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Monday, 22 October, 2001, 12:48 GMT 13:48 UK
Edward to drop royal programmes
The Earl and Countess of Wessex
Prince Edward is continuing with royal duties
Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex, is to stop making TV programmes about royalty following controversy over his production company's filming of Prince William.

The chairman of Ardent Productions will disclose the Earl's decision in a report for ITV's Tonight with Trevor McDonald, to be screened on Monday.

Ardent was heavily criticised for not adhering to an agreement for all media not to intrude into William's life at university, where he has just begun his first term.

Prince William
William has said he wants a "normal" university life
Staff from the seven-year-old company were discovered filming Prince William, the Earl's nephew, at St Andrew's University in Fife.

Ardent subsequently handed over the footage from the filming to Buckingham Palace, which has said it did not include any pictures of William.

Ardent Productions has said Prince William's privacy was "never in danger of being breached" and the television company "utterly respect the need for him to be left alone to undertake his studies in private".

A former Ardent colleague of Prince Edward's is also set to speak out against the company in the ITV programme.

Christine Carter is set to say the filming at St Andrews was not the first time Edward had allegedly been in breach of privacy.

Ms Carter has made public a 1996 letter in which Edward allegedly admitted using his name to win preferential treatment.

"If I had revealed it a long time ago we wouldn't be in the situation where he thinks he's got special access to doorstep his nephew," she said.

"I feel that Prince William should be left alone."

See also:

01 Oct 01 | Scotland
Edward hands over 'William film'
27 Sep 01 | Scotland
TV firm issues William apology
27 Sep 01 | Scotland
Royal row over media breach
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