Prince Harry sped to help a pal after he heard him being mugged as they chatted on the phone
The prince, 27, quickly drove to the spot where Thomas van Straubenzee was attacked and searched for him until "intuition" took him to the local police station.
Harry, just back from US helicopter training, found his friend from prep school there, and gave police a statement.
Mr van Straubenzee's BlackBerry phone was taken during the attack, as were several of his front teeth. He was unavailable for comment, being laid up in hospital with what doctors described as "a f------ good pummeling".
Police hailed Harry as a "hero" for trying to stop the mugging, though they added "It might have been wiser if the Prince had simply called the police rather than driven several hundred miles to tackle the situation on his own".
A spokesman for the Royal Family denied that Harry had driven to Scotland "looking for a fight", saying that the prince "goes down to the East End of London whenever he wants a fight".