25 AUGUST 1979, Page 24

Black book


Following last week's revelations concerning a day in the life of the heir to the Throne, my secret agent, an overweight army captain who is usually to be found lurking around the Smith's Lawn locker room, has managed once again to scoop the national Press. He did this by borrowing a pair of the future monarch's breeches, while Wales and the band of the Royal Green Jackets were taking a shower (Handel's 'Water Music').

Imagine his glee when, looking through the royal pockets, he came up with explosive material. In a little black book, and in his own spidery scrawl, the heir to the throne had listed the ten girls, ladies rather. he finds most attractive. And, shock horror, next to the names were the Prince's own reasons for not having married them.

Before I go on I feel obliged to comment on his Royal Highness's appalling spelling. Could Princess Anne be right about her brother's ability to rule? But it is not for me to judge. Simply to report. Here is the list and the comments. Only the spelling has been ammended. 'Jane Wellesley (Bootface). Very popular with Mummy at first. Good background etc. Had to have her checked out when we found out she was running a union chapel. Saucy. But she had to go after the Morley affair.

'Devine Sheffield (Chintz). Looked good in print, acceptable to the hoi polloi, very eager to please. But too keen to wear the tiara. And treated the servants appallingly once the gutter press began mentioning her as a possible queen.

'Vanessa Redgrave (Party Girl). Fascinating ideas about workers and horses. She made me see the light about bosses, too. Rather worrying views, though, about selling crown jewels etc. Made me feel so guilty I had to play 36 chukkers in order to be able to sleep that night. Can't for the life of me think why she didn't come and watch.

'Britt Eckland (Raffles). Always wanted to Meet her since Gordonstoun. After meeting her found out Cartier watch missing. Also heavily monogrammed engraved cuff-links and gold key chain. The Solicitor Royal mentioned something about a Yank chappie, Marvin Mickelson, and her visa was revoked. Tried my best to interfere with Dentist Owen at the time but to no avail. Mummy was also horrified so I let it drop.

'Princess Astrid (Brains). Mummy's front runner. Luckily Church saved me from a fate worse than death. Dashed blue-stocking. Too bright ever to reign. And she was a `Giorgianna Russell Boothby (Helen of Troy). My man McLain liked her the best. But Mummy, although in favour, always reminded me of the old dictum. Beware of Greeks bearing gifts. And she did bear them. But one Greek in the family is enough. And she did know some pretty unsavoury characters (Greeks that is).

Sabrina Guinness (Corgi). My little Irish butterfly. At all my games for you I try, and from my chopper I would jump and die, if ever I caught you out with Dai. Or Mick, Jack, Ryan, Warren or Rod. Our conversation is such fun. It's just as good as tea with Mum. How I love your corgi eyes. With you there can be no lies.

'Catherine Oxenberg (Golda). Uncle Dickie denies that all names ending in berg are German. 1 wonder why she is always busY Friday nights? Is this a Yugoslav custom? I shall have to look into this matter closer. And who is this man Harvard she's alwaYs threatening to go to come Autumn? In the back of the black book, almost unintelligible, there were some remarks about Tricia Nixon. From what I could make out she was neither artificial nor plastic.These words were put in later by the Labour Government eager to join the bandwagon and discredit the fallen president. Charles's remarks about the Nixons were, if I correctly made them out, 'Honest, but impossible to approach the girls.'