Prince Edward accused of beating dogs
Prince Edward could be in the doghouse after pictures were taken that some say show him about to strike his two Labrador retrievers.
Members of the Royal Family were apparently hunting pheasants on the weekend at the Queen's Sandringham estate, in Norfolk, when two Labradors started fighting over a dead pheasant.
Buckingham Palace said Edward was trying to break up the fight between them.
"It has not been determined that he did strike the dog," a spokesman said.
"He broke up the fight with the dogs and pictures show him waving his stick around. We cannot confirm, however, whether he struck the dog."
Animal rights groups have condemned what they believe is a case of animal cruelty.
"Hitting a dog is a pathetic, cowardly and vicious act. It would appear he has had a royal tantrum," said Andrew Taylor, director of Animal Aid.
The pictures show Edward waving a stick as he stands between the two dogs. But they do not show him striking the animals.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals told the Daily Telegraph that an investigation was not under way.
But they did say they were going to look at the photographs to see whether action should be taken.
While it's not illegal in Britain to hit a dog, it is an offence to cause an animal unnecessary suffering.
The news could prove embarrassing to the Royal Family as the Queen is a well-known dog lover and is considered the patron of the RSPCA.