Peaceful protests in London turned ugly, Thursday, after British Prime Minister David Cameron´s government approved a 300 percent tuition hike for British universities that would set tuition at $14,000 per year. The close 323-302 vote was the spark that caused some of the 30,000 peaceful student protesters to break off from the main assembly and run amok in the streets of London.
Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, were on their way through London's West End shopping and entertainment hub to the Palladium Theatre to attend a charity performance when their paths crossed with 20 demonstrators from the angry mob.
The Rolls Royce Phantom VI that they were riding in is used exclusively for the Royal family, so was moderately armored. When the crowd recognized the State Car they attacked it, shouting "Off with their heads" and "Tory scum."
The students, who were carrying paint and bottles, cracked the "toughened glass" of the rear window, and kicked and pounded the car with fists and bottles before security officers riding in the Royal convoy gave the order for the Rolls Royce driver to break away from the crowd.
Adnan Nazir, a witness to the scene, told the Associated Press that "paint was being thrown at it, people were trying to get inside the vehicle at one point and the couple, I saw they looked absolutely terrified, it was absolutely shocking scenes."
The heir to the British throne and the Duchess of Cornwall arrived at the Palladium Theatre unharmed a few minutes after the attack.
The violence was not isolated to the attack on the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. Mobs also broke store windows and vandalized many government buildings and London statues. The Supreme Court and the Treasury had windows broken, a Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square was set ablaze, a Winston Churchill statue was vandalized, and protesters threw sticks and rocks at riot police during the unrest, according to media reports.
By the end of the night ten police officers and 38 protesters were injured. Dozens were arrested during the violence.
After the violence Prime Minister Cameron said in an e-mail statement, "the violence in London today is totally unacceptable. It is clear that a minority of protesters came determined to provoke violence, attack the police and cause as much damage to property as possible... It is shocking and regrettable that the car carrying the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall was caught up and attacked in the violence."
Watch the cell phone video shot by witness, Adnan Nazir, below: