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After Harry weds Meghan, who is the most eligible prince of them all?

The blue-blooded bachelors of Europe.

Sorry, everyone who wanted to marry a British prince – US actress Meghan Markle has beat you to the last eligible one, at least until the 2030s. If you can’t wait that long, you’ll have to go further afield and bag yourself a European prince. Hey, at least you might be able to retain your EU citizenship!

Some European monarchies can immediately be ruled out by those who aren’t willing to wait: Monaco, Norway, the Netherlands and Sweden currently have no princes of marriageable age who aren’t already married. So what are your remaining options if looking to wed a more or less bonafide prince in the immediate future?

Prince Joseph Wenzel of Liechtenstein

Age: 22.

Position in line to the throne: Second (he’s also third in line to the Jacobite succession, if you fancy a bit of light civil war.)

Is he an actual prince? Yes, he’s the grandson of the Prince of Liechtenstein, and the son of the regent.

Does he have a palace? He’ll most likely inherit the family pad, Vaduz Castle, originally a 12th century fortress.

Does he have responsibilities? He doesn’t have a lot on right now, but he is probably going to be the reigning Prince of Liechtenstein one day.

Fun fact: He dreamed of being a football star as a child. Oh well, maybe something else will work out for him.

Eligible prince rating: 4/5.

Felipe de Marichalar y Borbón of Spain (pictured far right)

Age: 19.

Position in line to the throne: Fourth.

Is he an actual prince? No, but Spanish royal titles don’t work in quite the same way – as the king’s nephew he’s about as close as you can get, and people are supposed to call him “His Excellency”.

Does he have a palace? No.

Does he have responsibilities? Wikipedia alleges that he might in some way be sponsored by Dr Pepper, but the only source for this is an apparently non-existent book with the same ISBN as the first in the Animorphs series of young adult science fiction novels.

Fun fact: Despite his young age he is already notorious in the Spanish press for “antics” such as shooting himself in the foot, literally, and shouting racial slurs in the queue for a rollercoaster. Quite a catch!

Eligible prince rating: 1/5.

Prince Joachim of Belgium (pictured far right)

Age: 25.

Position in line to the throne: Ninth.

Is he an actual prince? Yes, he’s the nephew of Belgium’s King Philippe.

Does he have a palace? No.

Does he have responsibilities? No particularly royal ones as yet, though he’s an officer in the Belgian navy.

Fun fact: He’s descended from at least ten different European royal families, so at least you get a lot of royal “bang” for your marital “buck”.

Eligible prince rating: 3/5.

Prince Nikolai of Denmark (pictured centre)

Age: 18.

Position in line to the throne: Seventh.

Is he an actual prince? Yes, he’s the grandson of the Queen of Denmark.

Does he have a palace? Well, his dad’s royal residence is Schackenborg Castle – although it’s not officially owned by the family anymore, having been passed to a private foundation.

Does he have responsibilities? Apparently not – for the moment he’s been given the freedom to do whatever he wants to do. Which is apparently mainly listen to house music.

Fun fact: The first album he ever listened to was FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake, it says here.

Eligible prince rating: 3/5.

Prince Sébastien of Luxembourg

Age: 25.

Position in line to the throne: Sixth.

Is he an actual prince? Yes, he’s the son of the Grand Duke of Luxembourg, but he’s got older siblings with kids so don’t get your hopes up about a promotion.

Does he have a palace? Not as such, but he can probably give you a tour of his dad’s, the Grand Ducal Palace.

Does he have responsibilities? He’s an officer in the Luxembourg Army but turns up to various royal events, according to the website Royal Central.

Fun fact: Prince Sébastien shares a birthday with Little Jimmy Osmond and also there is not much information about him on the internet.

Eligible prince rating: 2/5.

The Pope

Age: 80.

Position in line to the throne: On it.

Is he an actual prince? Well, the Vatican is a monarchy, and he is the monarch, and his full title includes “Successor of the Prince of the Apostles”, so, if you squint? And Wikipedia confirms that he’s unmarried, ladies!

Does he have a palace? Unlike his predecessors, he turned down the option of living in the Apostolic Palace – but presumably he’s allowed to change his mind, because he’s the Pope.

Does he have responsibilities? He’s the Pope.

Fun fact: He loved to do the tango when he was young.

Eligible prince rating: 5/5.

CREDIT: CREATIVE COMMONS
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Prostate cancer research has had a £75m welcome boost. Now let’s treat another killer of men

Each week in the UK, 84 men kill themselves – three times the number of women.

The opening months of 2018 have seen a flurry of activity in men’s health. In February, figures were published showing that the number of male patients dying annually from prostate cancer – around 12,000 – has overtaken female deaths from breast cancer for the first time. Whether coincidence or not, this news was followed shortly by two celebrities going public with their personal diagnoses of prostate cancer – Stephen Fry, and former BBC Breakfast presenter Bill Turnbull.

Fry and Turnbull used their profiles to urge other men to visit their doctors to get their PSA levels checked (a blood test that can be elevated in prostate cancer). Extrapolating from the numbers who subsequently came to ask me about getting screened, I would estimate that 300,000 GP consultations were generated nationwide on the back of the publicity.

Well-meaning as Fry’s and Turnbull’s interventions undoubtedly were, they won’t have made a jot of positive difference. In March, a large UK study confirmed findings from two previous trials: screening men by measuring PSA doesn’t actually result in any lives being saved, and exposes patients to harm by detecting many prostate cancers – which are often then treated aggressively – that would never have gone on to cause any symptoms.

This, then, is the backdrop for the recent declaration of “war on prostate cancer” by Theresa May. She announced £75m to fund research into developing an effective screening test and refining treatments. Leaving aside the headline-grabbing opportunism, the prospect of additional resources being dedicated to prostate cancer research is welcome.

One of the reasons breast cancer has dropped below prostate cancer in the mortality rankings is a huge investment in breast cancer research that has led to dramatic improvements in survival rates. This is an effect both of earlier detection through screening, and improved treatment outcomes. A similar effort directed towards prostate cancer will undoubtedly achieve similar results.

The reason breast cancer research has been far better resourced to date must be in part because the disease all too often affects women at a relatively young age – frequently when they have dependent children, and ought to have many decades of life to look forward to. So many family tragedies have been caused by breast malignancy. Prostate cancer, by contrast, while it does affect some men in midlife, is predominantly a disease of older age. We are more sanguine about a condition that typically comes at the end of a good innings. As such, prostate cancer research has struggled to achieve anything like the funding momentum that breast cancer research has enjoyed. May’s £75m will go some way to redressing the balance.

In March, another important men’s health campaign was launched: Project 84, commissioned by the charity Calm. Featuring 84 haunting life-size human sculptures by American artist Mark Jenkins, displayed on the rooftops of ITV’s London studios, the project aims to raise awareness of male suicide. Each week in the UK, 84 men kill themselves – three times the number of women. Suicide is the leading cause of male death under 45 – men who frequently have dependent children, and should have many decades of life to look forward to. So many family tragedies.

I well remember the stigma around cancer when I was growing up in the 1970s: people hardly dared breathe the word lest they became in some way tainted. Now we go on fun runs and wear pink ribbons to help beat the disease. We need a similar shift in attitudes to mental health, so that it becomes something people are comfortable talking about. This is gradually happening, particularly among women. But we could do with May declaring war on male suicide, and funding research into the reasons why so many men kill themselves, and why they don’t seem to access help that might just save their lives. 

Phil Whitaker’s sixth novel, “You”, is published by Salt

This article first appeared in the 18 April 2018 issue of the New Statesman, Enoch Powell’s revenge