Questions have been raised about police handling of tuition fee protests after a car carrying the Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall was attacked.
Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police Sir Paul Stephenson admitted that the police operation was "very, very stretched" but commended the police protecting the royal couple.
"The officers who were protecting the Royal Highnesses showed very real restraint. Some of those officers were armed," he said.
London Mayor Boris Johnson said that it was "very regrettable that in the heart of London the heir of the throne can be surrounded by agitators".
But he defended the policing of the riots, saying officers "a very good job" in difficult circumstances.
"We could have a different system. We could have water cannon. We could have baton charges," he said.
"We could have a different kind of democracy. We could have had very more broken heads."
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