Written by Gareth Carpenter

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Topics: Iraq, Prince Charles

Monday, 9 February 2004

image for Charles shocks Basra troops in saucy outburst
"I do like your beret, young man" - Charles

The morale of British troops stationed in Iraq has plummeted further after a disastrous visit to Basra by Prince Charles.

Eye witnesses said that during a parade inspection Charles joked that he "loved men in uniform" before petulantly asking to be given a private adjutant "to polish his helmet".

Then, to the astonishment of his military hosts, he demanded to know where all the "Camp soldiers" were.

"He was a disgrace," commented one squaddie. "He threatened our armoured personnel carriers with brake failure if we didn't succumb to his every desire. Then he blew a tantrum when he discovered that none of the regiment were wearing kilts."

A Buckingham Palace spokesman said the purpose of Charles' trip to Basra had been to boost his flagging morale.

"We don't usually take the prince to places as dangerous as this, but he needs cheering up," he said.

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