Leading article: A princely mission

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The Independent Online

On his coming visit to Australia, Prince William is to face a plea from aboriginal elders for help in repatriating the head of a celebrated warrior.

They expect a favourable hearing, insisting that the Prince "has his mother's heart". This is not the first time, nor assuredly will it be the last, that the Prince's maternal heritage is seen as a greater asset for him in foreign parts than the throne he is to inherit one day from his father.

But the elders' request is a tall order. The head of the 18th-century warrior, Pemulwuy, was sent, preserved in a jar of spirits, to England. It was intended as proof that a troublesome rebel was no more, but also as an anthropological specimen. The difficulty is that no one knows where the head is now.

So we appeal to universities, museums, indeed, to anyone with an attic or cellar long unexplored, to hunt for it. What a royal coup it would be if Prince William could grant the elders' wish – and what a perfect meeting of heart and head.