Good snooze for prince

June 1, 2001

Move over, Tracey Emin. St Andrews University's School of Art History yesterday presented a landmark lecture on the Melville State Bed, one of the country's most significant pieces of 17th-century furniture.

The bed, built for the first Earl of Melville, a St Andrews graduate, will feature in Simon Schama's television series The History of Britain and, from November, will be exhibited in the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

The earl was William III's secretary of state for Scotland, and the lavish bed was a political symbol indicating his status. It was probably built in the expectation of the king visiting Scotland, although he never did.

Perhaps the school will reclaim the berth for Prince William's use. He is due to start his art history degree at the university next term.

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