17 SEPTEMBER 2003
Princess Eugenie has unwittingly sparked a crackdown on smoking at her new school. The Duke and Duchess of York's younger daughter has just started at Marlborough College in Wiltshire, but it seems her presence is bad news for the institution's secret nicotine fiends.
Because when royal protection officers inspected Millmead House, where Eugenie will be staying, they found packets of cigarettes hidden all around the building. According to one source, so many packs were discovered that authorities at the school were forced to declare an amnesty.
"The house was searched before Princess Eugenie arrived and it is true that cigarettes were discovered and removed," said school master Edward Gould. "No pupil has been disciplined over the matter, as the search happened before term."
He insisted that this doesn't mean puffing will be tolerated at the college, however. "There is a clear no smoking policy, it is not allowed," he declared. Gould was appointed master of Marlborough in 1993, after a number of students were expelled for drug offences. The £21,000-a-year college, which educates 13-18 year olds, currently has 850 students.