A Princely Look at Great Britain's Past PBS' `Crown and Country' Looks at Historic English Sites
McAlister, Nancy, The Florida Times Union
He's the third son and youngest child of Queen Elizabeth II and
the Duke of Edinburgh. But Edward Windsor also wants to be known
as a history buff and TV producer with the debut of Crown and
Country, a sweeping insider's look at towns, castles and
cathedrals of Great Britain's past.
As host and narrator of the series, which makes its debut with
a two-hour special at 9 tonight on PBS, Windsor takes viewers to
some of England's most famous historical sites. Among them are
Windsor Castle, the family's principal residence; Portsmouth,
home of the Royal Navy; and Winchester, the Saxon capitol
thought to be the original home of the legendary King Arthur.
Following tonight's premiere, Crown and Country will be
broadcast in a six-part format over the next three months. In
addition to serving as the on-air talent for the project,
Windsor was also a writer and executive producer.
Since forming Ardent Productions in 1993, he has produced a
number of programs for networks in the United Kingdom, including
the BBC, and such U.S. outlets as The Learning Channel.
Appearing this summer at the PBS portion of the summer press
tour for TV critics, the young man who is seventh in line of
succession to the throne was modest about his family
connections. He was much more willing to talk about his
ancestors than give any mention of current relatives.
"Most of it is firmly in the past," he said. "Although we do
bring things up to date to show how those links have continued
right through to the present day."
Some of the stories are obvious choices, said the prince,
singling out Windsor and Sandringham. Going to the less obvious
ones like Portsmouth and Cambridge University was the fun part.
"Trying to select the first six was the most difficult task of
the lot," he said. "But it's the case of trying to find a series
of places that have good stories attached to them."
Windsor, which is profiled on Oct. 7, is the world's largest
occupied castle with a site chosen by William I in 1070. The
host shares local legends, including that of Herne the Hunter
and the founding of the oldest order of chivalry -- The Order of
Other parts of the series include:
Portsmouth: Home of the Fleet and Seat of Military Power (Oct. …