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The BBC's Jennie Bond
"The latest stage in the palace strategy of building a relationship between the publicity shy Prince and the media"
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Editor of The Mirror Piers Morgan
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Wednesday, 7 February, 2001, 22:29 GMT
Royals attend press party
Prince Charles and Prince William
Prince Charles and Prince William arrived together
Prince Charles, Prince William and Camilla Parker Bowles have all attended a party in London celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Press Complaints Commission.

The event - at London's Somerset House - was the first time that the three have appeared together in public.

Camilla Parker Bowles
Camilla Parker Bowles arrived 14 minutes after the princes
The princes, both wearing dark suits, spent about 90 minutes at the party, before leaving together with Prince William telling reporters: "It was brilliant."

Mrs Parker Bowles, wearing a black dress and pearls, and accompanied by her son Tom, arrived 14 minutes after the princes.

The commission promotes press self-regulation with a code of conduct for editors, journalists and photographers.

Prince William's presence at the event has been seen as a way of thanking the press for respecting his freedom during his gap year.

Among the guests at the party, William was introduced to former EastEnders actor Ross Kemp and his girlfriend Rebekah Wade, editor of the News of the World.

The soap opera Coronation Street was well represented by a number of former and current stars including Jane Danson, Tracy Shaw, Kevin Kennedy and Liz Dawn attending.

Tanya and Vinnie Jones
Tanya and Vinnie Jones: Not complaining
John Savident, who plays butcher Fred Elliot, revealed that he had told the teenage prince to "wash his mouth out" after learning that William watched rival soap EastEnders.

Asked if had recovered from a knife attack before Christmas, Savident replied: "Yes, well not quite, but I am on the way."

William was particularly keen to meet footballer turned Hollywood actor Vinnie Jones

Jones said: "I asked him why he supported Aston Villa rather than Chelsea and he said, 'It has just happened that way'."

Jones, who arrived with his wife Tanya, has not always been on good terms with the press.

'No complaints'

But he said: "I am not here to complain tonight.

"We all have our ups and downs. It is a bit like my football career really - you have to take the rough with the smooth."

Sir Richard Branson also expressed support for the PCC, saying: "It's a good organisation. It gives people who have not got the money to go to court to make complaints when they are mistreated by the press."

I think most people think we do a pretty good job now

Lord Wakeham, PCC chairman
PCC chairman Lord Wakeham said: "We have got a lot of people who have complained to the PCC over the years.

"Some were successful, some were not, but all have come here to celebrate 10 years of self-regulation.

"It was pretty rotten when we started but it improved over time and I think most people think we do a pretty good job now."

He added: "Prince William's days at school would have been intolerable without some sort of system, and when he is at university I hope he is going to have a good time there and be treated like any other student as far as possible.

"I think that self-regulation is an established part of that process."

Other celebrities to attend included actress Joanna Lumley, society girl Lady Victoria Hervey, fashion designer Donatella Versace and actress Amanda Donohoe.

Politicians and Fleet Street editors and other members of the media were also attending.

Thank the press

Members of the public whose complaints have been upheld by the PCC were also invited.

Actress Joanna Lumley
Actress Joanna Lumley was among the celebrities to attend
The press relationship with Prince William features strongly in the 2000 annual review as last year the prince left Eton and lost the protection he had enjoyed as a school pupil.

This reopened questions over how far the media could go when covering the prince's private life.

There are fears the media may show less deference when William begins his studies at St Andrews University in Fife, in September.

Students have already been warned they could be expelled if they leak information about the prince to the press.

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See also:

07 Feb 01 | UK
Battle to raise standards
02 Feb 01 | Entertainment
Prince to meet the stars
30 Jul 00 | UK Politics
Blair's photo complaint defended
29 Sep 00 | UK
Prince 'right to speak out'
10 Jun 00 | UK
Privacy fear for William
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