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Paying one's way.

I'm beginning to feel rather sorry for Prince Edward and his shiny new wife. The only Royals for centuries who are actually working for a living, and at every turn their efforts are thwarted by Palace androids.

"The Palace is supportive of the Earl and Countess of Wessex's wish to work," a spokesman loftily declares. What would they do if they were unsupportive? Set land mines outside their front door?

Two weeks ago, Sophie had to distance herself from her own PR company because she was pictured alongside a Rover car - the company which had just commissioned her - and it was considered that mixing royalty and promotional work was bad form. Prince Charles frowned about it. Princess Anne frowned too - but then, she always does.

Now Edward's Ardent Productions has had to apologise for mentioning his name in a weekend lecture package he is staging for tourists. Promotions for his talks about Windsor Castle included the words: "A castle. A show. A four-star hotel and Edward Wessex. One weekend you'll never forget."

Ardent's chairman said the wording should have been changed. To what, I wonder? To "Anonymous Company Chief Executive"? If Edward's the chap doing the lecture, how ludicrous is it not to name him?

I'm sick of the suggestion of the other Royals that Edward is cashing in on his status.

If we're talking publicity exercises here, last week, the most prominent promotional exercise was Camilla Parker-Bowles' public appearance in New York, surrounded by Charles's bodyguards.

While Prince Charles is bankrolling such transparent publicity scams, he would be wise to refrain from criticising his brother who is, unlike the rest of his mob, at least trying to make an honest buck in the real world.
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Author:Martingale, Moira
Publication:The Birmingham Post (England)
Date:Oct 6, 1999
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