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Sue Carroll's column: The Sad; MY HERO TONY.. AND THOSE WHO JUST DON'T MEASURE UP.

Byline: Sue Carroll

THE fact that Sir Michael Peat was seconded by the Queen to launch an inquiry into St James's Palace must have been totally demeaning to 53-year-old Prince Charles.

Typically, he's reacted by throwing a tantrum, refusing to relinquish his valet and forelock- tugger-in-chief Michael Fawcett, who, despite being dismissed, will be retained at a vast fee.

It's obvious the Queen and Peat would also like to expel Camilla from court, but once again the Prince has stamped his foot. He does so at his peril. The inquiry was not an entire whitewash. It exposed a man presiding over a shambolic mess, who turned a blind eye to what went on downstairs because his selfish needs were best served by sycophants.

He gave tacit approval to bullying, flogging off gifts and collusion in brushing an alleged rape under the Aubusson rugs. His association with those who participated in this murky business does nothing for his image.

Sir Michael insists there will now be a policy of openness at St James's Palace, but it's hardly likely with Mrs Parker Bowles and Fawcett in tow - the pair who conspired to keep Diana in the dark throughout her marriage.

Five years after her death, she confirms their Machiavellian plotting in a message delivered from beyond the grave with the precision of an Exocet missile. "Well, here I am... alone again" she's seen telling a video diary recorded in secrecy, long before her divorce.

There's an enduring pathos about Diana's distress and abject misery, the forgotten wife and mother. This is the memory she wanted us to hold on to. And no amount of tantrums will spare Prince Charles that condemnation.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Mar 19, 2003
Words:279
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