Prince William was cornered by a snarling police dog on the Sandringham estate, it has been revealed.
The Royal was enjoying a late night walk when the attack dog mistook him for an intruder.
William escaped unharmed by standing still until handler PC Jon Chandler arrived on scene.
Jon has revealed the bizarre encounter for the first time after retiring from his 30 year police career.
He told the Eastern Daily Press: “I had a particularly interesting night when I was walking my dog off the lead around the grounds and he chased after the future king of England.
“It was late at night and Prince William was walking towards the garages and the dog picked up his scent and went charging after him.
“He took it in good jest. He was only young then.
“It could have gone horribly wrong if he was bitten, but fortunately the dog did what it was supposed to do, and just stood back and barked at him. It was a memorable night.”
The incident is believed to have happened many years ago when Prince William, now 38, was a young man.
He is believed to have been staying on the Norfolk estate during one of the Royal family’s traditional Christmas breaks.
Jon was patrolling the grounds of Sandringham House in darkness when his dog located William near some garages.
William was not bitten and escaped unharmed by standing still until Chandler caught up and put it back on a lead.
William, like his grandmother the Queen, is a well-known dog lover.
In November he told how his family had been left saddened by the death of their eight-year-old cocker spaniel Lupo.
Other highlights of his career included arresting two murder suspects, recovering 100,000 ecstasy tablets and locating missing people.
Jon spent 10 years working as a handler with specialist search, drugs and firearms dogs.
He added: “There have been lots of highs and a few lows, but overall I have enjoyed my career.
“I have had the opportunity to make a difference – that is the reason I joined in the first place.”
Kensington Palace declined to comment.