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14.12.2010 International

Protesters made 'contact' with Camilla — May

By BBC - Daily Graphic
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Home Secretary Theresa May has confirmed there was 'contact' between the Duchess of Cornwall and one of the protesters who attacked her car.

But she did not confirm reports the duchess was poked with a stick during student protests last Thursday.

The Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Sir Paul Stephenson, has spoken to Prince Charles following the incident.

Overnight, the police have issued images of 14 alleged rioters. The BBC understands there have been some positive responses from members of the public to the release of the images.

The protesters launched an attack on a car carrying Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall as it passed along Regent Street.

Their Rolls-Royce was kicked, splashed with paint and a window was cracked to chants of 'off with their heads'.

There were reports Camilla was poked with a stick, through one of the car windows as the royal couple made their way to the London Palladium.

Mrs May told Sky News: 'I'm not sure about the term 'poked with a stick'. I understand there was some contact made.

'Again this is an incident that needs to be looked at by the Metropolitan Police. That is what they are doing. So we will very soon have the details of that.

'And obviously it will be for them to look at what happened and decide whether there are any lessons that need to be learned”.

She said she had not considered offering her resignation over the incident and added: 'Of course that's an incredibly regrettable incident that took place.

'We should praise the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall for their response - they carried on with the engagement they were doing that evening so they didn't let down the people who were expecting them”.

A Clarence House spokesperson confirmed Prince Charles and Sir Paul spoke following Thursday's incident.

A Scotland Yard spokesperson declined to confirm reports the commissioner apologised personally to the Prince.

There have been 'positive responses' from the public to the release of the images

There has been speculation in the wake of the incident that the Prince of Wales may trade in his Rolls-Royce for a more secure vehicle.

Mrs May said the Phantom VI might not be 'appropriate' for the purpose any more.

The car was a gift from the Car Association to the Queen in her Silver Jubilee year of 1977, but Mrs May said, 'One of the issues that may very well be looked at is the question of the appropriate transport that is used by the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall”.

Prime Minister David Cameron has said protesters who engaged in violence should face the 'full force of the law'..— BBC

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