Prince Charles to host solo show on Classic FM - and will highlight plight of musicians during lockdown

Rebecca Taylor
Royal Correspondent
Prince Charles will share his love of classical music in two radio shows. (Getty Images)

Prince Charles is to host a radio show on Classic FM and share some of his favourite pieces of music with the nation during lockdown.

The Prince of Wales will appear on the station twice next week, once with gardener Alan Titchmarsh, to whom he will give an exclusive interview, and once as the solo host of a two hour programme.

Charles, 71, will discuss his love of live music and how the coronavirus pandemic has impacted the livelihoods of orchestras and performers.

The interview will be broadcast on 25 May and will be accompanied by some of his favourite pieces played by his patronages, including Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll; choruses from the St Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach and Hubert Parry’s ‘Bridal March of the Birds’ from The Birds of Aristophanes.

Then on 26 May, he will host a show from 8-10pm, reflecting on more of his favourite pieces, such as both of Frederic Chopin’s piano concertos, the Four Last Songs of Richard Strauss, and Julius Benedict’s Piano Concerto in E-flat.

Prince Charles, Prince of Wales and Fionnuala Jay-O'Boyle, founder of the Belfast Buildings Trust, meeting the Ulster Orchestra. (Getty Images)

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Pieces will be performed by his wife’s patronages, the National Youth Orchestra and the London Chamber Orchestra.

Classic FM presenter Titchmarsh said: “It is always a privilege to spend time in the company of His Royal Highness and none more so than when it involves our mutual enjoyment of classical music.”

He added: “It is typically thoughtful of him to choose to highlight the plight of his many musical patronages, alongside the difficulties that all musicians face, during an unprecedented period when enjoyment of live music has been curtailed.

“I am looking forward to welcoming him to Classic FM.”

Prince Charles listening to a chamber orchestra perform on a market square during a visit to Serbia. (Getty Images)

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The prince is patron of the Philharmonia Orchestra, the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, the Monteverdi and Bach Choirs, the Royal Opera House and Welsh National Opera.

Phil Noyce, Classic FM’s managing editor, said: “His Royal Highness shares our vision of bringing classical music to as wide an audience as possible.

“We are acutely aware of the challenges the music world is facing at the moment and we are honoured to collaborate with the Prince of Wales – a lifetime supporter and champion of the arts – for these two special programmes.”

The interview between the two men, who also share a passion for gardening, was recorded via video call, as both of them are following government guidelines on working from home.

Prince Charles and Camilla at a Gala Concert at The Royal Opera House for his 70th birthday. (Getty Images)

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Charles and his wife Camilla are in Birkhall, their Scottish home.

Royals hosting radio shows is rare. Prince Harry, Charles’s youngest son, edited Radio 4’s Today programme in 2017 and famously interviewed his own father as well as former US president Barack Obama.

A Royal Appointment will be broadcast on 25 May and 26 May between 8pm and 10pm, on Classic FM – available across the UK on 100-102 FM, DAB digital radio and TV, at ClassicFM.com and on Global Player.