'Willsmania' breaks out in Vancouver
By Robert Hardman in Vancouver
PRINCE William was yesterday invested with the double-edged honour bestowed only on those who reach the highest echelons of celebrity - mass hysteria.
"Willsmania" broke out for the first time in Canada as the Prince of Wales and his sons met the people of Vancouver. Thousands turned out for a glimpse of the three Princes but the complexion of the banners and the crowds - teenage, female and very excited - made it quite clear who was the main focus of attention.
"William - It's Me You've Been Looking For", held aloft by Jessica Larochelle, a 19-year-old care worker, summed up the mood. A nanosecond's view of the 15-year-old heir to the British throne brought screams, tears and the odd swoon. Buckingham Palace's guarding of the Princes' privacy - especially after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, - seemed all the more justified.
The boys' first engagement of the day was at the Pacific Space Centre. The planned low-key visit was anything but with a large crowd of onlookers drawn by advance notices in the local media.
High-pitched screams and a few tears broke out as the two Princes arrived. Prince William, grinning and blushing, did his best to concentrate on the formal reception line rather than the hysterics behind the crush-barriers.
It was all over in a flash but even this brief encounter left a deep impression on the largely teenage crowd. "I'm shaking but I'm OK," said Nicole Archibald, 15. Vrenda Velhuis, 14, said: "He was real cute. He had a real nice tie and he dresses really good. He's the king of babes."
Some were upset that they had been unable to shake a royal hand or, dream of dreams, give their hero a kiss. "We got up at 6.30 to get here and he didn't even talk to us," sighed Caille Hayes, 14. "Still, he's still Your Royal Hunkiness." Others had spent hours in the cold waiting. "We've missed school but so what? My Dad said this should be a public holiday," said Tara Woodman, 15.
Together with her friend, Erin Hochstein, she had decided not to bombard the Prince with posters and gifts. "We just want to look," said Erin. Nor had she forgotten Prince Harry. "I think one day he'll be just great for my 11-year-old sister, Bethany."
Meanwhile, Prince Harry is rapidly developing his own fan club. "Everyone's after William but I love Harry," said Adriana Richmond (ME!), 13, clutching a red rose.
The boys' father had a much quieter day, visiting an old people's home before moving on to an anti-racism awards ceremony. He was due to meet up with his sons later in the day for a reception at a secondary school.
Prince Harry shines on first day at Eton
By Neil Tweedie
PRINCE Harry betrayed no sign of nerves yesterday as he began his first full day at Eton.
Appearing comfortable in his black tails and starched white collar, he took the lead when walking with the 10 other new boys of Manor House to morning prayers in the college's Lower Chapel, accompanied by the housemaster, Dr Andrew Gailey. Then it was off to a French lesson under the protective eye of an armed royal bodyguard who will shadow him for the rest of his school career.
In addition to his academic studies, the third in line to the throne will be required to master some of the more arcane areas of Etonian life. New boys must sit a Colours Test after a few weeks at the school in which they must describe the colours - the Manor House colours being "faun and blue quarters", according to the official "fixtures" book which all boys must learn.
Harry, who celebrates his 14th birthday this month, must also learn to communicate in the argot used by generations of Etonians - refering to 'Divs' instead of classes, 'head man' in lieu of headmaster, and 'beaks' for teachers. For 'elevenses', read 'chambers'.
A typical conversation among first-year boys might, for instance, refer to the favourite drink at the school tuck shop. In Etonian, "can you lend me some money to buy a coke with ice cream in it?" becomes "can you sock me a brown cow?". Correct forms of behaviour are also required, as when passing a master on the street. Pupils must "cap" him, which involves raising the right index finger to the boy's (imaginary) top hat.
'Let our mother rest in peace'
By Neil Tweedie
PRINCES William and Harry issued an unprecedented personal appeal to the nation yesterday to end the pain inflicted upon them by constant reminders of their mother's death.
In a brief but forthright message, they expressed gratitude for the sympathy they had received in the year since the death of Diana, Princess of Wales but said it was time for people to "move on". The statement was read out by Sandy Henney, the Prince of Wales's press secretary, outside Eton College to waiting reporters less than an hour before Prince Harry arrived to take up his place at the school.
Miss Henney said: "Prince William and Prince Harry have been comforted enormously by the public sympathy and support they have been given; it has meant a great deal to them and they have asked me to express their thanks, once again, to everyone.
"They have also asked me to say that they believe their mother would want people to now move on - because she would have known that constant reminders of her death can create nothing but pain to those she left behind.They therefore hope, very much, that their mother and her memory will now finally be allowed to rest in peace."
Prince Harry later arrived at Manor House, one of Eton's boarding houses, with his father. Explaining the need for the statement, a Palace source said: "Contrary to what the public may think, the boys do not live in a bubble. They see the newspapers."
