An astonishing bar-room brawl has blighted the Balmoral honeymoon of Prince Charles and his new bride.
The Prince and Duchess Camilla of Cornwall are now at the centre of an investigation after an incredible public bust-up that left a tabloid journalist concussed and two local youths suffering from cuts and bruises.
Retreating to Balmoral in the Scottish highlands after their joyous wedding at Windsor, the happy couple unexpectedly dropped in the following evening to the local pub in the village near the castle, The Pheasant Plucker in Crathie.
Villagers, initially surprised at the Royal visitors, burst into applause.
The Prince, ordering a half pint for himself and a gin and tonic for his wife, acknowledged the warm reception when a reporter, taking a break from staking out Balmoral Castle, confronted him.
According to those present, words were exchanged and, as the reporter reached for his camera, Prince Charles lunged forward and head butted the journalist on the bridge of the nose.
As the reporter dropped to the ground, two Burberry-clad youths, who have not been named, closed in on the future king, only to find a furious Camilla blocking their way.
"She was livid," said Mungo McVitie (48), a local farmer. "Before any of us could move, the Duchess rammed two fingers up the nostrils of one of the lads and punched him in the throat. Then she grabbed the other boy, bit his ear and rammed his head into the bar.
"It was over in seconds. All we could do was carry on clapping."
The rumpus attracted the attention of the two security officers waiting outside the pub. Pausing only to put a five-pound note on the bar and to bid the villagers goodnight, the Prince took his wife by the arm, was escorted out to the waiting Land Rover and then sped back to the castle.
Crathie's village policeman, Constable Hamish MacBeath (52), confirmed that an incident had taken place in the pub and that investigations were ongoing.
"I'm still taking statements," he said. "Although the decision will ultimately lie with the area's procurator fiscal, it is emerging that this seems like a case of provocation and self defence.
"The injuries incurred were minor and, from what I'm being told, thoroughly deserved."