People: Royal poser set for Dutch government

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IN HIS first televised interview, the heir to the Dutch throne, Willem Alexander, skated on such thin ice that the Prime Minister, Ruud Lubbers, considered censoring it. The Crown Prince said his primary objection to royal duties was that he had 'no freedom to express my opinions', then went on to say it was a 'great pity' that conscription is to be abolished in the Netherlands. The 26-year-old prince expressed fears that a professional army could create a gulf between the Dutch military and civilians.

The problem with Willem Alexander's remarks was that public statements by the Royal House are supposed to represent official government policy. Mr Lubbers thought carefully about whether the prince's comments were unconstitutional, then decided no cuts were necessary, his spokesman said.

A PRINCESS, specifically Diana, Princess of Wales, is what Canada needs, a Toronto columnist says. Michael Valpy, writing in the very serious Globe and Mail newspaper, has called for Diana to be made governor-general of Canada.

'With Diana here, the rest of the world would think we were interesting . . . She would make Ottawa fun,' Valpy wrote. The Princess's appointment as the Queen's representative could also kill whatever republican sentiment might exist. Canada has, he wrote, 'a consensus of stodgy, mumbling elites and the unimaginative politically correct who have agreed with each other that the Canadian monarchy has to go because it is illogical.' Diana could cure all that, he suggested. But one potential development could draw the wrath of British royalists. 'Diana's sons,' said Valpy, 'would spend time in Canada and acquire Canadian accents and go to Blue Jays and Expos (baseball) games and play (ice) hockey.'

ROMANIA'S chief playboy, Nicu Ceausescu, has dumped the brunette lawyer who helped him to freedom half- way through his five-year jail sentence, and Aurora Lazarescu is kissing and telling. Ms Lazarescu was at his side through his trial on charges of repressing anti-Communist protests in Sibiu, his power base, just before the fall and execution of his parents, Nicolae and Elena Ceausescu, in December 1989.

Nicu wanted for nothing during his stay in the Jilava jail near Bucharest, according to Ms Lazarescu. Caviar and exotic fruit were always on the menu. And despite suffering from cirrhosis of the liver, he insisted she bring liquor into the prison for him. In all she reckons she spent 7 million lei ( pounds 4,700) keeping Nicu in the style to which he had become accustomed. And now she wants her money back.

He is reported to be in fine fettle, driving a Japanese car, living in a villa and dating a television sound engineer.