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Back to Basics While Di Glitters at Gala : Charles Plants Potatoes and Gets Roasted

May 15, 1987|From Reuters

LONDON — Prince Charles, heir to the British throne, spent three days living with farmers on a remote Scottish island--and got a roasting from some of Britain's royal-hungry popular newspapers for doing so.

Buckingham Palace confirmed today that Charles, who among his many titles is Lord of the Isles, spent three days this week living on the remote Outer Hebrides island of Bernerary planting potatoes, cutting peat and rounding up sheep.

His spokesman said Charles, 38, decided to find out firsthand how people live in the region--a decision greeted by the mass circulation Sun newspaper with the headline "A Loon Again," a pun on Scottish pronunciation and the prince's known desire to seek what has been labeled as inner satisfaction by getting back to basics.

Charles made the visit without his 25-year-old wife, Princess Diana, or their two children. He and Diana later visited the Cannes Film Festival.

The Daily Express carried a front page full-length picture of Diana, dressed in an off-the-shoulder gown at a charity gala Thursday night, with a smaller picture of her glum-faced husband under the headline "Di Shines as Charles Goes Back to Nature."

In a radio interview today, islander Donald McKillop, who put Charles up, was asked if the prince had had a comfortable stay.

"That's very difficult for me to say," he responded. "How could I give the palace comfort?"

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