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Fees protesters attack royal couple

The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have been attacked by protesters as tuition fees demonstrations descended into vandalism and violence.

Charles and Camilla were unharmed after their car was struck and daubed in paint as they made their way to the Royal Variety Performance in central London.

When the royal couple arrived at the London Palladium they appeared relaxed and smiled - though their Rolls-Royce limousine had clear signs of damage.

The passenger-side rear window was badly cracked and the car was spattered with paint thrown in the Regent Street attack

Prime Minister David Cameron said it was "shocking and regrettable" that the royal couple's car had been attacked.

It came amid several hours of violence which saw a number of police and protesters taken to hospital following a series of running battles in the Westminster area after MPs voted to hike tuition fees to up to £9,000.

Protesters attacked a number of Government buildings near the House of Commons, smashing windows at the Treasury and the Supreme Court, vandalising statues in Parliament Square, including that of Winston Churchill, and damaging shops on Oxford Street.

Police condemned the behaviour, with Superintendent Julia Pendry describing the demonstrators' actions as "outrageous". She added: "This is not peaceful protests at all - this is acts of wanton vandalism, wanton violence and a complete disrespect for central London." Twenty people have so far been arrested.

Home Secretary Theresa May said: "I utterly condemn the increasing levels of violence and disorder that some of the protesters have been, and still are, involved in. What we are seeing in London tonight, the wanton vandalism, smashing of windows, has nothing to do with peaceful protest."

Scotland Yard said 12 police officers were injured with six needing hospital treatment. A spokesman added that 43 protesters were taken to hospital with 36 being taken by ambulance.

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