BY BILLY SUTER
A RIGHT royal feast of entertainment has been lined up by DStv’s ITV Choice (channel 123) for fans of British royalty, starting at 8pm today (Friday, July 7) with Inside Windsor Castle, a four-part documentary series.
The programme marks the centenary of the Windsor dynasty by examining the history of the royal residence during the last 80 years.
Windsor Castle is far more than just a castle and a home. For nearly 1 000 years it has been the stage on which some of the biggest names in British history have plotted, planned and executed their most controversial deeds.
The largest and longest-occupied inhabited castle in the world, Windsor has seen countless royal births, deaths and marriages, and has withstood numerous sieges and battles.
“With gripping dramatic reconstructions, intimate interviews and revealing archive footage, Inside Windsor Castle exposes the truth about Britain’s most famous family,” says a DStv spokesman.
“Filmed at Leeds Castle in Kent, this fascinating series uncovers the scandals, triumphs and betrayals of the family.
“Windsor Castle is the ultimate symbol of royal might, grandeur and power, attracting tourists in their millions. But away from their prying eyes, the castle walls and turrets still guard the royal family’s deepest secrets…”
Scheduled for ITV Choice at 8pm on Thursday, July 13, is The Royal Good Guys which looks at the charity work of the four princes – Philip, Charles, William and Harry.
Through the business of their charities, these men are transforming the British royal family into a modern global brand. But how did it all start? And what motivates them?
The British royalty’s connection with charities goes back 300 years.
“Ever since the reign of Queen Victoria there has been an understanding within the royal family that there’s an obligation to help charitable causes,” says Robert Hardman, royal author and journalist.
Prince Philip started the Duke of Edinburgh Award in 1956; it now exists in 140 countries, with more than a million young people taking part every day.
“We meet some of those young people in London, Kenya and Bratislava,” says a DStv spokesman.
Philip was also a founding member of the World Wildlife Fund and has been speaking out about the environment for decades
“Prince Charles is one of the biggest charitable entrepreneurs on the planet. He has raised hundreds of millions of pounds for his charitable causes. The Prince’s Trust began 40 years ago – it’s now the biggest charity network in the UK helping countless people start new careers and businesses.”
The Royal Good Guys tells the story of a convicted drug-dealer who turned his life around thanks to a grant from the Prince’s Trust. He started his own software company that he later sold for millions of dollars.
The royal family’s approach to charity work changed in 1981 when Prince Charles married Lady Diana. Diana was known for her hands-on approach to her charitable causes, famously visiting with people suffering with HIV and Aids.
After her untimely death, her sons William and Harry decided to carry on with her good works.
Prince Harry created Sentebale, a charity in Africa where HIV affects one in three children.
“I think that Prince Harry is certainly trying to model himself on the way that his mother approached charity; he wants to continue that legacy. He’s not afraid to speak about what she did,” says Robert Jobson, royal commentator.
Harry is also the driving force behind the Invictus Games, an organisation that gives wounded soldiers a chance to recover through sport.
“Prince William is patron of Centrepoint, a homeless charity that was close to his mother’s heart. We see him singing at a fundraising gala with Jon Bon Jovi and Taylor Swift. He also works with Tusk Trust and WildAid to save Africa’s wildlife from poachers, enlisting help from sports stars Yao Ming and David Beckham.
“In 2011, William, Harry and Kate created The Royal Foundation to take a more business-like approach to charity. We attend the launch of their latest initiative, Heads Together, supporting mental health; it will be the 2017 London Marathon’s official charity.
The four royal charity entrepreneurs raise millions of pounds and help millions of people – and in so doing, hope to ensure the survival of the British monarchy.