It was not the Princes' intention to attack "legitimate" memorials to their mother. "It's simply saying that could we please have an end to reminders that would be irritating and upsetting to any reasonable person."
Princess at peace on an island of flowers
By Barbie Dutter
EARL Spencer visited the grave of Diana, Princess of Wales yesterday on the tiny island carpeted with floral tributes.
Bouquets and sprays left by mourners outside the gates of Althorp House were collected and taken by boat across the ornamental lake surrounding the island.
Estate staff removed the blooms from their wrapping before strewing them in the glade where the Princess was privately interred on Saturday. Lord Spencer, who had agreed to a request from the Press Association to allow its photographer David Jones to record the scene, spent several minutes inspecting the flowers. He stopped occasionally to kneel among them, picking up blooms to smell them before laying them back on the ground.
The Princess's grave is out of sight, hidden beneath the flowers. Mr Jones said: "It really is a tranquil haven. It is a very peaceful scene. There was no sign of where the Princess lay, merely a pathway which had been cut through the shrubbery and is now a carpet of flowers."
The circular island, around 60 to 80 feet wide, is planted with oak, birch, beech and lime trees. A temporary bridge, erected for the burial, has already been removed.
There is no intention of removing the flowers, even when they have wilted. A spokesman for the family said: "It's ashes to ashes. They will stay there and help more flowers to grow one day around the grave."
The Spencer family had earlier pinned a note to the ornamental gates of the estate, thanking mourners for their tributes and explaining that the flowers would be laid on the island where the Princess lay.
"The flowers have now gone to cover the island where she is buried," said the notice. "The messages will be collected and retained."
Young Princes' longest day
THEIR day in public had begun at 10.25 when Princes William and Harry appeared silently and a little hesitantly outside St James's Palace, ending a week of speculation about their role in the funeral procession.
They had come to play their part in the last day of the woman described simply in their card on the coffin as "Mummy".
William, 15, tall and distinguished-looking in a black suit, and Harry, who will be 13 in nine days' time, ran the public gauntlet before grieving at a private burial on an island on a Northamptonshire lake.
Prince Philip offered a few words of reassurance and comfort as the Princes prepared to step out behind the gun carriage bearing their mother's coffin.
The Princess's brother, Lord Spencer, crossed himself as the carriage passed him. Prince William clasped his hands in front of him and bowed his head as he took his place. For the 35 minutes of what must have seemed the longest walk in his life, William's eyes never left the ground.
He was flanked by his grandfather, Prince Philip, and his uncle. His brother and father were close by, the sympathetic crowds at his right hand.
Apparently oblivious to murmurs of "Oh, the poor boys", the Princes strode in slow, well-disciplined step. Not once, it seemed, would Prince William allow the spectators, or the cameras, a sight of his face. As they entered the dark passage through Horse Guards, a respite from the sun and the crowd, Lord Spencer gave Harry a hug and Prince Philip patted William.
The Prince of Wales appeared to be controlling his emotions. But when Lady Jane Fellowes, Diana's sister, gave a reading, he was clearly moved.
He took out a white handkerchief during the singing of the hymn The King of Love My Shepherd Is - one of the Princess's favourites - and wiped his eyes. William's head was still down, his right hand shielding his face.
PRINCES William and Harry felt the sympathy of the nation yesterday as, in some of the most heart-rending moments in a week charged with emotion, they moved among mourners outside the home of their mother, Kensington Palace.
Concern for the boy's feelings had been on millions of lips since their mother died last weekend.
Yesterday, with a maturity that profoundly affected many present or watching on television, they experienced and acknowledged the strength of public compassion.
The grief of Prince William, 15, and his brother, who will be 13 a week on Monday, was tangible as they accepted words of condolence and encouragement from some of the thousands of people whose presence and flowers have engulfed the Palace.
Both boys seemed at times close to tears, Prince Harry at one point pausing to wipe an eye.
But throughout their brief appearance with their father, they displayed dignity beyond their years, and a composure that was beyond a few of the tearful adults meeting them.
Over and over, as they spoke or listened to well-wishers, on occasion accepting their bouquets, the Princes offered their gratitude for the shared sense of loss.
"I told them their mother had gone to a good place," one woman said. Another patted Prince Harry warmly on the back. A third pressed flowers bearing the message "Princess Diana Forever" into Prince William's hands, and watched him place it alongside the others.
From other came words designed to lift the boys' spirits. "William came next to me and I told him we were sorry for him and that his mother would live on in him," said one.
"William said, 'Thank you very much for coming', but Harry was very quiet - he seemed in a a daze," said Kathy Watkins, 46, from Harefield, north-west London, who spoke to both Princes and their father.
