Grace Dent: How Prince became a purple pain

He should have showed up in London, then buggered off again sharpish



As purple rock-goblin Prince played another three secret gigs in Camden this weekend – he’s been clip-clopping about the same 10 square miles of London for 12 days now, treating anyone willing to stand in the rain for six hours to a load of jazz-funk noodling and the odd hit – I wondered if he realised many of us were sick to the back teeth of hearing about him.

I wondered if the indigo imp had considered taking his back-to-basics, “Let’s meet the real people” show to Dudley, Aberystwith, Penrith or any places he might meet some “real people”, and NOT the Radio 4 Today show, the same dozen genuflecting music critics, Sunday-night clubbers with no gainful employment and the usual accomplished ticket blaggers and braggards who govern all London’s hottest “secret” gigs.

Prince should have showed up in London, then buggered off again sharpish.

Right now he’s moving into the “appearing as a guest judge on Splash” and “pulling out balls on the National Lottery Show” zone. Prince: Rylan Clark who presents Celebrity Big Brother is keeping a lower profile than you right now, and that’s not good.

Keeping abreast of Royal etiquette

The etiquette of how to greet royalty flummoxes and frightens even the most ballsy celebs. Oh, how I love their little frightened faces when cameras pan backstage at the Royal Command Performance and the Queen shuffles along the after-show line. Which “Hello” do you use? A deep deferential nod? A respectful from-the-waist bow? Maybe a bit of both but with a “Hey Nonny no!” hand-flourish mixed in, like when drama students paid to entertain a London Dungeon queue might say “You are entering ye court of royalty”?

Thankfully the rap star Tinie Tempah pushed this narrative further during Sunday’s Baftas, by greeting the future monarch Prince William with a shameless, joyful high-five. Hopefully Debrette’s – the etiquette kings – are updating their rulebooks as I write to include such modern and egalitarian notions. I personally cannot wait to meet Prince Charles, when I plan to try out fist bumps, a bear hug and, if I’m feeling confident, juddering his face about in my cleavage shouting “Motorboat!”.


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