Hello. By the time you read this I’ll have been escorted from the building and you’ll have been installed as the new personal secretary, or “body man,” for His Royal Highness Prince Henry Charles Albert David of Wales. It’s been my pleasure to serve in this capacity for some eleven weeks, which makes me the longest-tenured of the 41 dedicated individuals who have attended the prince since he assumed his official duties in late 2005. Here are some things you’ll need to know.
1) DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES ALLOW THE PRINCE OUT OF YOUR SIGHT. One might assume this prescription to be something other than literal. It is not. To give you just one example, during a stay in New York last month HRH excused himself to wash his hands. While waiting for him to emerge from the bathroom I flipped on the TV to find that TMZ had live security-cam video from an S&M club eighty-six blocks downtown, showing the prince frolicking with a large woman who called herself “Casina Royale.” I honestly don’t know how he got out of the hotel suite, let alone traveled the length of Manhattan in that brief interval. Suffice to say that his ingenuity in this area is unmatched. We believe he may have the ability to breach space and time.
2) COSTUMES ARE RIGHT OUT. You may be asking: “Even at Halloween?” Yes. Especially at Halloween.
3) DO NOT ALLOW THE PRINCE TO DETERMINE THE BEST USE OF HIS OWN TIME. Members of The Royal Family are tightly scheduled. In the case of the prince, one cannot assume that even a very, very short bloc of unsupervised time is risk-free. At a reception for the royal family of Monaco, the prince casually asked if he had a few moments before toasts were delivered. I made the mistake of saying that he did. Before one could blink I received a text to say there was footage on the Internet of the prince naked with Charlotte Casiraghi on a zip line. We found the zip line later. It was strung from a window of the room in which the reception was held. Somehow the prince had had time to rig it, test it, slip from the room and enjoy the assignation before any of us twigged. We believe, but do not know for certain, that he had the equipment hidden somewhere on his person. We also believe he may have fired the line from the window and secured it to the opposite wall by means of a crossbow or other propulsive device. However much one may admire the preparation this took, one must still in all candor admit that it was a lapse.
4) DO NOT LOOK DIRECTLY INTO THE PRINCE’S EYES. The prince inherited from his late mother a shy, beguiling, downward gaze whose effect trained psychologists have likened to that of a hypno-wheel. Once, early in my tenure, HRH asked me if he might have a moment alone with a troupe of ASU cheerleaders whose camper van had broken down while on a sightseeing tour of the Midlands. I made the mistake of meeting the prince’s eyes and found myself replying “Of course, sir” in a robotic fashion. There was a loud buzzing or sizzling in my ears, time seemed to fold in on itself, and when I regained my senses the prince, the cheerleaders, and our Range Rovers were gone. I managed to hitchhike to a nearby pub, where the television was already running footage of the prince atop a cheerleader pyramid, dressed only in a large diaper and a comically oversized safety pin. (See #2 above.)
5) DO NOT LEND THE PRINCE MONEY. My predecessor in this post was once unwise enough to honor the prince’s request that he “spot me a fiver ‘til allowance day.” A team of forensic accountants was unable to determine exactly how, but within twenty minutes the poor man was legally bankrupt.
5) Finally, ENJOY YOURSELF. The prince is a young man of sterling character, blessed with high spirits and an enormous sense of fun, and I promise you this will be the best job you will ever hold for six to eight weeks.