"I think they were really touched to see all these people, young and old, in jeans or suits. I don't think they could quite take it all in.
"But all of them appeared to be very much in control."
The Princes had asked on their arrival in London from Balmoral to be taken to the palace that was, until the separation of their parents in 1992, their family home. Their request was granted, with care being taken to limit the media presence and manoeuvring barriers to prevent an excessive crush of mourners.
At Kensington, the boys were able to witness a symbolic part of the remarkable exhibition of common grief that has been so moving a feature of the week's events.
The Prince of Wales and other members of the Royal Family had spent some time preparing the Princes for their public appearance. But all three, wearing suits and black ties, seemed taken aback by the sheer volume of floral tributes in front of the black and gold iron gates of the Palace.
Prince Charles pointedly drew his sons' attention to various parts of the display.
Unforced applause punctuated the subdued nature of the occasion as the family group passed through a side gate to inspect flowers attached to, and arranged against, the ornate fence.
Mourners cried out "God bless you" and "we love you". All three Princes appeared heartened by what they saw and heard, and repeatedly thanked people as they patiently shook outstretched hands.
Caroline Osterman, an American social worker from Boston, spoke for many spectators when she admitted her astonishment at the Princes' appearance.
"I was not expecting it at all," she said. "I shook hands with Prince Charles. He said to me, 'Thank you so much for coming'."
Liseby Hobson, 32, from Devizes, Wilts, said: "I told Prince William his mother was loved by the world and he looked at me and gave me an amazing smile.
"I feel really good that they know now that they have the support of the country."
Immediately before returning to the royal car, Prince Charles and the boys were given large white lilies, a symbol of death.
Princes William and Harry added theirs to the countless flowers already in place, but their father asked if he might take one bloom with him.
"I think it was very important that they were shown what the public felt for their mother and this will help them get over the grieving process," said Liseby Hobson as the royal party left. "This was an incredible gesture they made today."
PRINCE Harry follows his brother into the ranks of the "F-Tits" today when he starts his first term at Eton. The 13-year-old prince, who may have to endure the nickname given to new boys for up to a year, is boarding in the same house as Prince William.
Three years ago, Prince William slightly marred an otherwise perfectly orchestrated signing ceremony by asking his father what he should write down as his religion.
Prince Harry will join his brother, now beginning his A-level studies after passing 12 GCSEs, and 50 or so other boys in Manor House under the watchful eye of Dr Andrew Gailey, its housemaster.
Dr Gailey, 43, an Ulsterman who is a respected constitutional historian and music lover, and his wife Shauna played a prominent role in comforting Prince William after his mother's death.
The couple are held in high regard by the Prince of Wales, who is said to believe Eton has "done wonders" for his elder son. Prince Harry, considered less academic but more sporty than Prince William, was "thrilled" after passing his Common Entrance exams in June.
He will be able to choose from Eton's range of more than 40 activities, including water polo and American football. Prince William is believed to have flourished academically and socially in the school's relatively informal atmosphere.
PRINCE William, who will be 16 tomorrow, has followed his father's keen interest in art, he says today in his first major media interview. He will take one of his three A-levels at Eton in the history of art.
The Prince, who will celebrate his birthday quietly with friends, will also study geography and biology at A-level, after sitting 12 GCSEs this year and last year. But he is undecided about which university and degree course to choose.
The Prince says he is enjoying Eton, but that he is not always comfortable in the spotlight. Sometimes he finds it difficult to deal with the adulation of teenage girls. His interest in art will delight the Prince of Wales. Sketching and watercolours have long been one of his enthusiasms and he has frequently gone to Tuscany to paint.
The Prince's education plans are disclosed in an interview with the Press Association news agency, which submitted written questions. His answers were returned by St James's Palace, with previously unpublished details of his earlier life, to enable media organisations to publish more information than usual about him to coincide with his birthday.
Although carefully monitored by palace officials, the information gives a relatively rare insight into the Prince's thinking and attitudes. A Palace spokesman said that the Prince of Wales was happy for his son to give the interview, as the media had largely respected his privacy since he went to Eton and particularly since the death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales.
The decision to allow the interview has not prevented the Prince from making a formal complaint to the Press Complaints Commission over a Mail on Sunday supplement about him. A spokesman has described the supplment as "grossly intrusive and inaccurate".
Although Prince William's first birthday without his mother could be a poignant time for him, he says he plans to spend the day with friends and will speak to his family by telephone. Talking of Eton, he says he likes the college's distinctive uniform of tailcoat and striped trousers. He describes himself as a keen sportsman who likes rugby, football, swimming, water polo and tennis.
Asked about his favourite pastime, he says he particularly likes action-adventure fiction and non-fiction. He also enjoys action films at the cinema. The Prince has a black Labrador bitch called Widgeon and shares the Royal Family's love of horses.
