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UK

Prince Harry quizzed after rare birds shot

Prince Harry (R) smiles during his visit to the Royal Navy's fleet diving squadron at Horsea Island in Portsmouth, southern England, October 31, 2007. Police investigating the shooting of two rare birds of prey at the Queen's royal country estate of Sandringham have questioned the monarch's grandson Prince Harry, royal officials said on Wednesday. REUTERS/Tim Ockenden/Pool

LONDON (Reuters) - Police investigating the shooting of two rare birds of prey at the Queen’s royal country estate of Sandringham have questioned the monarch’s grandson Prince Harry, royal officials said on Wednesday.

Harry and a friend were nearby when two rare hen harriers were reportedly shot dead at the estate in Norfolk, last week, an official said, but were not involved.

“Because Prince Harry and a friend were both in the area at the time, the police have been in contact with them and asked them if they have any information that could help,” said a spokesman for Clarence House, the household of Harry’s father and heir-to-the-throne Prince Charles. “Unfortunately they had no knowledge of the alleged incident.”

According to the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, the hen harrier is one of Britain’s most persecuted birds of prey because it poses a threat to the number of grouse available to shoot.

Prince Harry, 23, is third in line to the throne and has often courted controversy in recent years, gaining a reputation as a “wild child” by dabbling in marijuana and under-age drinking as a 17-year-old. He graduated as an army officer from the elite Sandhurst military academy last year.

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