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Princess Royal faces court on DDA charge

THE PRINCESS Royal is due to appear in court next week over allegations that one of her bull terriers attacked two children, writes Nick Mays.

The Princess and her husband, Commodore Timothy Laurence, are summonsed to appear before East Berkshire magistrates in Slough on Thursday, November 21, on charges under the 1991 Dangerous Dogs Act.

It is alleged that their dog attacked two boys aged seven and 12 while they were cycling in Windsor Park in April, two days after the death of HRH Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother.

However, it is understood that the boys’ families are royalists and were reluctant to see the Princess and her husband charged.

One of the princess’s three Bull Terriers, a 13-year-old bitch called Eglantyne, is thought to be the likeliest to have committed the alleged attack. The dog has been involved in two previous biting incidents over the years.


The children who were bitten cannot be named for legal reasons. However, a family friend said that the Princess was deeply concerned over the incident and immediately took charge, driving the boys to hospital in her own car.

“She was entirely human in her concern for the children,” he said. “The Princess took the children to her car and then drove them to the hospital. What she did, I don’t think any ordinary person would have done. She was very nice.”

The friend added that the family had no axe to grind and had not wanted the Princess charged and taken to court. “I don’t think the family wanted Princess Anne to be taken to court, but the police probably want to make it an issue to prove that nobody is above the law. It is not personal.”