Prince Of Wales Has A New Harpist.
Who wouldn’t, in his position? Her name is Claire Jones and she is the third Official Harpist to the Prince of Wales since the Prince revived this historic role seven years ago. Jones’s first gig under the terms of her new deal was last night, at a black-tie dinner hosted by Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall at Cardiff Castle. Over the next year she will receive £3,000 – which is something, though considerably less, one can’t help noting, than it would cost to book Bobby Davro.
For hundreds of years it was accepted as a matter of course that the Prince of Wales would have his own harpist. Presumably, in the days before helicopters and reinforced Bentleys, it was one of the job’s chief perks. However, the routine appointment of a personal harpist to the Prince of Wales lapsed in 1911, when for reasons not easily explained, the buzz engendered in royal circles by the live harp experience fizzled out.
Revived by Charles, the post now resembles a spectacularly elite accoutrement. Even the Queen, one learns, does not have her own harpist. Nevertheless, it would be disappointing if news of the latest appointment caused eyebrows to raise, as they did when it emerged that the Prince has someone to squeeze his toothpaste on to his brush for him.