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Gun fired at Prince Andrew mansion

Andrew was in the residence when the gun was fired.

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LONDON, England -- A royal bodyguard has been taken off firearms duty after accidentally firing a shot inside Britain's Prince Andrew's home while he was in another room.

The Metropolitan Police officer was unloading his gun when the bullet went off. Prince Andrew, Duke of York, is the second son of Queen Elizabeth II and fourth in line to the throne.

Scotland Yard has mounted an inquiry following the incident, which happened a fortnight ago at Andrew's Berkshire mansion Sunninghill Park.

The officer has not been suspended but is unable to perform his royal protection role as he has been temporarily relegated to unarmed duties.

Last night Scotland Yard issued a statement, which said: "We can confirm that on the 25th April a Metropolitan Police officer accidentally discharged a firearm while he was unloading it.

"There were no injuries. An internal inquiry has been launched as a matter of course.

"As is routine the officer concerned has been taken off routine firearms duty pending the outcome of the inquiry."

Scotland Yard have refused to name the officer.

In June 2000, royal bodyguard Pc Michael Slade twice fired his gun accidentally as the queen slept nearby on board the Royal Train.

The bodyguard fired the first round as he took off his holster to do some early-morning stretching exercises in the staff dining room of the train, which was stationary in the Welsh countryside en route to Cardiff.

A Buckingham Palace spokeswoman would not comment on the incident, saying: "This is a police matter."

Prince Andrew is the divorced husband of Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson. Their daughters, Princess Beatrice of York and Princess Eugenie of York, are fifth and sixth in line to the throne.

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