Outrage over scouts' 'Kate Middleton' kidnap
A Scout troop posing as terrorists sparked outrage after staging a mock kidnap of a girl playing Prince William's fiancee Kate Middleton, a newspaper reported Saturday.
Balaclava-clad Scouts kidnapped a teenager playing Middleton before going on a training exercise to find her, The Daily Telegraph newspaper reported.
Nearly 300 children aged between 11 and 15 were involved in the event, which was designed to foster map-reading skills, the broadsheet said.
They were from a Scout group based in Amersham, northwest of London.
Older Scouts played the parts of the prince and his bride to be, before she was abducted. The Scouts then hunted for clues on a 12-mile (19-kilometre) trek to find her.
Ros Aitken, a member of Amersham Town Council, said she was shocked.
"I'm horrified that something like this has taken place," she said.
"It does sound inappropriate."
But the event's organiser, Brian Shelley, told the paper: "The Scouts loved it and found it very amusing.
"Nobody raised any concerns on the day, so I'm surprised to hear there were any."
The quest was harmless fun and simply an idea to mark the royal wedding, he said.
Another local councillor, Davida Allen, told The Telegraph: "I think the Scout movement is fabulous, but it does seem a bit of a strange way to do a search and rescue task."
The royal wedding is set for London's Westminster Abbey on April 29.
The prince's Clarence House office declined to comment.
© 2011 AFP