Prince's bodyguard hurt in ski accident

PETER VICTOR

The Prince of Wales's police bodyguard has been badly hurt in a skiing accident. Inspector Tony Parker suffered a broken thigh on the slopes at Klosters, where eight years ago the Prince narrowly escaped death in an avalanche.

Inspector Parker, an experienced skier in his mid-forties, who has been a protection officer with the Prince for more than 10 years, was skiing ahead of the Royal party on Madrisa mountain when the accident happened yesterday.It is thought he may have hit a rock where ice is turning to slush.

Prince Charles was on the scene soon after Inspector Parker fell. A ski guide, Bruno Sprecher, followed by the Prince, discovered the injured man and alerted Swiss police, who called a helicopter.

Prince William and Prince Harry also witnessed the drama and saw Inspector Parker, who was conscious and in considerable pain, taken to Davos Hospital by helicopter. He later underwent an emergency operation to insert a hip screw in his right femur.

Prince Charles telephoned Inspector Parker's wife, Angela, in London, and is expected to visit the hospital tomorrow.

The Prince was said to be "greatly upset" but said this latest accident would not stop him nor Prince William and Prince Harry skiing. A spokesman said: "The Prince accepts that accidents will happen but this will not stop him or his children skiing ... People take all possible precautions, wearing the proper equipment and skiing with a ski guide. The Prince is greatly upset that somebody he knows so well should end up in hospital."

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