Royal Report: Whose Head Rolls?

The Early Show, Prince Charles
AP
Prince Charles is supposed to be extremely edgy about the St. James' Palace inquiry, which is to be made public Thursday.

Will he have to let go of his most trusted servant because of murky goings-on at the palace? And if so, are more royal secrets about to be revealed? And what was that butler trial all about, anyway?

Ingrid Seward, Majesty Magazine editor, says that after the collapse of former butler Paul Burrell's trial, thanks to the Queen's intervention, a lot of things came into question.

The bottom line, Seward, says is that "it appeared that a lot of the gifts that the Prince of Wales was given were then passed on to servants who then sold them."

So after a four-month investigation, Prince Charles' private secretary, Sir Michael Peat, will report on the findings. The big question is whether Michael Fawcett will remain on Prince Charles' staff. Fawcett is the man who looks after all of the prince's affairs, from setting up events and parties to buying presents in his name.

The prince's reputation is at stake, says Seward. "If he is being seen to be dumping presents, maybe [something] some president gave him, or selling them on, not directly but through his staff, it doesn't look good. And his court is messy. That doesn't look good, either. Everything that happens there has to be above board."

It is rumored that Fawcett could be tempted to leave Charles and sell his secrets for millions of dollars. So the prince needs to decide whether it is worth it to let Fawcett go public with all of his and Diana's secrets. Fawcett used to be Prince Charles' valet.

"There is a saying within those circles that the man that folds the prince's boxer shorts has his ear," notes Seward, and so Fawcett is making headlines in England.

The queen, for her part, finds Charles' intimacy and reliance on servants worrying and says it is dangerous that one man should know so much.

"She feels it's unhealthy that one person, i.e., Fawcett, should know every in and out of his life. And I think she was anxious to see a clear-out and a new beginning," Seward says.

Charles could conceivably retire Fawcett from the royal household, whose expenses are paid out of the Duchy of Cornwall, and employ him privately but that may not be sufficient.

And that is not all; Peat also investigated the alleged homosexual rape incident between two royal servants seven years ago and the palace cover-up in which the alleged victim was paid off and dismissed at three times his salary.

When the report is released, the prince will be on a royal tour in Bulgaria. Though the prince's head won't roll, other people's will, Seward anticipates. Overall, it is damaging for the prince since it is his staff and it shows how he runs his household.

"In a nutshell, St. James's Palace, which is his court, is a hotbed of bad doings," Seward says.

As for his private life, getting married to Camilla Parker-Bowles is probably the last thing on Prince Charles' mind, Seward says.

"I think they maybe one day, but certainly not at the moment. I don't think Camilla has any desire. In fact we haven't seen her this year. She's kept a very low profile. I don't think she has any desire to be queen. She's got a very nice life the way it is at the moment," Seward says.