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Last Updated: Thursday, 31 March, 2005, 15:25 GMT 16:25 UK
I hate facing media, says Charles
Princes Harry, Charles and William

Prince Charles has voiced his dislike of facing the media at a photo call during his annual skiing holiday at Klosters in Switzerland.

As he posed with sons William and Harry eight days before his wedding, the prince muttered: "Bloody people."

The assembled microphones picked up his comments, mumbled to his sons, which included: "I hate doing this."

Aides said Charles had been angered by paparazzi photos in the UK press of William and girlfriend Kate Middleton.

When BBC Royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell asked Prince Charles about his feelings in the run-up to his wedding to Camilla Parker Bowles on 8 April in Windsor, he was given a terse reply.

A few paparazzi yesterday got the holiday off to a bad start
Paddy Harverson
Charles' communication secretary

"I am very glad you have heard of it, anyway," the prince said.

He added quietly to Prince William and Harry: "These bloody people. I can't bear that man. I mean, he's so awful, he really is."

No Camilla

The BBC has emphasised that Mr Witchell was at Klosters at the invitation of Clarence House.

"He is one of our finest. His question was perfectly reasonable under the circumstances," a BBC spokesman said.

The royals traditionally stage one photocall during their annual spring break in Klosters in return for peace and quiet while skiing on the slopes.

This year, photographers managed to secure images of Prince William and his girlfriend relaxing despite aides' attempts to make sure the holiday remained private.

If our tabloid media weren't quite so obsessed with "celebrity", then the prince may be more inclined to do photo shoots

Charles's communication secretary Paddy Harverson said the prince had not been looking forward to the photo call.

"He prefers it when he skis and he just wanted to get up into the mountains.

"He doesn't have contempt for the media. A few paparazzi yesterday got the holiday off to a bad start.

"I think the prince was a little bit upset about that."

Prince Charles' fiancee cannot ski and has not accompanied the royal party on holiday.

Share a cottage

When Prince William was asked about the wedding he said he was "very happy, very pleased", adding: "It will be a good day."

Asked if there was likely to be a second royal wedding soon, the prince dismissed the idea and said: "No."

He and his brother said they had organised a stag do for their father with William adding: "You've missed it. It was good fun."

The pair laughed loudly when asked whether they had chained their father to a lamppost, causing Charles to ponder aloud why that would happen. His sons explained it is a traditional joke played on bridegrooms.

Pictures of Prince William and Miss Middleton, both 22, relaxing with Charles, Harry, and other friends were splashed across several UK newspapers on Thursday including the Daily Mirror, Daily Express, Sun and Daily Mail.

The couple, who share a cottage at St Andrews University, in Fife, Scotland, were photographed together by the paparazzi a year ago during his last trip to Klosters.

It is the second time Miss Middleton has accompanied the royal party on their winter trip.

Thursday's official photo call was held in the village of Monbiel, 2km from the centre of Klosters, after poor weather forced the cancellation of the traditional mountain staging.

BBC reporter Nicholas Witchell reacts to the prince's remarks

Nicholas Witchell
01 Dec 03 |  Profiles

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