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People and Events

<i> From Staff and Wire Reports</i>

When Prince Charles declined to sign a painting of himself by Clayton LeFevre on grounds that the royal family does not give autographs, the West Hollywood artist was a bit put out. After all, LeFevre said, Frank Sinatra, Nancy Reagan, Eddie Murphy and other famous folks have scribbled their names on his acrylic portraits.

So he decided to mark the upcoming visit of the Duke and Duchess of York with a mannequin display in the window of his gallery on Santa Monica Boulevard depicting Fergie and her royal mother-in-law as bag ladies.

“I thought,” explained LeFevre, “if they are so much above it all, how would they like to be put in the position that a lot of their countrymen are in? The royal family has this regal life style and there is a lot of poverty in England.”

In LeFevre’s irreverent tableau, the queen is wearing a gold crown, pearls and a diamond brooch while pulling the British flag and the unsigned Prince Charles painting from a trash can. Fergie, dressed in contemporary sportswear by top designers, is lying near a gold shopping cart. The backdrop is a UK/LA banner he obtained from the British Consulate.

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“I called the consulate and told them I was doing a window display, so they sent me a banner,” LeFevre said. “I didn’t tell them what it was.”

He hears the Duke and Duchess of York plan to be at the Pacific Design Center near his gallery. “There’s a very good chance they will stop by and see this very trashy display,” he said, “if the British consulate gets irate enough.”

At City Hall, as might be expected, a little more deference is being shown to Fergie and Prince Andrew. According to Bee Canterbury Lavery, Mayor Tom Bradley’s protocol chief, even love is bending to the royal visit.

The mayor’s bodyguard, Police Officer Jarret Comfort, had planned to marry Linda Tibi, a former Bradley secretary who now works for Bradley’s campaign office, this Saturday after what Lavery says has been “an off-and-on romance for 13 years.”

Naturally the mayor and most of his staff members want to be there. But the duke and duchess will arrive Friday, requiring official attention for a few days. So the wedding has been postponed to March 6.

There will be more royalty in town in April, when Sweden’s King Carl XVI Gustaf and Queen Silvia will drop in to wrap up a “New Sweden ’88" tour of the United States. They will be honored with a banquet at the Century Plaza on April 25.

The Swedish highnesses will stay in the same 30th-floor Century Plaza suite where President and Mrs. Reagan camp when they are here. It was occupied by King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain last October.

And rock star Elton John once stayed in the suite for a whole month, according to hotel spokeswoman Georgiana Francisco.

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There are no announced plans by any art gallery to make fun of the king and queen during their visit, but Francisco says hotel chef Raimund Hofmeister is expected to manufacture one of his special “presentations” out of chocolate, marzipan and spun sugar to be left for them in the suite.

“It will probably be something drawn from their national flag,” Francisco predicts.

For Elton John, the chef whipped up a piano.

It’s not uncommon for police or the media to affix a moniker on a criminal suspect based on a unique feature of the crimes or the person being sought. So it was Monday when Los Angeles police announced that a man suspected of being the “Dragon Bandit” had been arrested after officers were alerted by suspicious employees at a downtown bank he had allegedly robbed.

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Ronald Hayes, 43, who was booked on suspicion of bank robbery and held on $6,000 bail, is suspected of four recent downtown bank robberies attributed to the Dragon Bandit, Lt. Bruce Meyer said. When robbing banks, the bandit would give the teller a demand note and occasionally pretend he had a weapon, Meyer said.

But why the name?

Because of “his appearance,” Meyer said. And that’s all he’d say, leaving much to the imagination.


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