According to the London Evening Standard, police in Paris claimed that “an intervention from London” had led to their being ordered to “downscale” the inquiry.

It is reported that Pippa was travelling in an Audi convertible in the French city on Saturday when the driver pointed what appeared to be a semi-automatic weapon at a photographer.

Pippa was apparently travelling to the Gare du Nord station to take a Eurostar train to London after a party. She is said to have been sharing the car with three men.

An officer has been quoted as saying: “If the suspects involved were ordinary kids from the estates they would have been brought in by now.

“As it is this case is being dealt with at a very high level. Lots of meetings have taken place to discuss the sensitivity of the issue, and there has been an intervention from London.”

Experts are said to have examined the pictures from the incident and identified the weapon as looking like a Sig Sauer P228 — a 9mm firearm.

If the gun is proved to be real, those involved could face up to seven years in prison. If it is fake, they could still be landed with a two-year sentence.

The driver of the car remains unidentified, while Pippa was sitting next to fashion entrepreneur Arthur de Soultrait and a man believed to be his brother, Marcyt.

Clarence House has declined to comment on the incident.

Picture: Getty