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Tuesday, July 14, 1998 Published at 23:09 GMT 00:09 UK


Royals considered brainless says Edward

No brains? Not amused

Prince Edward has complained that British people believe that the royal family have "no brains" - a perception that has harmed his career as a television producer.

Speaking as he launched his latest documentary in the USA, Prince Edward said that his 'HRH' title has done nothing to help him work in television because the British have "a hang-up about titles".

[ image: Edward: Wants to be taken on merit]
Edward: Wants to be taken on merit
He said that Americans were more likely to consider his work on its merits and disregard his royal identity.

Launching the series, Crown and Country, the prince said: "In Britain, if you've got a title then you also don't have any brains, so there's no point in talking about anything else. We just have a hang-up about titles."

But William Grant, executive producer of Crown and Country, made by Edward's Ardent Productions, added that the royal title does have its benefits.

"As you can imagine, Edward has some pretty good contacts," he said.

Edward's six programme series looks at British history through landmarks such as Windsor Castle and Cambridge University.

It was broadcast on cable television in the UK earlier in the year and follows on from previous royal-themed Ardent productions including Edward on Edward, about his great-uncle Edward VIII.

The prince said that his arm had to be twisted for him to go in front of the cameras and present the series.

"Being sort of thrust in front of the camera was not on my agenda," he said.

Ardent in the red

[ image: Prince Charles: Known thinker]
Prince Charles: Known thinker
Prince Edward's Ardent Productions was founded in 1993 and recently posted losses of £1.2m for its first three years - although executives say they did not expect to break even until the fifth year of work.

He recently signed the company's first major UK television deal to produce a victorian period drama written by Anne Perry, whose childhood conviction for helping in a killing inspired the film Heavenly Creatures.

Edward said he did not want to trade on his family connections when he began the company.

But he was criticised when Ardent won free access to four years of film, charting the restoration of Windsor Castle after it was partially destroyed by fire in 1992.

Buckingham Palace denied allegations that the Queen had unfairly helped the company, saying that there had been "no relaxation of commercial terms" and added that any company would have had the same access to the historic material.

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