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Outrage as Prince George plays with toy gun and knife on family day out amid surge in violence

Mirror logo Mirror 6/11/2018 Chris kitching

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The Royal Family is facing criticism after Prince George was pictured playing with a toy handgun and knife amid a surge in violence in the UK. 

The future king was with his sister Princess Charlotte and mom Kate as they watched his dad, the Duke of Cambridge, take part in a polo match.

Four-year-old Prince George looks down the barrel of a toy gun © PA Four-year-old Prince George looks down the barrel of a toy gun The four-year-old royal was seen looking down the barrel of the toy as he and other youngsters played with fake weapons and handcuffs during the family day out.

At one point George, who has shown an interest in the police, even seemed to jokingly tease his mum by pointing the gun at her chin.

a group of people standing next to a person: George plays with a toy knife as he sits with his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited George plays with a toy knife as he sits with his mother, the Duchess of Cambridge

It is understood that George's toy was a water pistol that wasn't purchased for the young prince.

It was won as a prize at a children's fair at Sunday's Maserati Royal Charity Polo Trophy match.

The images sparked a debate on Twitter with anger and disappointment expressed by some, and others saying it was simply a case of 'kids being kids' that wasn't a big deal.

But critics have said fake weapons shouldn't be seen as fun toys, and George and the other children shouldn't have been allowed to play with them.

a little girl that is sitting in the grass: George holds a set of plastic handcuffs next to his mum and sister Princess Charlotte © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited George holds a set of plastic handcuffs next to his mum and sister Princess Charlotte

The young prince did play with other toys, including a colorful 'slinky'.

Some critics argued that the toy guns - dark in color with an orange plastic ring around the end of the barrel - looked too much like the real thing.

One Twitter user wrote: "Sad to see George playing with a gun when the whole country has a gun/knife crime situation. Maybe in training for killing wild life in later years.

"Thought he was a sensitive child. Better if he was seen playing with a toy car or football. Sadly the royals will never change."

a group of people looking at a woman: George and family were watching the Duke of Cambridge in a polo match © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited George and family were watching the Duke of Cambridge in a polo match

This year has seen a surge in violent crime in London, with the Met Police launching at least 74 murder investigations so far.

Another tweeted: "This isn’t okay anymore... My American side here, biased maybe b/c of everyday #gunviolence in USA, but my British side agrees.

"No child in this day and age should look at any gun as a fun toy. This looks far too real. (And I LOVE Prince George, don’t get me wrong!)."

And one wrote: "Here’s why the sight of Prince George playing with a toy gun is triggering for some of us. Black mothers in the US have to teach their sons not to play with anything (a toy gun, a cell phone, etc.) a policeman could claim looked like a real gun. Their lives depend on it."

a couple of people that are standing in the grass: George plays with a colourful 'slinky' at the polo match © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited George plays with a colourful 'slinky' at the polo match

Other Twitter users' came to George's defense following the polo event at Beaufort Polo Club, Gloucestershire.

One wrote: "Can’t believe people are booting off about Prince George playing with a toy gun and handcuffs! He’s a child most likely playing cops and robbers! People are so dramatic."

Another added: "Prince George was playing with a toy gun? So what! It’s a toy! People get over yourselves and let others parent how they see fit as long as they’re not causing harm or anguish to their kids."

Some pointed to the fact that George comes from a family with a military and hunting background.

a little girl standing in front of a car: It is understood George's toy gun was a water pistol © Trinity Mirror Shared Services Limited It is understood George's toy gun was a water pistol

A spokesperson for Kensington Palace said it had no comment on the reaction to the photos.

While George and his pals were playing with toy guns, three-year-old Charlotte stole the show by skipping, running around and even doing a headstand.

The young siblings seemed to be delighted to be reunited with cousins Savannah and Isla, who are the daughters of Peter Phillips, Princess Anne's only son.

They were present with mum Autumn Phillips.

It was a rare appearance for Kate and the kids who, since the birth of the Cambridges' youngest son, Prince Louis, in April have only made two public appearances.

The first was at Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's wedding on May 19.

Louis was not with his older siblings at the polo match. The baby prince was also absent from the Royal Family's balcony appearance at the Trooping the Colour ceremony on Saturday afternoon.

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