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 Saturday, 4 January, 2003, 23:12 GMT
Spin doctor cuts royal ties
Mark Bolland
Mark Bolland: Will look back with "affection"
The man credited with turning round Prince Charles' media image has severed his links with St James's Palace.

Public relations expert Mark Bolland told the prince he wanted to concentrate on developing the public relations consultancy he began in April with Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles as his chief clients.

I shall always look back on my time there with great affection

Mark Bolland
The 36-year-old said it had been a privilege to serve the royals.

St James's Palace said Charles was "sad" to see him go but pleased his business was doing so well.

Mr Bolland resigned from his post as deputy private secretary to the Prince in February last year to set up his PR consultancy firm.

But he continued to work on a part-time consultancy basis for his royal clients, who included Princes William and Harry.

Achievements

As deputy private secretary to the prince, Mr Bolland was thought to be responsible for efforts to gain greater public acceptance of the prince's companion following the death of his former wife, Diana, Princess of Wales.

On Saturday Mr Bolland and the Prince's new private secretary, Sir Michael Peat, said he was leaving by mutual agreement.

Photographers at the Ritz
The press were out in force at the Ritz
Mr Bolland said: "My time with the Prince of Wales and Mrs Parker Bowles has been one of huge excitement and challenge - as well as one marked by moments of great sadness," he said, referring to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and other members of the Royal Family.

"I shall always look back on my time there with great affection."

Sir Michael said: "The Prince of Wales is very grateful for the work that Mark has done for him and is pleased that his new business is taking off so well."

Award

Mr Bolland was voted PR Professional of the Year 2001 by the industry for bringing about what the citation said was "a massive sea-change in the relationship between Charles and the press".

He worked for the prince for six years.

After resigning as deputy private secretary, he remained a trustee for several of Charles's charities.

Mr Bolland also helped organise the open air concerts at Buckingham Palace marking the Queen's Golden Jubilee celebrations last year.

In 1999 he was credited for stage-managing a huge photo opportunity outside the Ritz Hotel for the Prince and Mrs Parker Bowles's first public appearance together.

But Mr Bolland has in the past been accused of pushing Prince Charles' interests at the expense of other royals.

He also has close links with the Press Complaints Commission and was a former director of the organisation.

See also:

25 Oct 02 | Panorama
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