On Friday Mrs. Philip Arthur George Charles Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, aka Camilla Parker-Bowles, is coming to Lewes to officially open a gate into Anne of Cleves garden. ‘A Right Royal Welcome!’ boomed the Sussex Express, sycophantically, on Friday, while offering the caveat ‘but some of Lewes’ Republicans will refuse to kowtow to the monarchy.’ It seemed like a headline from the thirties. Viva Lewes is of a Republican bent, proud of the heritage of Rights of Man author Tom Paine. But we want it to be made clear that by not going to see Camilla Parker Bowles sashaying in and out of Southover High Street, we will not be ‘refusing to kowtow to the monarchy’. We will just not be interested enough to turn up. We are much more interested in some of the other stuff put on in and around town by people with genuine talent. We are fascinated that the Star Gallery, by exhibiting Clint Langley’s computer-generated comic-strip images (see cover), is raising interesting questions about the nature of art. We are thrilled that Patti Smith, pop icon, poet, painter and photographer is coming to Charleston for a mini-Meltdown gig. We would like to welcome to the area writers like Melissa Banks, Peter Carey, Christopher Ondaatje and Peter James; jazz star Ken Peplowski; actors Henry Goodman and David Haig, and poet laureate Andrew Motion. Perhaps Mr. Motion, the spiky laureate, could write a poem about a royal visit to a republican town while he’s here. And perhaps he could remind Ms Saxe-Coburg-Gotha-Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glucksburg, after she has officially opened the gate, that she might close it behind her again. Enjoy the week.

Cover: The Crimbils, by Clint Langley (copyright Rebellion A/S 2006)
Above: What a star! But where is it?
Last week’s answer: bottom of Keere St.