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Prince Charles loses public relations chief

LONDON - Mark Bolland, media consultant to Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry, has resigned from his post at St James's Palace, to concentrate on the PR agency, Mark Bolland Associates, he set up in February.

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Bolland joined Prince Charles' private staff in 1996 as assistant private secretary. He was promoted to deputy private secretary the following year. He left the post in February to set up his PR agency, but was retained as media consultant to the Princes.

The resignation is understood to have been a result of the growing number of high-profile accounts the agency has picked up in the last eight months, including National Lottery operator Camelot.

The decision is believed to have been taken to avoid potential conflicts of interest and to allow Bolland to focus on his growing workload.

Bolland has been labelled the Royal Family's first spin doctor. He is credited with improving the Royal Family's relationship with the media, turning round Prince Charles' battered reputation after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, and with introducing his girlfriend Camilla Parker Bowles to the public.

Before joining the Palace, Bolland was a director of the Press Complaints Commission, as well as being the partner of its current director, Guy Black. This allowed Bolland to build bridges between the Palace and the press, culminating in a party hosted by Prince Charles and Prince William in 2000 to thank the press for their restrained coverage of the family.

Named as PR Professional of the Year by PR Week in 2001, Bolland was praised for his work for Prince Charles, but also accused of spinning against other members of the Royal family.

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