SCMP Friday, February 9, 2001
Princes greet the press with Camilla
Britain's Prince Charles went partying on Wednesday night with his son and his lover - and he didn't mind who saw them together in public.
Charles and his handsome teenage son William were greeted by a barrage of paparazzi flashbulbs when they went to a 10th anniversary party for the British media watchdog that has sought to protect their privacy.
Charles' long-time lover Camilla Parker Bowles arrived 10 minutes later in a carefully choreographed appearance at the glittering party packed with showbusiness celebrities. Smiling broadly, she wore a black dress and pearls. The princes, both wearing dark suits, stayed about 90 minutes at the star-studded party with William telling reporters afterwards: ''It was brilliant.''
Their choice of occasion for going public together was rich in irony. For they were rubbing shoulders with royalty-obsessed tabloid editors at the party thrown by the Press Complaints Commission.
It was William's way of saying ''thank you'' to editors who gave him a chance to enjoy his schooldays away from the remorseless glare of the media spotlight that followed his late mother, Princess Diana, around the world.
Ever since Britain was plunged into mourning over Diana's death in a 1997 Paris car crash, Charles has trodden warily in seeking public acceptance for Parker Bowles.
After years of artfully dodging the lenses of the world's media, they first appeared in public in January 1999 for a party at the Ritz hotel in London.
Press Complaints Commission chairman Lord Wakeham took the opportunity of the watchdog's 10th anniversary to renew his plea to protect William. He said tabloid editors must respect William's privacy when he goes to university and refuse to publish paparazzi pictures of the royal pin-up. Wakeham said newspapers had not used unauthorised shots of William, 18, at school at Eton College and this should continue when he arrives at St Andrew's University, Scotland's oldest, later this year.