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"I stand before you today, the representative of a family in grief, in a country in mourning, before a world in shock," he began in this moving, masterful oration.

He immortalised his sister in that moment, by describing her in terms which the world was eager to recognise: "A very British girl who transcended nationality" and "a girl given the name of the ancient goddess of hunting was, in the end, the most hunted person of the modern age".

However, the image of domestic contentment was an illusion, and just four months after Caroline gave birth to their second child, six years into their marriage, Charles was off again, starting an affair with Coleen Sullivan, an American journalist who came to interview him for a documentary on Princess Diana.

Coleen, glamorous brunette daughter of a humble police sergeant, broke up with her fiance and gave up her career, only for the relationship to run its course within 18 months.

The royal family have weathered the storm sparked by Diana's death, the princes have grown into easy-going, impressive young men -- without much obvious input from their uncle -- and William is now the image of his father.In that moment, if the people of Britain had been responsible for the princes' fate, the boys would have been immediately entrusted to their uncle's care, rather than returned to the austere affections of the royals.Back then, young Prince William looked very like his uncle -- both tall, blond, full of aristocratic dash -- and as the rumours surrounding Diana's death grew increasingly lurid, the Earl was seen as the strongest defence against the lonely fate awaiting the two young men among their father's people.Those who know him well say that in person he is somewhere between the extremes, neither hero nor pantomime villain; that although capricious and arrogant, he is also engaging and capable of decency.His charisma is as undoubted as is his emotional confusion, the legacy of a sad, lonely childhood when he and Diana were tossed about on the storm of their parents' second relationships, shuttling between marriages, with each other as the only constant in their lives.

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