BEING BORN with a silver spoon in one’s mouth has its problems. For a start it’s a hellish borth experience for the mother. Especially if it’s a soup ladle. And it makes it so difficult to talk properly. But beyond these petty concerns, it makes you a marked man. You stand out from the crowd.
So, as one grows up, one becomes gradually conscious of being different. During the period when I was constantly being thrown out of Buckingham Palace, I spent days on the pavement becoming gradually conscious.
I rarely saw my mother (so little is known about Princess Tabitha that there is speculation that not many people know much about her). She divided her time between the drinks cabinet and the sleeping bag next to it at our flat in Battersea.
But I remember the day when she got a phone call from the Palace to arrange my schooling. She came into the room looking all bubbly and effervescent. I remember thinking I shouldn’t keep washing-up liquid in gin bottles.
She unlocked the glass display cabinet, took me out and put me in a suitcase. She slapped on some stamps and sent me by second class post to Martindales.
“I remember my first day at Martindales as clearly as if it was yesterday,” I wrote in my diary on the second day there. It was my great wit, good looks and sensitivity that would guarantee my popularity.
I devised a new initiation ceremony with my new comrades. This involved binding the victim to the scorching hot dormitory boiler and hitting him about the head with a cricket bat. Of course, ritual had to be tested, so we had to select one of our number to do so. Due to an overwhelming popular vote, they chose me.
Six weeks later, as they were near to perfecting the technique, I became vaguely aware of hands tugging at the ropes and a voice saying ‘Who are you? What are you doing here? Don’t you know it’s half term?’
How the chaps laughed when I related this on my return from hospital.
They insisted on celebrating by having me swim across the canal with my hands tied behind my back and a plastic bag on my head. Another whacky Martindales tradition!
One of my distant relatives once referred to the school as ‘a hole’. He must have been referring to the deep pit on the wasteland next to the compost heap and rubbish bins. Moments of youthful exuberance meant that I was often writhing about at the bottom of it. Ha! How I would laughingly threaten them with all sorts of unlikely retributions. They would laugh uproariously back, amicably pelting me with stones, rocks, old desks and dustbins full of rubbish.
It toughened you up, Martindales. And now? I’m fine except for frequently shaking hands and double vision. But was I bullied? Never!
We managed to trace three of Prince Nigel’s former classmates and asked them to comment:
Thomas Ffyfes-Bananas (the famous bananas heir): “Prince who? Oh, Prince Nigel. Oh yeah. He was great fun. You could pulverise him all night long and he’d come back for more. I enjoyed it.”
The Rt Hon Christopher Milky Barr-Kydd, MP (the famous confectionery heir): “Let me make myself absolutely clear. No, Let me finish. I can categorically state that there is no truth in the accusation that we did not bully Prince Nigel. We hardly ever let him regain consciousness.”
Wayne Duane Vidal-Sassoon (the famous hairdressing heir): “It was the frankfurter and laxative incident that made most of an impression on me. I was standing below the window at the time.”
Buckingham Palace declined to comment. There was no word from Kensington Palace either. In fact no building in London has ever been heard talking at all.