Tanks, Harry! Ciao, Chuck

updated 08/16/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 08/16/1993 AT 01:00 AM EDT

WHILE HIS CLASSMATES AT LUDGROVE SCHOOL have been savoring their summer holiday, Prince Henry of Wales, 8, has been learning the family business. Already practiced in the arts of sitting still and shaking hands, he accompanied Princess Diana on July 29 to Hannover, Germany, where they visited the Light Dragoons regiment. In his debut as a working prince, Harry proved that he inherited his mother's charm. Wearing custom-made fatigues, he scrambled into the cockpit of a tank (an important rite, it seems, for male windsors), took part in a mock battle and displayed a roguish glee that won the hearts of the soldiers and their families at the parade ground.

Ironically, Harry's initiation fell on the 12th anniversary of his parents' marriage. Not surprisingly. Prince (diaries was in absentia. Earlier in the week, however, he had been seen at a charity polo match at Windsor, where, in view of the paparazzi, he stripped to the waist and pulled on a polo shirt. It ma not have been toe-sucking on the Riviera, but the photo made The Daily Telegraph.

The tabloids got a bigger thrill on July 30, when Di, with her children and a man the Daily Mail described as "slim, clean-cut, blond and mysterious," visited the Duke and Duchess of Roxburghe in Scotland. Alas, her traveling companion was identified as longtime friend William van Straubenzee, 41, a London investment adviser described by the Evening Standard as a "confirmed bachelor."

The real stir, however, came on Aug. 2, when Di ran after a photographer who snapped her with her sons at a London cinema. The Sun said her face was "twisted with fury" as she "screamed at him from two inches away, 'You make my life hell!' " Added the tabloid: "Cinema-goers, tourists and passers-by...stared in disbelief."

For a seasoned royal skilled at being patient with the press, it was a stunning outburst. Di watchers noted that she is set to lose her sons when they go on a long holiday with Charles and that she has been concerned about her brother, Earl Spencer, 29, who was recent hospitalized for an ulcer. Beyond that, the tantrum is something of a mystery. One thing is certain: Diana's enemies—as well as her friends—will be waiting to see whether she loses her cool again.

From Our Partners