PRINCE WILLIAM€™S FIRST WEEK AT UNIVERSITY MARRED AS HE IS FILMED BY HIS UNCLE€™S TV CREW

27 SEPTEMBER 2001

The Prince of Wales is reportedly “incandescent” with rage over the disclosure that a crew from his brother’s production company has been attempting to film Prince William during his first week at university. The crew, which had been among those covering the young Prince’s engagements in Glasgow and Edinburgh before he started at St Andrews, were the only members of the media to remain behind after the press were asked to leave on Sunday night.

The royal family has made strenuous efforts to reach an understanding with the media in order to protect the teenage Prince’s privacy.

University rector Andrew Neil said the intrusion “beggared belief” considering “the effort we have gone to to square the press and the rest of the media outlets to allow William a normal undergraduate life along with all the other undergraduates at St Andrews.”

On Monday, the crew were ordered off the premises after being spotted trying to film St Salvator’s Chapel, opposite William’s hall of residence. Two days later they were back, and Wills himself spotted the team trying to film him as he left a lecture. He contacted his father who immediately telephoned Edward.

When approached by a university official, the crew originally claimed to be freelance but finally confessed to working for the Earl of Wessex’s company Ardent Productions. They reportedly said they were working on a production entitled The A to Z Of Royalty which has been sold to American cable channel E! Entertainment Network.

“We knew when we were asking for privacysomebody would break it at some stage, either a tabloid that could not help itself or foreign paparazzi,” said Andrew Neil. “But for it to be broken by a company owned by his own uncle – you just couldn’t make it up.” Adding that the university felt “very badly let down” by the intrusion, he also said that it “sets a terrible example to the rest of the media”.

Prince Charles is understood to have been further infuriated by the fact that although his office had warned the Queen’s most senior courtier, private secretary Sir Robin Janvrin of the intrusion, it was two days before Edward himself was alerted. Apparently Sir Robin had left it to the Palace press office to speak to the Ardent press office. “The Prince felt that Sir Robin should have spoken to Edward himself,” said an aide.

When confronted, the crew insisted, “London knew all about it”. A spokesman for St James’s Palace denied this, however. “No one has asked us for permission. It would have been refused in any case. It is disappointing to find that one camera crew remained – and even more so when we discover the family connection. It’s a poor show. Everyone else has stuck to the agreement and Ardent knew the rules.”

Photo: © Alphapress.com
Prince William arrives at St Andrews with the Prince of Wales. Wills called his father when he spotted the Argent crew trying to film him as he came out of a lecture on Wednesday
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Relations between Charles his youngest brother are understood to have already been strained. The Prince of Wales reportedly feels uneasy about the way Prince Edward and his wife Sophie mix business with their royal status
Photo: © Alphapress.com
The Ardent camera crew had been among several who followed William during his visits to Edingburgh and Glasgow before he arrived at St Andrews. When the other media left, however, the Ardent crew remained
Photo: © Alphapress.com
Edward's production company Ardent has struggled for years to become a commercial success. When it finally made a profit last year, the Earl said he would no longer make programmes about the royal family

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