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Last Updated: Sunday, 9 November, 2003, 19:28 GMT
Prince flies home to media claims
Prince Charles
The prince arrived at Heathrow Sunday evening
Prince Charles has flown home from a royal tour of Oman to face fresh headlines about him in the UK's Sunday newspapers.

The prince arrived back at Heathrow airport on Sunday afternoon as a court injunction banning the press from publishing an allegation made by a former royal servant remained in place.

A Scottish newspaper, the Sunday Herald, not covered by the injunction, earlier printed details of an alleged incident involving the prince and named another person said to be involved.

In a separate allegation, the News of the World said the prince's private secretary Sir Michael Peat asked one of Charles's former key aides about his sexuality.

Sir Michael is very open, honest and direct
Clarence House statement

It said Sir Michael asked Mark Bolland if he thought the prince was bisexual - the answer to which was an emphatic "no".

The inquiry was allegedly made as part of Sir Michael's detailed investigation into the aftermath of the collapse of the trial of former royal butler Paul Burrell last year.

Mr Bolland, the prince's former deputy private secretary, told the News of the World: "I was astonished at Sir Michael's question. I told him that the prince was emphatically not gay or bisexual."

Denial

The paper quoted Sir Michael as saying the word "bisexual" was one he did not think he could ever remember using.

On Sunday, Clarence House - Prince Charles' official residence - issued a statement on his behalf, describing Sir Michael as "Mr Transparent" with nothing to hide.

"Sir Michael is very open, honest and direct," a spokeswoman said.

Prince Charles

"He has already made clear that he spoke to the prince about the rumours circulating and it should not be any surprise that he would have first talked to Mark Bolland, who was then a senior member of staff, before approaching the prince."

Some newspaper reports suggest the prince has instructed solicitors to consider taking legal action against the former servant making the allegations.

Clarence House has said that suggestion is fairly speculative but the situation remains under constant review.

A spokeswoman also said a TV appearance by the prince to quash allegations had not been ruled out although no firm plans had been made.

Sunday newspapers in England and Wales have not published details of the original allegation that was the subject of a court injunction a week ago, and which has been strenuously denied by the prince.

Thursday's royal denial came after the Guardian newspaper won a High Court battle to name Prince Charles's ex-valet, Michael Fawcett, as the person who won an injunction to stop the allegation being printed by the Mail on Sunday newspaper last week.

The allegation was made by another former royal servant, George Smith, who used to serve as a footman.

The Mail on Sunday did not publish details of the allegation in its latest edition, but carried an interview with Mr Smith.




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