The Queen’s Son Prince Edward Angrily Shot Toward Paparazzi During Hunting Trip

Queen Elizabeth II‘s third son and youngest child, Prince Edward, is sometimes referred to as the “forgotten royal” since he is not as well known as his siblings. While he has tried for some time to keep his name out of the headlines, there have been some instances where he drew international attention after the paparazzi snapped some controversial photos of him. It’s been reported that a then fed-up Edward purposely shot close to a member of the press during a hunting trip.

Here’s more on that and the photos that garnered worldwide attention for all the wrong reasons.

Prince Edward
Prince Edward | Mark Cuthbert/UK Press via Getty Images

Prince Edward was in hot water and branded a ‘dog beater’ over 1 pic

Back in 2008, the Earl of Wessex was criticized by animal activists everywhere after a photo of him raising a stick to break up a dog fight made the rounds. The pic was taken during a pheasant shoot outing at the queen’s Sandringham estate in Norfolk.

In the photo, Edward can be seen holding a shotgun under his arm and in the other hand appears to hit or come close to striking his black Labrador with a walking stick. Buckingham Palace decided to respond after the earl was branded a “dog beater.”

“It has not been determined that he did strike the dog,” a palace spokesperson said at the time. “He broke up the fight with the dogs and pictures show him waving his stick around.”

Still, an animal charity launched an investigation into the incident. In 2009, the Daily Mail noted that the prince “would not be prosecuted over allegations that he beat his dog while out shooting.” According to the RSPCA, there was “insufficient evidence to support the allegation that he mistreated the animal.”

Prince Edward
Prince Edward during a Royal Shoot at Sandringham | Antony Jones/UK Press via Getty Images

The palace issued another response following the release of a different photo

In 2014, another photo surfaced. This was also taken during a hunting trip and appeared to show Edward aiming a shotgun directly over the head of his son James, Viscount Severn who was 6 at the time.

Following that backlash, Buckingham Palace issued another response defending Edward and explained how the pic was “very misleading.”

“In the image shown the perspective is very misleading,” the spokesman said (per the Daily Mail). “At no time during the shoot was Viscount Severn directly in front of the Earl of Wessex. As always during any sporting event on the estate, the highest safety standards were adhered to. Any suggestion that the earl would risk his son’s welfare in any way is simply untrue.”

Sophie Rhys-Jones, Prince Edward, and their son James
Sophie Rhys-Jones, Prince Edward, and their son James | Anwar Hussein/WireImage

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Prince Edward shot just over a photographer’s head

Edward’s loathe for the paparazzi never seemed to soften after images like those mentioned were snapped at Sandringham. According to Scotland’s Sunday Post, the prince decided to show the photographers his displeasure for them during another shoot in Norfolk.

The publication reported that in an effort to discourage the paps from snapping photos during these shoots he fired over the head of one photographer scattering bits of a shot in his direction.

In 2016, Edward’s wife reportedly banned their children from joining their father during his shoots. But more recently the whole family has been spotted out for a hunting day together and there haven’t been any recent photo gaffes.