Prince William stages secret stag weekend at Norfolk country house

Prince William slipped away to Norfolk for a secret stag weekend.

Mystery surrounded the location of the low-key celebration today, as Royal aides refused to reveal any details of the bash other than confirm it had taken place.

The venue was the subject of intense speculation this morning, after reports that a party of around 20 of the Prince's closest male friends attended.

Sandringham House was not thought to have hosted the party, because parts of the Royal Estate were open to visitors over the weekend. Sources at Holkham Hall also ruled out involvement in the bash.

Guests were said to include James Meade, who Prince William met at Eton, and Thomas Van Straubenzee who attended Ludgrove Prep School in Berkshire with the Prince.

Hugh Van Cutsem, whose family own the Hillborough estate, near Swaffham, is also reported to have been present.

This lunchtime there was also speculation that Hillborough may have been the venue for the event, while one of the party said all had been 'sworn to secrecy'.

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If the estate was indeed the venue, the stag party did not visit the local village pub.

'We've had a few reporters here this morning and there's been a few rumours in the village but we haven't seen anyone,' said one staff member at the Swan Inn, at Hillborough.

At the nearby - and appropriately-named - Covert Caravan Site, off the A1065 Mundford Road, there was also no sign of the Royal party.

And while some campsites ban all-male parties, it appeared Prince William and his friends would have been welcome with one small proviso.

'The Covert isn't a members-only club so if a group wanted to book on and they had caravans we'd accept them,' said Caravan Club spokesman Maxine Soghmanian.

'We've had a couple get married and a couple have their honeymoon on one of our sites.'

One newspaper said the cost of the 'do' was less than �2,500, as the group stayed at what it described as a 'sprawling country house'.

'All we're confirming is it has happened,' said a spokesman for St James's Palace this morning. 'We're not saying where, when, or going into any details.'

Nightclub owner Guy Pelly, who was reported to have organised the party with William's brother and best man Prince Harry, also refused to reveal any details of the event.

It had been rumoured that they were planning a water-themed celebration with high speed boats and water skiing on the River Exe, in Devon. A remote pub on the nearby Exeter Canal at Exminster was also reportedly involved.

But the plan was shelved after details were leaked to the press.

Prince William will marry Kate Middleton on April 29.

Royal engagements booked between now and his wedding mean the Prince could not stage his stag do closer to the big day.

Prince William has returned to duty at RAF Valley in Anglesey, where he is serving as an air sea rescue helicopter pilot.

Prince Harry is due to join a fund raising trek to the North Pole in aid of disabled servicemen.

Prince William's low-key event is similar to the stag do of his father, Prince Charles, before he married Lady Diana Spencer, in 1981.