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Sunday, 23 September, 2001, 11:28 GMT 12:28 UK
College fun fit for a prince
Prince William
It will not all be hard work for the student prince
Prince William might well be heir to the throne, but such regal standing will not help him escape the hard sell of that now quintessential part of student life - the university society.

It will come as a disappointment to many of the university's clubs and societies to learn that the prince has made a policy decision not to join any of them, at least to begin with.

Societies for drama, environmental campaigning and debating would doubtless regard his membership as a coup, as would surely the infamous Kate Kennedy club, a male-only group founded in 1926 which organises balls and refuses to involve women.

If William fears clubs would exploit him to promote themselves, or whether he is merely being cautious not to trespass inadvertently into political activism, he does not say.

History of Art
The prince will study History of Art
But it is clear he is determined to steer a path of least resistance through his opening weeks.

"I'm going to keep my options open until I'm settled," he said.

He does, however, "very much doubt" he'll be joining the Kate Kennedy club.

St Andrews University boasts more than 100 affiliated bodies, ranging from the genteel bridge club to the not-so-genteel fencing club.

Art-loving teenager

But what will win over this very special fresher?

Societies in poll position for signing up the sports-mad, art-loving teenager include the water polo club, the mountaineering club and the St Andrews Musical Society.

As a fairly new addition to the university, the water polo club says it is "keen to welcome new members" - both beginners and more experienced.

So, if the prince finds himself at a loose end on a Thursday evening he can join fellow water sports fanatics in the pool of St Leonard's school.

Outdoors type

And the young prince might be up for joining the mountaineering club.

After all, he is already familiar with Scotland's outdoors - given all of those midge-filled summers at Balmoral with his father, brother and grandmother.

To hone his public speaking skills for his future life as king, William would do well to join the university's debating society.

It boasts being the oldest and finest "bastion of free speech".

However, the prince might surprise everyone and go for something completely off the wall like the James Bond Appreciation Society.

Tunnock's
The prince could join the Tunnock's club
It is not known whether William is a 007 fan, but he might get hooked, after all he will be living in the home country of one Bond great, Sean Connery.

If that is a non-starter, there is always St Andrews University Tunnock's Caramel Wafer Appreciation Society or the Tennents Lager Appreciation Society (yes, they really do exist).

You never know, if the prince really gets into society life the "Wills for President" campaign could be just around the corner.

Of course William could opt to create his own society, with the help of the St Andrews University website's set-by-step "idiots guide".

Essential requirements include coming up with original aims for the new organisation; finding 20 like-minded people who will join and pay a subscription of at least 1; forming a committee and holding an annual meeting.

If he did decide to join a society William would be prize-property - a real asset in helping to swell membership and attracting plenty of publicity.

See also:

20 Aug 01 | Scotland
Prince boosts university's draw
31 Jan 01 | Scotland
William 'guards' request more cash
28 Jan 01 | Scotland
Students warned over William leaks
18 Aug 00 | UK
William: The student Prince
17 Aug 00 | Education
Prince William makes the grade
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