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Video: How Prince Charles knows about trends

updated 5/25/2006 12:19:42 AM ET 2006-05-25T04:19:42

In a broadcasting first, Prince Charles and his sons, Prince William and Price Harry, have sat down together for a TV interview, highlights of which will be aired on “Dateline NBC” Sunday and “Today” Monday.

The pre-recorded chat, which reveals a lighter side of the Prince of Wales and a comfortable interaction with his sons, is a highlight of “The Prince’s Trust 30th Birthday,”a TV special on UK network ITV.

Billed as “UK’s biggest birthday bash,” the special will include a live concert from the Tower of London and mark the 30th anniversary of the charity Prince Charles foundedto help Britain’s disadvantaged youth.

Like any other family… well, almost
During the exchange with British presenters Ant and Dec (a comedy duo whose real names are Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly), Charles teases his sons and is even self-deprecating.

Video: The Prince's Trust Despite the evident camaraderie, a generation gap was evident between father and sons when it came to talking about their entertainment likes and dislikes. The Prince of Wales even makes fun of his sons’ musical tastes by mimicking some head-banging.

“They are very good at keeping me in touch with what’s going on a bit — particularly on the music front,” he says. “But I can’t keep up with all the different new bands and everything else that bob up on the scene.”

Of television, William says, “There’s usually an argument over the remote control at home.” ”Friends,” Harry says, is “a safe bet.”

Harry reveals that both he and his brother are fans of “American Idol,” saying the segments featuring the audition rejects from the show were “so good.”

For his part, Charles does not seem to be a fan of the gross-out aspects of some reality TV, such as seen on the British version of “I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here,” which is hosted by interviewers Ant and Dec. The prince even makes a silly grimace when they talk about the critters contestants on those type of shows have to eat.

But there’s definitely one thing the three princes agree on—polo. 

“We work well as a team because we all sort of think alike,” says William. “But when someone does wrong, you get two very stern faces looking at you.” 

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The three played together until a game when Charles fell off his horse, causing an injury that led to his retirement from the sport. His sons, he says, were too competitive.

“We really wanted to win, and I get stuff shouted at me—you know, ‘Silly old father, get on with it,’ the usual thing,” he adds.

During the game in which he was hurt, Charles says he was trying too hard. “I had to turn the pony very fast and the next thing, the pony came down sideways and I must have landed absolutely smack on my head.  [It] completely fell on me and I ended up being taken to hospital where I finally woke up after what seemed a long time.

“Anyway, this person here [referring to Harry] told me later that he thought when I was lying on the ground that ‘Papa’s just snoring.’ There I was … busily swallowing my tongue and quietly dying! I was taken off in an ambulance. And that was the last time I played with them. The pressure was too great [but] it was great fun.”

Growing into their roles
During the interview, Prince Charles seems to encourage his sons to get more involved in causes similar to his involvement in The Prince’s Trust.

“It’s not quite as terrifying or awful,” he says of dealing with the public. “Once you get over that, perhaps you can then start to make a difference,” he tells his sons.

William says they help out when they can. “It would be nice in the future if we can both get a bit more involved in it and help out.” 

About the special
The concert will include performances by Ozzy Osbourne, the Bee Gees, Pink, Annie Lenox and Lionel Richie and will be broadcast live on UK television in 3D. Viewers will be asked to pledge money for The Prince’s Trust.


The interview of the three princes will be broadcast on Dateline Sunday, May 21, 7 p.m.,  and on portions will be broadcast on the “Today” show on Monday.

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