Royal Watch

updated 03/02/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

originally published 03/02/1992 AT 01:00 AM EST

Prince Charles once again flunked Romance 101, this time during the Waleses' trip to India. When bachelor Charles first visited the Taj Mahal back in 1980, he rhapsodized that "one day I'll bring my wife here." But on this trip, when the big chance came, he dodged the visit to attend an architectural-society lunch 150 miles away. Back home in London, the tabloids responded by giving Charles the usual snort. EIGHTH BLUNDER OF THE WORLD headlined the Sun over a picture of Diana taking her Taj tour solo. And further on the romance front: At a polo match the next day, Diana presented the Prince with a winner's medal. As he leaned forward to give his wife the traditional victory kiss, Diana suddenly turned her head. Noted the Daily Mirror's James Whitaker: "They are very out of practice."

Monaco's Prince Albert, the only royal competing in the Winter Olympics, had hoped to place in the Top 15 when he raced in the two-man bobsled event Feb. 15 and 16. But after four runs down the slippery slope, the sled piloted by Albert Grimaldi (as he is registered) placed 43rd out of 46, beating only the Virgin Islands' two teams and Puerto Rico, whose sled overturned early in the course. His poor showing made it almost certain that the Prince, 33, would make good on his pre-Games promise to retire from the sport. No matter; Albert in Lillehammer (Norway), site of the 1994 Winter Games, just doesn't have the same ring.


Ever since those holiday snaps of the Duchess of York chumming it up with Texas playboy Steve Wyatt made news last month, Fergie has been in virtual royal quarantine, allegedly on orders of Queen Elizabeth herself. Last week Fergie slipped out—and once again slipped up, raising eyebrows with a visit to a Greek-born faith healer known as Madame Vasso in a rundown section of London.

Fergie reportedly spent more than three hours at Vasso's basement flat, sitting under a blue plastic pyramid while Vasso ran her hands over the Duchess' neck and back, ostensibly to relieve pain. ("It's certainly the first I've heard of it," said her father, Maj. Ronald Ferguson, of Fergie's supposed health problems.) Explained the psychic later to the Daily Mail: "I just put my hands over her back, and she feels the heat. She is a lovely person, and she said it made her very happy."

As a result of her visit to Vasso, who also reads tarot cards at a London street stall, the troubled Duchess may soon be feeling even more heat from the Queen. As head of the Church of England, Her Majesty frowns on psychic practices.

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