Being Royal Correspondent for BBC television can be a bit of a poisoned chalice. Jennie Bond did it for 14 years and has since eaten rather strange bugs on "I'm a Celebrity get me out of here!"
If you aren't careful the Royal reporting role can leave you a little bit, well, compromised as a journalist.
Nicholas Witchell seems to have done very well though. I was very surprised to see him reporting from Baghdad yesterday. Good on him. He has managed to come back to serious reporting without bearing any scars from his time as Royal reporter. Some may object to me not including Royal reporting in the bracket of "serious reporting". Well, it's hardly reporting from Baghdad wearing a flak jacket is it?
One can't help thinking that there was one incident which did an enormous amount of good to Nicholas Witchell's reputation as a serious journalist. I refer, of course, to Prince Charles' famous sotto voce comments:
I can't bear that man. I mean, he's so awful, he really is.