Britain's Prince Charles lost up to $12 million in the October stock market crash, a British newspaper reported yesterday. In the daily tabloid Today, market analysts estimated that stocks held by the prince had soared in value to $40 million this year before shares on the London market plunged by some 30 percent.

Knowledge of the prince's loss came Thursday when he addressed the London Stock Exchange saying, "Not everyone has managed to keep their shirts since the events of Monday, October 19."

Prince Charles' overall personal worth was estimated at $220 million, largely from land holdings in the duchy of Cornwall, which since 1337 has traditionally been the possession of the ruling monarch's oldest son.

Margaux Hemingway at Clinic

Margaux Hemingway is busy getting her life together, says New York Daily News syndicated columnist Liz Smith. The former model, who has confessed to a problem with alcohol, entered the Betty Ford Clinic in Rancho Mirage, Calif., Dec. 4.

Ernest Hemingway's now-divorced granddaughter, who shot to stardom at age 20 in the film "Lipstick," said, "I want to get on with my acting career; alcohol was interfering with my life."

Billy Barnes, a longtime friend of the actress, said Hemingway wanted to go public with her problem. "You are only as sick as your secrets," he quoted her as saying.

Un-Merry Secret Service

The uniformed members of the Secret Service, who protect the White House and foreign embassies around the clock, are privately complaining about being shortchanged on the annual White House Christmas party.

Only 500 invitations were made available to the 900 uniformed police for this afternoon's open house, according to a United Press International report.

Spouses of police staff are invited, but children under the age of 12 are not and those officers who are single are not allowed to bring a guest. The 12-year age limit however was established by the Secret Service and not the White House, said a spokeswoman for the Secret Service public affairs office. The intention was to make more room for other officers who wish to attend.

The police have also noted the White House presented lavish buffets for Christmas parties for the press, members of Congress, the senior staff and others, but will only serve cookies and eggnog to the cops. Quite a difference from days gone by, when former administrations invited the police to bring their families, shake hands with the president and receive an enlarged White House Christmas card as a gift.

Manuscript Dispute Ends

The University of Virginia has acknowledged that the manuscript of William Faulkner's "The Sound and the Fury" belongs to a Connecticut woman and has agreed to pay her $25,000 for it.

An agreement between the school and author Joan Williams was announced late Thursday, settling a long dispute over ownership of the manuscript, which made its way to the library with part of Faulkner's estate after his death. Williams, however, who has been seeking the return of the work for at least six years, produced a 1952 letter from Faulkner to his editors at Random House stating his intent that the manuscript be left to her. She once described herself as a "soulmate" of the author.

Under the purchase agreement, "The Sound and the Fury" manuscript -- the prize of U-Va.'s Faulkner collection -- will remain at the Alderman Library, where it will be available to scholars.

Does the Hairdresser Know for Sure?

French rightist leader Jean-Marie Le Pen bleaches his hair, or so says his estranged wife. Le Pen, however, was quick to render a hairdresser's testimonial on French television yesterday to counteract his wife's statement and prove he was naturally fair-haired.

"What's the value of a certificate from an apprentice hairdresser against the word of a woman who has lived in intimacy with Le Pen?" his wife Pierrette said.

Le Pen, running for president in next April's election on an anti-immigration ticket, was primed for the question during a major television interview Thursday after film star Yves Montand charged that the politician dyed his hair blond to look Aryan.

Waving the written testimonial, the National Front leader said laughing that he was "a true blond and a true Celt" and later offered to a male interviewer backstage to "prove conclusively" that he was a natural blond.