A silent Prince keeps visit symbolic

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The Independent Online
PRINCE, or Symbol as he is now known, flew into Britain yesterday for the opening of his latest money-spinning venture. He presided, almost wordlessly, over the opening of a new shop selling memorabilia, merchandise, jewellery and scented products. Cotton tour jackets, for example, are a snip at pounds 175.

The store, in Camden, north London, is themed around the diminutive performer's latest incarnation - the Symbol, an artistic combination of the male and female biological signs. A time capsule buried in the foundations contains a Symbol-shaped guitar.

Still trying to shake off the 'purple' image that followed his Purple Rain film and album, Prince has changed his name, first to Victor and now to a logo, which on paper leaves the reader none the wiser but has led to him being called Symbol. He has redecorated his home in gold and is apparently even considering disposing of his purple motorcycle.

His visit yesterday was unexpected. The store was to have been opened by his band, the New Power Generation. But with the store having cost pounds 100,000 to refurbish and Prince, sorry Symbol, riding high in British charts, it made sense to put in an appearance on the way to Monte Carlo.

There were no speeches. He stood on a balcony with dancer Mayte Garcia and curled his fingers to form, appropriately enough, a Symbol.