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Crown may pay for cameras, clothes sprayed by prince

By
DEIRDRE CHILDRESS

LOS ANGELES -- The British consulate may pay $1,200 to a photographer whose cameras were sprayed with white paint by Prince Andrew.

Consulate spokesman Angus McKay told UPI Monday that payment is still 'under consideration' and is being discussed with royal family representatives in London.

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The prince picked up a paint sprayer during his four-day Southern California visit last week and squirted paint onto American and British journalists and photographers covering the royal tour.

He then wiped his hands on a newspaper and told county Supervisor Kenneth Hahn, 'I enjoyed that.'

Chris Gulker, a photographer with the Los Angeles Herald Examiner, said Monday he was most upset not by the spraying but by the prince's response.

'He didn't say, 'Oh my God, I'm sorry,'' Gulker explained. 'He had such a grin of delight.'

The Herald Examiner presented the consulate with a $1,200 bill the same day, saying that would cover costs of replacing equipment owned by the newspaper and the photographer.

A Buckingham Palace official, meanwhile, said a report that Queen Elizabeth might personally compensate reporters was 'pure speculation.'

Gulker was not the only journalist hit by the white paint. Allan Davidson, a photographer with the London Daily Mail, said he suffered $4,000 damage to his clothes and camera.

The Mail ran a two-page center spread the next day, featuring a Davidson photograph of the prince holding the sprayer.

'Even in Hollywood where fairy tales are their stock in trade,' the Mail wrote, 'they knew Prince Charming had turned into a frog overnight, and that all his glamor came to nothing when he showed the immature and arrogant personality behind the film-star looks.'

A camera used by Los Angeles Times photographer Bob Chamberlin was blasted with the white paint, but he said he will keep the camera as a souvenir.

'One of the girls in the office tried to scrape some paint off,' he recalled, 'but I said, 'Stop.' It's a once in a lifetime thing.'

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