Police may take action against Prince Harry

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The Independent Online

Police have said they may take action against Prince Harry after it was revealed at the weekend that he smoked cannabis and drank while he was under-age.

The 17-year-old could be interviewed by officers in Wiltshire, who are to study allegations about his behaviour. Superintendent Mandy Evely said he would be treated in "exactly the same way" as any other youngster.

"One of the newspapers has said they have some sort of dossier of evidence against him," she said. "We will be looking at that and if there is any evidence on which we can act, then of course we will do that."

The Prince of Walestook Prince Harry to a rehabilitation clinic in south London, of which he is patron, in order to shock him after discovering that his younger son had smoked drugs at the family's Highgrove residence and at private parties last summer. It was also alleged that he drank alcohol at the Rattlebone Inn in the nearby village of Sherston, Wiltshire.

Buckingham Palace yesterday said the Queen shared Prince Charles's concerns over "the seriousness of Prince Harry's behaviour and supports the action which has been taken". She hoped the matter could now be closed.

Police will question those in charge of the pub at the time. Supt Evely said: "We need to see what the evidence is against the licensees."

Young's Brewery, which bought the Rattlebone Inn in March last year, said it had carried out a "full inquiry" into the allegations and found them to be false.

In a statement to "put the record straight", the London-based brewery said that Prince Harry had visited the pub on a number of occasions. "At no time was he served any alcoholic drink and he was always perfectly behaved."

Drugs had not been available at the pub during Young's ownership, the statement said. "Licensees are not allowed to serve alcohol to under-age drinkers. Under no circumstances do we tolerate the use or sale of drugs on our premises."

Prince Harry returned to Eton College yesterday after spending the weekend at Highgrove. Pupils at the school face expulsion for possessing, using or dealing drugs during term time and random urine tests are sometimes used if there are concerns that youngsters have erred.

In a statement, John Lewis, the headmaster, refused to comment directly on Prince Harry's behaviour but he made clear that he been consulted by Prince Charles, insisting: "The school has now dealt with the matter."