Prince Nigel is the Queen’s second cousin, twice removed (twice removed, forcibly, from Buckingham Palace. He now lives in Battersea). After leaving school, Prince Nigel settled into his bedsit with his collection of anoraks and proceeded to read the entire Inter City and regional railway timetables. Here, he relates how he entered the world of Society and met girls for the first time.
IT WAS MY mother, Princess Tabitha, who encouraged me to sow my wild oats. Unfortunately, these seeds always spilled onto barren ground. But I had great success with pansies. As a normal product of the public school system, this was simply par to the course.
I remember the day Mother interrupted my study of the Liverpool Street to Ipswich timetable. I managed to throw the thing out of the window before the burning pages reached my fingers. She has such a sense of humour! She said that I needed to get a sex life. I told her I already had one. She said that it should involve more than one person. Such a bizarre idea!
‘You must get out more, Neil!’ Mother cried. ‘Preferably permanently. I’ve company tonight. Brendan, Sean and Declan are moving in.’ Mother was keen on Britain improving relations with Ireland. She thought that sexual relations with the navvies digging the road outside would be a good start.
I barely had time to inform her of her error in calling me Neil, before I found myself spreadeagled on the pavement outside. A few seconds later, my clothes came flying through the window and formed a perfect rosette around me. (A panel of judges on the other side of the road held up numbers: ’6.0, 5.8, 5.9, 6.0, 6.0, 5.6′: the best rosette of clothes around a recumbent figure they had ever seen ). My last thought, on seeing a trunk hurtling towards me, was: ‘I hope it’s not full.’
I awoke covered in newspapers. A headline caught my eye: ‘Palace Sensation: Prince Nigel still a virgin at 36.’ I can’t begin to describe my mortification. These newshounds should check their facts. I was 37. Dusting myself down, I gathered up my belongings and went to see two important people.
Firstly, I went to see my lawyer for advice about this slander. He told me to issue a libel suit at once. My tailor didn’t know how to make one, so I decided to send them a morning suit, instead. Next, I consulted my doctor about my sexual problems. He advised me that whereas the tabloids have done nothing to help the love lives of Royal Family members, the tablets might help to improve mine.
Thus advised and equipped, and from a newly-acquired rented broom cupboard near Clapham Junction I set forth to conquer the opposite sex.
A slow build-up was essential for a person with such little experience, so I frequented shopping centres and practised chat-up lines on the shop window mannequins. Fearing the ever-present paparazzi, I disguised myself in a long brown mackintosh, wellington boots and bobble hat. This outfit seemed to encourage respect from people, as they would stand up and leave buses or railway carriages upon my entrance. I could walk through busy streets without fear of collision, as the crowds would part like the Red Sea.
When my already unnatural gifts of charm and repartee had shown signs of improvement, I managed to steal a mannequin from Top Shop. Melinda (for that is what I called her) had a chip on her shoulder. Her left forearm was missing, too, but this allowed one to practice living with someone’s imperfections.
The subsequent newspaper headlines were quite impressive: ‘Prince Nigel living in sin with model girl.’ But after three weeks of watching television on the sofa with her, it was time to pluck up the courage to get a real girl.
I decided to become a habitué of London’s nightclub scene. Tramp seemed a likely venue for a person with my recent fashion sense, so off I went.
The music was loud and so was my suit. The lights were flashing and so was I. The women were arresting and so were the police officers who were trying to drag me away. However, they were convinced by my explanation of a faulty zip and let me go with a caution: ‘Never buy the first round.’
And so the weeks passed, with nightly visits to the capital’s hotspots increasing my ladies’ man reputation. I discovered that a sense of humour is most attractive to women. So I always dressed as Coco the Clown and carried whoopee cushions, handshake buzzers, exploding cigars, fart powder, itching powder and X-Ray Specs. As you can imagine, this makes quite an impression and people do sit up and take notice. Actually, most of them stand up and leave, obviously bursting with mirth at my wit (particularly after the hilarious laxative sugar cubes).
To date, I have dated only one woman, Melinda the mannequin. Perhaps I set my standards too high. Perhaps women are intimidated by my connections with the Royal Family. Perhaps I am too exacting about my requirements in a woman (all I want is a man, minus three bits, plus two others, with long hair and a dress). But, I’ve only been looking for fourteen years so there’s plenty of time yet.