Engage in blood sports but no dancing: life lessons for the Royal baby

10 Golden Rules for a prince, from the man the Royals trust

Share

Your Royal Highness – It is with genuine humility that I introduce myself to you as your most loyal servant. Among my fellow court correspondents, your arrival has caused a high level of excitement, with Nicholas “The Butler” Witchell speaking to camera with that odd, ingratiating crouch – rather like a red squirrel with a nut – which he adopts on momentous royal occasions, and “Sir” Dickie Arbiter blubbing openly during an interview with Australian TV.

These people are called “Palace-watchers”. You will learn about them one day. My role, more a much-loved, unofficial godfather than a court correspondent, is to bring you friendly advice from the outside world.

To those who say it is pointless to address a person who can only stare blankly, make incomprehensible noises and dribble occasionally, I would merely point out that I once interviewed Capt Mark Phillips, and proved more than equal to the challenge.

I could write a book (and indeed have – several!) on the subject of royal behaviour. On this occasion, I shall confine my advice to Talbot Church’s 10 Golden Rules for the Royal Prince.

1. The expression you wear on your face today – open, incurious – is one you should maintain throughout your childhood. No one has any wish for you to become “a character”. Your parents are, as ever, perfect role models in this regard.

2. Discourage nicknames. They will become an unwelcome label, pointing up a personality which you do not have. Remember the unhappy examples of Harry (laddish), Fergie (bouncy), Andy (randy) and Di (the girl next door).

3. Opinions are to be avoided. Be as naturally and as briefly interested in your surroundings as a moderately bright junior reporter on a local newspaper.

4. Engage in some form of blood sport at an early age. The world thinks it wants to you to be normal, but in truth prefers you to be slightly different. A boarding-school will help, as will wearing a tweed suit when you are eight, but stalking a stag or shooting pheasants is your best plan.

5. Avoid dancing. When tempted, find photographs of your father or grandfather doing it.

6. The old style of royal correspondent – Sir Kenneth Rose, Hugo Vickers, yours truly – are sadly outnumbered by extravagantly coiffed newscasters and cable TV vulgarians with fake tans. Such is the price of the dreaded “classless society”, Your Royal Highness! If you wish to confide in a member of the press corps, it is best to put your trust in “the unavoidable Church” as your great grandmother (Her Majesty) once wittily described me.

7. At some point the world will long for you to fall in love. This is almost always a bad idea for a member of your family. Take the sensible course and assess a future partner rather as one would before making a key appointment in the family firm.

8. People are interested in what you represent, not you personally. Those who confuse the two – your great aunt the Duchess of York, for example – can get into a terrible muddle.

9. Do not write a book, particularly a story for children.

10. Try not to care too much about anything. Keep your private self well hidden. It belongs to you, not the world.

React Now

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Business Analyst Consultant (Financial Services)

£60000 - £75000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Business Analyst Consultant (Fina...

Systems Administrator - Linux / Unix / Windows / TCP/IP / SAN

£60000 per annum: Harrington Starr: A leading provider in investment managemen...

AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer

£600 - £700 per day: Harrington Starr: AVS, JVS Openlink Endur Developer JVS, ...

E-Commerce Developer

£45000 - £60000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Exciting opp...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Letter from the Political Editor: Phone and data laws to be passed in haste

Andrew Grice
The first lesson of today is... don't treat women unequally?  

Yvette Cooper is right: The classroom is the best place to start teaching men about feminism

Chris Maume
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice