The Prince of Wales is reportedly â€śincandescentâ€ť with rage over the disclosure that a crew from his brotherâ€™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 Princeâ€™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 Princeâ€™s privacy.
University rector Andrew Neil said the intrusion â€śbeggared beliefâ€ť considering â€śthe 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.â€ť
On Monday, the crew were ordered off the premises after being spotted trying to film St Salvatorâ€™s Chapel, opposite Williamâ€™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 Wessexâ€™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.
â€śWe knew when we were asking for privacysomebody would break it at some stage, either a tabloid that could not help itself or foreign paparazzi,â€ť said Andrew Neil. â€śBut for it to be broken by a company owned by his own uncle â€“ you just couldnâ€™t make it up.â€ť Adding that the university felt â€śvery badly let downâ€ť by the intrusion, he also said that it â€śsets a terrible example to the rest of the mediaâ€ť.
Prince Charles is understood to have been further infuriated by the fact that although his office had warned the Queenâ€™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. â€śThe Prince felt that Sir Robin should have spoken to Edward himself,â€ť said an aide.
When confronted, the crew insisted, â€śLondon knew all about itâ€ť. A spokesman for St Jamesâ€™s Palace denied this, however. â€śNo one has asked us for permission. It would have been refused in any case. It is disappointing to find that one camera crew remained â€“ and even more so when we discover the family connection. Itâ€™s a poor show. Everyone else has stuck to the agreement and Ardent knew the rules.â€ť