I'm sitting on the island of Levkas, having just sailed from Ithaca – Odysseus' island and one of my favourite places on Earth. It is said that when you touch Ithacan soil you discover your true self. Well, I've been there many times over the years and I've been generally happy with the person I've found there. Perhaps I'm one of the lucky ones…………


I heard this tale from a taxi driver on Ithaca. He was an old guy who remembered the Royal Yacht Britannia being anchored off Ithaca in 1981. On board were Charles and Diana. It was their honeymoon. The plan was that Britannia would be their home for the entire honeymoon and neither would go ashore. But, the old man told me, on one starry night, when the sea was black and the full moon sparkled across the water, he saw a launch leave the Royal yacht. On board were two people, a man at the helm wearing the the uniform of one of the more lowly ranks of the Royal Navy, and a beautiful young woman who sat at the stern trailing her hand in the water. He recognised her immediately.


It was one of those hot and sultry Mediterranean evenings that Diana had chosen to sneak ashore. It was such a warm evening that Diana went barefoot – she allowed her foot to touch Ithacan soil and in that instance realised what a terrible mistake she had made………



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