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´Punchy Prince´ Ernst August in clinic after falling while exiting a car

By Thomas Hochwarter

Prince Ernst August of Hanover has his foot in a plaster cast after falling while exiting a car in Vorarlberg yesterday (Thurs).

The 55-year-old, who is married to Princess Caroline of Monaco, suffered a laceration of his quadriceps knee ligament as well as a bruising of his right forearm when he slipped on an icy road in the town of Schruns.

Ernst August underwent surgery last night at the town’s hospital and is said to be in fine condition considering the circumstances.

Christian Schenk, who conducted the operation, said the prominent guest would have to stay in a clinic for a few days. "It is important that he rest now so he can recover from his injuries," the hospital said.

Ernst August will begin physiotherapy at the beginning of next week.

Ernst August was convicted of grievous bodily harm and ordered to pay 445,000 Euros in damages in November 2004 after hospitalising a hotelier. Already in 1998, the aristocrat had hit the headlines – by hitting a photographer with an umbrella. The incident led the German boulevard press to nickname him "Prügel-Prinz" (Punchy Prince).

Two years later, Ernst August was snapped while urinating in a Turkish pavillon during Expo 2000 in Hanover, tempting the press to call him "Pinkel-Prinz" (Peeing Prince).

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