Revered prince, Earl of Inverness, should have starring role at riverside ceremony

Special report by Colin Campbell

PRINCE Andrew, who has the title of Earl of Inverness, and Banksy, the celebrated graffiti artist, are believed to be in line to be star Guests of Honour at the grand opening of the controversial Ness riverside Gathering Place.

A source close to the council told us: “This is being viewed as an event of enormous significance for the Highland capital, and all the stops will be pulled out to make sure the guest list fits the occasion.”

A surreal creation by graffiti artist Banksy.

The project is due to be completed in a few weeks time, with just a few yards remaining to be put in place. It has been a source of intense controversy for the past three years.

The council related source said: “The view is that a seal of approval from Prince Andrew, as Earl of Inverness, would be greatly welcomed by the Inverness public, would help bring an end to criticism of the scheme, and would create a spirit of unity going forward.”

When faced with an expression of utter incredulity, the source added: “I know, I know. But these are the same people who thought it sensible to spend £300,000 building an 18 inch high wall on a nice piece of grass. They’re not exactly the brightest jewels in the coronet.”

The Prince, or Earl, who is currently wanted for questioning by the FBI, would make only a fleeting appearance at the event. In line with royal protocol, the duration of his appearance at the grand opening would be timed with precision, and would last for a total of 90 seconds.

The source said: “He would be whisked along the riverside in a three vehicle convoy manned by armed officers of the Royal Protection Squad, would exit his vehicle, take the microphone and say, ‘I hereby declare this magnificent wall officially open’, then dash back into his vehicle and be whisked away again to an unidentified location. There would be no interaction with members of the public.”

Asked why Prince Andrew would be prepared to make the trip north for the grand opening, the source said: “I think it’s because he takes his role as Earl of Inverness very seriously. And he doesn’t get invited to much these days.”

Prince Andrew.

It is understood an array of council dignitaries will also speak at the grand opening.

Councillor Isabelle Mackenzie, arts group chairwoman, has previously said the 18 inch wall will be “unique” when completed and “something that can’t be found anywhere else in the world”.

The source said if the enigmatic Banksy agrees to appear at the grand opening it will be “the icing on the cake”.

“The plan is that after all the speeches are concluded, Banksy would spray paint the words ‘Banksy wos ere’ on the furthermost concrete slab jutting out over the river. The view seems to be that this would help counter the threat of the thing becoming a target for graffiti. I’m not so sure about that. It could have the opposite effect. But let’s face it, they haven’t got anything else right about this, so who knows.”

Unique in all the world and expected to attract visitors from across the globe.

It is understood that nothing has been firmed up yet. Our source confirmed his projection for the ceremony was based “on a substantial element of rumour and speculation”. But undoubtedly the appearance of Prince Andrew and Banksy at the grand opening would help maximise publicity for the 18 inch high wall, which the council believes will gain international acclaim, and will attract tourists from across the globe.

One thought on “Revered prince, Earl of Inverness, should have starring role at riverside ceremony

  1. I see they have gone for the Princess Diana style memorial, where children jump on wet slippy slabs, they crack their heads, get whisked to hospital, and the wall gets cordoned off.


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