11/02/1998 at 01:00 AM EST
An avid artist, Prince Charles has finally seen one of his works treated like, well, art. At a Dublin auction on Oct. 14, Agnes McCourt, of Northern Ireland, paid $90,100 for a lithograph of Windsor Castle. On a whim, McCourt, who runs a dieting firm, joined her sister Mrs. Phil Coyne at the auction, a benefit for the victims of August's Omagh bombing. "When bidding reached $68,000," she says, "I thought my sister would pass out." But it wasn't the prince's talent that inspired McCourt. "I bought it," she says, "for a good cause."
The British tabloid The Mirror's Oct. 14 report that Prince Harry
had "shaved off his mop" after pals botched an attempt to coif him like soccer star Michael Owen did not please his father. (Maybe it was the computer-generated image of Harry's new do that did it.) Contending that the piece intruded on Harry's privacy, Charles's spokeswoman said: "The Prince of Wales will be raising the matter with the Press Complaints Commission."
A day later, the unrepentant paper cited "the enormous public interest" in the boys as justification for "revealing harmless titbits" about them. And the next day, it depicted the entire royal family without hair.
For his part, Harry's take on the matter seems quite healthy. Said a Palace source quoted in The Mirror: "He thinks it's funny."
Togetherness is on Prince Charles's agenda. In September he and confidante Camilla Parker Bowles took an Aegean cruise on a friend's yacht, their first foreign holiday à deux since Diana's death. They'll pair up again on Nov. 14, when she throws him a 50th-birthday bash at High-grove, his country estate.
But there's a hitch: The Queen, who has been invited, may pass on the party, attending only the one she is giving for Charles at Buckingham Palace the night before. What would such a snub mean? Does Her Majesty want Camilla to remain in the shadows? Is she simply loath to choose between Charles's bash and grandson Peter Phillips's 21st-birthday party the same evening? Don't ask the Palace. "There has not been a final decision about what the Queen will or will not do," says a spokesman. Camilla's soiree won't be short of monarchs, though. Norway's reigning couple and the Queen of Denmark have all accepted.
Once part of his private collection, Andy Warhol's 1982 portrait of Princess Diana was kept under wraps after his 1987 death. "The owners," says novelist and politician Jeffrey Archer, who bought the work three months ago, "didn't let people see it." Archer has. The painting—and 94 other Warhols he owns—is now on view at a London gallery. Taken from a Lord Snowdon photo and valued at more than $8.5 million, the portrait depicts the Princess with green and black hair. An insult? "Earl Spencer saw it at a private showing," Archer says. "He said he was delighted."