Prince William confronted on bizarre Royal Family tournament: ‘Didn’t go down that well’

Prince William questioned over 'It's a Royal Knockout' tournament

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The Duke of Cambridge was teased over the infamous charity programme “It’s a Royal Knockout” which brought ridicule upon the Royal Family during the 1980s. Senior members of the monarchy, including Prince Edward and Princess Anne, participated in the slapstick TV game show which was aimed at raising money for charity. During his recent interview with BBC Newscast, Prince William responded that he was aware the programme “didn’t go down very well”.

BBC journalist Adam Fleming joked: “I thought we could now do the second half of the podcast, which I’m calling ‘It’s a Royal Boxset’, which if you don’t know the reference to it, it’s The Royal Knockout.”

Prince William responded: “I’d never watched it, but I gather it didn’t go down that well so thank you for bringing that up!”

“It’s a Royal Knockout” aired on the BBC on June 19, 1987, and was panned by both critics and the public. 

The idea was conceived by Prince Edward, the Queen’s youngest son, who had considered a career in TV and theatre after he left the Royal Marines. 

The show featured Prince Edward, the Princess Royal and the Duke and Duchess of York as team captains, each of whom supported a different charity. 

A number of celebrities participated in the game show, including John Travolta, Cliff Richard and Christopher Reeve. 

The contestants competed in a series of games, which were regarded as ridiculous and humiliating by viewers. At one point, the competitors dressed up as giant vegetables and threw fake hams at one another, whilst being judged by the Duke of Westminster and the Duke of Gloucester. 

Despite raising £1million for charity, the show was deemed a failure and an embarrassment for the Royal Family.

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The Queen and Buckingham Palace had reportedly been against the idea from the offset, whilst Prince Charles and Princess Diana had refused to participate. 

Prince Edward continued to pursue a career in the media, and established Ardent Productions in 1993, which created documentaries and dramas. 

He eventually resigned and became a full-time working member of the Royal Family in 2002. 

Prince William has recently been appearing in his own BBC show, as he fronted a five-part documentary series on The Earthshot Prize, which he launched last year.


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During each episode of the docu-series, Prince William can be seen travelling throughout the UK to meet with organisations that are taking positive action to resolve climate change. In one episode, he filmed on top of Snowdon mountain, whilst he has also been broadcasting from a wind turbine and the sea. 

The Duke of Cambridge launched The Earthshot Prize alongside Sir David Attenborough, in a bid to “create positivity” within the debate around the climate crisis. 

For the next decade, five winners will be awarded £1million to advance their innovative solutions to “repair” our planet. 

After announcing the 15 finalists in September, Prince William is due to announce the winners during a star-studded ceremony on Sunday evening. 

Taking place at Alexandra Palace, the ceremony will feature performances from Coldplay, Ed Sheeran and Shawn Mendes, and will be broadcasted on BBC One at 8pm. 

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