Is Prince Charles doing a Diana?

Share
Related Topics
FAR be it from me to come between Prince Charles and Lord Wakeham, chairman of the Press Complaints Commission. The Prince is lodging a formal complaint with the PCC over last Thursday's Mirror front page, half of which was filled with the banner headline, "HARRY'S HAD AN ACCIDENT." A letter from the Prince's deputy press secretary, which covered much of the rest of the front page, said: "This episode is not in our view in the public interest." I have no intention of prejudging the PCC's decision by offering an opinion on the complaint. Yet it does raise certain interesting issues.

If Prince Charles were preoccupied with his own dignity, then he would, I think, have lodged a complaint about an earlier Mirror front page, that of the previous Saturday, which, headed "YOU SEXY KING", was almost wholly occupied by a photograph of the Prince, in a dole queue at a Sheffield Jobcentre, trying to do the dole queue dance featured in the film The Full Monty.

Since Prince Charles is certainly preoccupied, very properly, with the welfare of his sons, Princes William and Harry, it would be interesting to know what he made of the "Sun Royal Exclusive" which occupied the front page and two succeeding pages of last Monday's Sun. The front page was dominated by an immense headline, "WILLS AND HARRY DO FULL MONTY AT DAD'S PARTY." The story described how "Saucy princes William and Harry did a Full Monty strip at dad Charles's 50th birthday bash", with the brothers performing a partial (and entirely decorous) striptease to a tune from the film.

Half a page, too, was taken up with another banner headline, "PRINCES WATCHED HAPPILY AS DAD AND HIS MISTRESS DANCED TO ABBA." Page three included a continuation of the Full Monty story, together with, side by side, large pictures of a bejewelled Camilla Parker Bowles and of Prince William in combat gear and a woolly Aston Villa hat.

Let me make clear that I regard this material in the Sun as perfectly reputable journalism, skilfully presented. But the combat gear worn in the picture of Prince William derived from his education, since he was still wearing it after all-night manoeuvres with the Eton College Army Cadet Corps; and Prince Charles's spokeswoman has said that the complaint against the Mirror has "everything to do with the privacy to which Harry and William are entitled during their education".

Moreover, it would be interesting to have an explanation from the spokeswoman of how these Sun pages were in the public interest when the Mirror's story about Prince Harry was said not to be. Of course, although the Sun's story was not only reputable journalism, but also independent journalism, it did happen to suit Prince Charles's purpose.

It was often alleged that Diana, Princess of Wales sought to manipulate the press. Can it now be claimed that Prince Charles is perfectly ready to accept coverage of the young princes's activities, even when they derive from their education, when his own purposes are served, but complains when they are not?

Everyone in public life, from back-bench MPs upwards, would welcome the ability to manage press coverage according to their own criteria and convenience. Is Prince Charles on his way to succeeding where even Alastair Campbell cannot?

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Health & Safety Consultant

£16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic and exciting opport...

Recruitment Genius: Project and Quality Manager

£28000 - £32000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is an independent ...

Recruitment Genius: Trainee Sales Executive - OTE £20,625

£14625 - £20625 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This role is for an enthusiasti...

Guru Careers: Financial Controller

£45 - £55k DOE: Guru Careers: A Financial Controller is required to join a suc...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nicky Clarke has criticised the Duchess of Cambridge for having grey hair  

Letting one’s hair turn grey would be the most subversive Royal act

Rosie Millard
 

London’s foreign money bubble is bursting – but will we be better off?

Chris Blackhurst
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Attwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works
Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation' over plans to overhaul reverse-chronological timeline

Twitter accused of 'Facebookisation'

Facebook exasperates its users by deciding which posts they can and can’t see. So why has Twitter announced plans to do the same?
Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag - but what else could the fashion house call it?

Jane Birkin asks Hermès to rename bag

The star was shocked by a Peta investigation into the exotic skins trade
10 best waterproof mascaras

Whatever the weather: 10 best waterproof mascaras

We found lash-enhancing beauties that won’t budge no matter what you throw at them
Diego Costa biography: Chelsea striker's route to the top - from those who shared his journey

Diego Costa: I go to war. You come with me...

Chelsea's rampaging striker had to fight his way from a poor city in Brazil to life at the top of the Premier League. A new book speaks to those who shared his journey
Ashes 2015: England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

England show the mettle to strike back hard in third Test

The biggest problem facing them in Birmingham was the recovery of the zeitgeist that drained so quickly under the weight of Australian runs at Lord's, says Kevin Garside
Women's Open 2015: Charley Hull - 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

Charley Hull: 'I know I'm a good golfer but I'm also just a person'

British teen keeps her feet on ground ahead of Women's Open
Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkey's conflict with Kurdish guerrillas in Iraq can benefit Isis in Syria

Turkish President Erdogan could benefit politically from the targeting of the PKK, says Patrick Cockburn
Yvette Cooper: Our choice is years of Tory rule under Jeremy Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Our choice is years of Tory rule under Corbyn or a return to a Labour government

Yvette Cooper urged Labour members to 'get serious' about the next general election rather than become 'a protest movement'