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The BBC's Jennie Bond
"He marked his coming of age in an emphatic manner"
 real 56k

Prince William
"Our mother's trust has been betrayed and even now she is being exploited"
 real 56k

Friday, 29 September, 2000, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
William attacks Diana 'betrayal'
Prince Charles and Prince William
The Prince of Wales appeared with William at Highgrove
Prince William has admitted that he and his brother have been upset by a new book which brands his mother a "scheming liar".

He told reporters at his first face-to-face media interview: "Harry and I are both quite upset about it - that our mother's trust has been betrayed and even now she is still being exploited."


I'm going to dig in and make the most of what I am doing out there

Prince William
William was referring to the recent book by Diana's former private secretary, Patrick Jephson, which is critical of the Princess of Wales.

The 18-year-old's comments, at his father's Highgrove home, came as he announced he would be spending part of his gap year before university on a Raleigh expedition to southern Chile.

The prince will join a 10-week expedition to remote Patagonia, where he will work alongside 110 other young volunteers on environmental and community projects.

Queen 'deplores' book

Mr Jephson's book, Shadows of a Princess, has been criticised by other members of the Royal Family, including the Queen and the Prince of Wales who said they "deeply deplore" it.

The work is being serialisd in a Sunday newspaper.

The author responded to Prince William's comments with a statement saying: "I respect and understand (them).

"I am sure that when the whole book is read it will eventually be seen to be truthful and sympathetic to the memory of the late princess."

Raleigh expedition in Chile
Raleigh expedition members get to grips with a mountain in Chile
Elaborating on his plans to travel before university, William told reporters: "I wanted to do something constructive with my gap year.

"I was talking with friends and I just liked the idea."

The prince organised a sponsored water polo match to finance his trip, and also raised enough to pay for another boy from a less privileged background to come along.

Asked if his father had chipped in, William admitted: "Father might have helped slightly."

But the Prince of Wales joked: "I chip in all the bloody time."

The young prince - who passed three A-levels with A, B and C grades - decided to take a year out before beginning a History of Art degree at St Andrew's University, Scotland.

In Chile he will take part in projects such as improving local buildings and constructing walkways.

He said he wanted to do something that would help people out and which involved "meeting a whole range of people from different countries".

The prince, who scored an A grade in his geography A-level, will also carry out surveys to assist with map-making in the area.

Survival training

He will also track rare species of deer to provide valuable information for nature conservationists.

"I'm going to dig in and make the most of what I am doing out there," said William.

He will be joined for part of the 10-week trip by the Prince of Wales' former aide Mark Dyer, who has become William's close friend.

Mauritius
William recently joined a conservation project on one of the Mauritian islands

Dyer, 34, a captain in the Welsh Guards, has helped to organise William's gap year.

William has travelled far afield since leaving Eton this summer.

He joined the Welsh Guards in August on a gruelling survival course in the jungle of Belize.

He learned to survive in the tropical forest of the former British colony, coping with natural hazards such as crocodiles, snakes, scorpions and spiders.

But William was surrounded by 140 troops and accompanied by police bodyguards as well as two SAS soldiers.

The Prince said that he was "looking forward to going to university next year," but admitted he had not yet decided what to do after his return from Chile.

He told reporters: "I am hugely disorganised, you see."

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See also:

29 Sep 00 | UK
Prince 'right to speak out'
18 Aug 00 | UK
William: The student Prince
17 Aug 00 | Education
Prince William makes the grade
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