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Friday, 3 August, 2001, 19:36 GMT 20:36 UK
Prince Charles hurt playing polo
Prince Charles playing polo at Cirencester
The prince's sons were playing alongside him
Prince Charles has been injured while playing in a charity polo match.

The prince fell from his horse during the match in Cirencester, Gloucestershire, at about 1600BST on Friday.

He was taken to Cirencester Hospital for treatment before being transferred to Cheltenham General Hospital, but is not thought to have been seriously hurt.

A spokeswoman for Prince Charles told BBC News Online that he had fallen awkwardly from his horse and fallen unconscious temporarily but had not broken any bones.

Prince Charles, 52, was playing in the Highgrove Team alongside his sons, princes William and Harry, when the accident happened in the second chukka of the match.

The prince's team was winning 2-1 at the time, and the match resumed after the incident, with a groom taking his place.

Sons' concern

An eyewitness, who did not wish to be named, said that Prince Charles's team had been about to score a goal when his horse tripped.

The prince fell and the horse seemed to fall on top of him, the witness said.

Both of his sons jumped from their horses to check that their father was alright.

An ambulance was called and after a few minutes the prince was taken off the pitch.

The match was the final of the Meadow Trophy in aid of several charities, including Macmillan Cancer Care, the Tetbury Hospital Trust and a kidney patient charity in Gloucester.

The spokeswoman for Prince Charles said she could not say whether he would be back in London for the Queen Mother's 101st birthday celebrations.

Previous injuries

It is also unclear whether a dinner engagement on Friday evening at Highgrove to mark the installation of the Islamic garden he designed for the Chelsea Flower Show would go ahead.

In January, Prince Charles fractured a bone in his shoulder when he fell off a horse during a fox hunt.

In 1990 he broke his right arm quite badly in a fall during a polo match.

He needed considerable treatment over a protracted period.

The BBC's Peter Hunt
"The prince was involved in a skirmish"
See also:

07 Jan 01 | UK
Prince's unlucky breaks
07 Jan 01 | UK
Prince recovers after fall
30 Jul 01 | Other Sports
England crowned in Coronation Cup
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