized the safety of the prince and his unit.

In an unsigned item in its latest edition issued Monday, New Idea did not explain the source of its January story on Harry.

"We did not knowingly breach any embargo and were not party to any agreement for a media blackout on the story," the magazine said. "However, and more importantly, we do acknowledge that our actions in publishing the story can be reasonably viewed as insensitive and irresponsible."

The magazine apologized to its readers and to troops and their families who serve abroad.

New Idea has a monthly circulation of about 390,000 readers.

With files from the Associated Press