The paparazzo tells PEOPLE the prince swore at him, but not in "aggressive way"

By Simon Perry and Ellen Tumposky
Updated March 26, 2007 08:45 AM

Claims that Prince Harry was involved in a scuffle with a photographer outside one of his favorite nighttime haunts were denied Monday.

Photographs in the British tabloids Sunday and Monday show Harry, 22, tumbling to the floor in the early hours of Saturday morning after he left Boujis nightclub. A photographer, Nirach Tanner, also claims that Harry swore at him and shoved him.

Tanner, 27, says the prince pushed him out of the way but wasn’t necessarily acting aggressively.

Describing the scene, he tells PEOPLE, “[Harry has] come out, he’s trying to go to the car, we’re parallel, I’m slightly in front of him, he literally gives me a push to get me out of the way.”

He says the prince did swear at him, but “it wasn’t an aggressive way of saying f— off. He obviously doesn’t like the paparazzi.”

Harry then took a tumble. “If he wasn’t drunk, he’d have kept his balance, but because he’d been drinking he’s lost his balance, he’s gone down,” Tanner says.

A palace spokesman tells PEOPLE: “There was no aggression intended, there was no confrontation and everyone was laughing about it at the time.

“It was one of those things – he came out of the club, they got entangled and he lost his footing.”

This is not the first time Harry, who has become known as the Party Prince, has made headlines with paparazzi: In 2004 he scuffled with a photographer outside a London nightclub; the prince was hit in the face with a camera an the paparazzo sustained a bruised lip.

But Tanner tells PEOPLE he has no hard feelings: “The guy’s on a night out, he’s going to war, good luck to him, I’d say.”

Harry – who has just completed his last pre-deployment training exercise – is set to join his fellow soldiers from the Blues and Royals regiment in Iraq.