One of his ambitions is to go on safari in Africa to see big game in the wild. Because of commitments at Eton, he missed out when his younger brother, Prince Harry, went on safari in Botswana last year.
Like most teenagers, the Prince says he enjoys pop music, particularly techno, but also listens to classical composers. His taste in food is wide and, illustrating the somewhat ordinary life he leads away from the rest of the family, he says he likes simple dishes and fast food. He is able to shop for himself and likes modern styles of clothing.
It is clear from the interview that Prince William is quickly learning the skills of diplomacy and the advantages of keeping his own counsel in certain matters. For example, he refuses to express a public preference for a particular pop group or to discuss his friends at Eton.
Princes' birthday respects to Diana
By Robert Hardman
PRINCES William and Harry and their father are to make a private visit to the grave of Diana, Princess of Wales, during the week of her birthday next month, it emerged last night.
It is believed that it will be their first return to the island tomb at Althorp since her funeral. Staff at the Northamptonshire estate are expecting the princes to pay their respects outside the hours allotted to the public, who will be admitted to the surrounding site for two months from July 1 - which would have been the princess's 37th birthday.
The princes will play a central role in finalising the arrangements for the visit. On Mothering Sunday, they decided to send flowers rather than visit. Earl Spencer is due to escort the royal party around the site. It was announced last month that the Windsors and the Spencers would be commemorating the anniversary of the princess's death separately - the former at Balmoral, the latter at Althorp.
When the estate opens to the public on July 1, 2,500 people will be admitted each day. The £9.50 tickets, divided among morning and afternoon visitors, will also grant access to a Diana, Princess of
Princes Do A Not-Quite-Full Monty -The Sun
LONDON (Reuters) - Prince Charles' teenage sons did a "Full Monty" striptease at their father's 50th birthday party but didn't quite go all the way, the Sun tabloid reported. Princes William, 16, and Harry, 14, played out a scene from the British hit film about male strippers as festivities continued until 3 a.m. Sunday following amore formal party for Charles at his Highgrove country estate, the paper said.
"They danced, swayed and swaggered to Hot Chocolate's song 'You Sexy Thing,' which features in the film," the paper said.
"And they burst into fits of laughter as they whipped off their shirts and unbuttoned their trousers. But unlike the movie's stars, they stopped there."
Charles Hits Fifty!
"The Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles danced together in the early hours of this morning at the culmination of a 50th birthday party which had effectively established Charles' mistress as his official consort.
Radiant Camilla looked every inch the hostess when she arrived at the Prince's Gloucestershire home Highgrove yesterday, and she was by Charles' side throughout the party.
Wearing an emerald green velvet dress with a family heirloom jewelled necklace and earrings, she was beaming with happiness as her car drove into the estate shortly before the arrival of the first guests.
She and Charles stood side by side to greet abound 250 invitees, among them showbiz stars, politicians and members of several European royal families - who gave their seal of approval to the couple's relationship with their attendance."
"The British royal family was represented by Princess Margaret, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke and Duchess of Kent, Prince and Princess Michael of Kent and Princess Alexandra.
Charles' own sons, William and Harry, were among the first to arrive, with William dressed in trendy combat gear as he was driven in to Highgrove at about 6pm. "
"Highlights of the night included sketches by comedians Stephen Fry, Rowan Atkinson and Rory Bremner and a sumptuous meal prepared by Charles' favourite chef, Anton Mosimann.
Mosimann, helped by a team of 20, served up a Scottish smoked salmon starter, followed by Welsh lamb with organic vegetables from the Highgrove estate and a raspberry dessert. He also prepared what he described as "a very special cake for his 50th birthday".
As guests arrived, they were greeted by a harpist, opera singers and string ensembles, but once the formal part of the evening was over, it was the disco sounds of the 1970s which finished the night off.
Reports suggested that Charles and Camilla stepped on to the dance-floor in the flower-decked Orchard Room to a ripple of applause, as they started off the dancing to an Abba hit.
Among the guests who partied until about 1.30am were King Juan Carlos and Queen Sofia of Spain, King Harald and Queen Sonja of Norway, Queen Margrethe II of Denmark and King Constantine of Greece.
Mrs Parker Bowles' children Tom and Laura and their father Andrew - Camilla's former husband - were also there.
Others on the guest list included broadcaster Sir David Frost, Trade and Industry Secretary Peter Mandelson, writers Ian Curteis and Joanna Trollope, footballer Vinnie Jones, MP Nicholas Soames and ex-Spice Girl Geri Halliwell.
Prince Edward's girlfriend, Sophie Rees-Jones, mingled with Saturday morning shoppers in Tetbury, the town nearest to Highgrove, but it is not known whether she attended the party. "