ONE might call it a storm in a royal teacup…
Jail bosses have destroyed a china teacup that Princess Anne drank from on a recent visit – over fears it could be used as a weapon by dangerous prisoners.
The princess visited Scotland’s Shotts prison as part of charity work with The Butler Trust – an organisation that recognises good practice by people working in prisons.
The Queen’s only daughter has visited the jail a number of times in the last 20 years.
Top brass at the Lanarkshire prison hoped to charm the Princess Royal with tea served in posh porcelain during her latest visit last month.
But after the royal drop-in, bosses at Scotland’s highest security jail ordered the mug to be destroyed and binned – fearing prisoners could make a weapon out of it.
While some prisoners in Scotland’s 14 jails enjoy being able to drink a brew in prison-issue mugs, many – like murderers and rapists homed at Shotts – are given plastic cups.
That goes for staff too.
A source at the jail said: “All the prisoners were on lock-down and told to be on their best behaviour during her visit.
“Princess Anne would have been standing there with the best porcelain and saucer with everyone else drinking out a plastic mug.”
Jail bosses that fear prisoners can turn everyday objects into weapons. Last July a prison officer was left scarred for life at the jail after he was slashed across the face with a homemade blade.
Prison Officers Association Scotland put out images of the 50-year-old’s serious injuries on Twitter to warn the public of the challenging security issues guards faced.
It’s thought the prisoner used a razor blade melted on to a toothbrush to launch the attack.
Three months previously, rapist David McMillan was jailed for an extra 12 years for slashing warden Neil Cumming across the face with a razor blade at Glenochil jail, Clackmannanshire.
Shotts jail houses some of Scotland’s most violent prisoners with staff trained to continually be on their toes.
Last year we reported on how Alexander Pacteau – who murdered Irish student nurse Karen Buckley and tried to dispose of her body in a barrel of acid – was moved out of the tough jail over fears for his safety.
A spokesman for the Scottish Prison Service confirmed Princess Anne visited the maximum security prison, which homes more than 500 inmates, but said they would not comment on her visit.
A spokesman for the Butlers Trust charity said: “She met a number of prison officers during the visit who have been recognised for their great work with prisoners.”
Royal experts last said there was no need to roll out the royal treatment for Princess Anne.
Ian Lloyd, The Sunday Post’s royal correspondent, said: “Princess Anne is the most down-to-earth royal you could meet. She’d have been happy supping out of a plastic mug.”
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