Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let's Get Ready to Bungle. Royal Protocol

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let's Get Ready to Bungle. Royal Protocol

Article excerpt

Byline: Hugh MacKnight Content Editor

ANT and Dec have told how Prince Charles was flummoxed by their Geordie accents as they filmed a documentary.

Ant McPartlin, 40 , and Declan Donnelly, also 40, followed the prince on his royal duties for an ITV programme celebrating 40 years of the Prince's Trust. The prince, 67, told them he was grateful to have grandchildren "to look after me when I'm tottering about".

And Ant and Dec revealed how they accidentally forgot royal protocol while filming and 'grabbed' and 'slapped' His Royal Highness.

The presenting duo were working on new TV documentary Ant and Dec Met the Prince: 40 Years of the Prince's Trust at the time.

They spent a year following Charles for the 90-minute programme to be aired on January 4 also featuring input from Princes William and Harry and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

Despite being advised otherwise beforehand, the pair found themselves getting a little too excited and "over familiar" with His Royal Highness during production.

"Protocol wise, we did occasionally forget stuff," confessed Ant. "I did find myself getting a bit over familiar and grabbing His Royal Highness and slapping him on the back a bit - I had to keep stopping myself."

Luckily for the lads, they needn't have worried about messing up their lines as the Prince struggled to understand their Geordie accents.

"We had no issues with his accent, but I think he may have had a few with mine," added Ant. "I would ask him a question and sometimes he would just smile. Then Dec would ask the same question and get a full answer!" According to Ant, he had to keep snapping up any food His Royal Highness was offered during filming to avoid any awkward rejection.

"He always turns it down because he is literally handed food wherever he goes," he explained.

"So I found myself constantly taking it instead of him. I'm guessing I can always get a job as a royal food taster if everything goes wrong in this job."

Dec admitted he and Ant were "nervous", but added: "There was a lot of etiquette, we just had to keep reminding each other," he says. …

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