LONDON – Prince Harry (search) will not apologize to a paparazzi photographer he scuffled with outside a London nightclub, a royal spokesman said Saturday.
The photographer suffered a cut lip and had claimed that Harry struck him without provocation after the 20-year-old prince emerged from a trendy club early Thursday morning. Royal officials said Harry was hit in the face with a camera and pushed back.
Paddy Harverson, communications secretary to Harry's father, Prince Charles (search), said the paparazzi were "pretty aggressive" and there was no need for an apology.
"He is not unused to it, he knows they are going to be waiting for him sometimes when he is out and about," Harverson told British Broadcasting Corp. radio. "In this case they did seem to be much pushier. It was unfortunate, it was regretful, but let's move on."
Harry, who plans to enroll next year at a military college, has long been known to be wilder of the two sons of Charles and the late Princess Diana. His 22-year-old brother, Prince William (search), is a university student.
Harry, third in line to the throne, has been photographed drinking in London's trendiest nightclubs. Two years ago, his father sent him to observe a drug rehabilitation center after he was caught smoking marijuana.
Harverson said, however, that the media have been wrong to give Harry his "party prince" image.
"He's not the cartoon character that the media like to portray of him. He is a good young man trying to make his way in the world in a very, very public situation," Harverson told the BBC.
"Put yourself in his position. He was coming out of a club and he got absolutely mobbed by the photographers," he added. "OK, he lost his temper, it does happen, let's not get it out of all proportion. Let's cut him some slack."
Harverson said Harry had spoken to his father about the nightclub incident.
"His father was quite supportive and sympathetic, but hopefully this sort of thing won't happen again," he told the BBC.