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The green prince and the queen bee of Hollywood

Ever since it was announced last month that the heir to the throne was working with Hollywood on ideas for a documentary film, those of us in the environmental movement have been trying to find out more about the project. Agonisingly, all we have told is that, excited by the success of Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth, Prince Charles is planning to give his philosophical ideas the big-screen treatment.

“Hollywood believe they have hit box-office gold,” according to one report.

But what’s happening now? I rang my contacts in Tinseltown but all they could come up with was a transcript of Charles’s first call to a leading producer called Al. It is not much but it is a start.

“Hey, Prince. How ya doin’ there?”

“I’m doing absolutely fine, thank you very much. Al, wasn’t it? One of my ancestors was called Albert. He was the Prince Consort – husband of Queen Victoria.”

“Like the Judi Dench Victoria? You’re related to Judi? You’re putting me on, Prince. I saw Judi at the Chateau Marmont just the other day.”

“Actually, it was the original Victoria and Albert I was talking about. From the last – ”

“Hey, Prince, I could sit here shootin’ the breeze and listenin’ to that great Hugh Grant accent of yours all day but I’m kind of tied up right now. My people tell me you want to make a pitch. Lay it on me, Prince.”

“Pitch? I was hoping to talk about a film.”

“A film? And here’s me, a film producer! Talk about a coincidence! Who is this schmuck?”

“Sorry, Al. Now you’ll have to tell me what a schmuck is.”

“I was just talking to my PA, Prince. So this film of yours – what is, like a sequel to The Queen? I can see that, so long as we can get Dame Mirren on board. The Prince. I like it.”

“No, Al. My film’s going to be about ancient wisdom and the lovely rolling countryside and how it really is absolutely appalling the ghastly things that mankind has been doing to it with buildings and junk food and easyJet and mobile phones. I’m calling it Harmony.”

“Harmony? As in hairspray?”

“As in living in harmony, Al. Nature’s a lovely thing. Do you know what I read in a book by the Indian thinker Vidyashanka? He said: ‘There’s more harmony in a grain of sand than in the whole of humanity’.”

“It’s a film about sand?”

“Of course not, Al – that would be silly. It’s about bees. We’ll look at how bees work together. There’s one fat queen bee who sits there doing nothing – ”

“We’ve got a part for Britney Spears then.”

” – while all the drones are buzzing about in a really sort of harmonious way. Have you ever walked down a busy street, Al?”

“Nope. And I don’t intend to.”

“Nor have I, come to think of it, but I’ve seen them through my car window. It’s a shambles, Al. We really can’t go on like this.”

“Who’s going to star in this project?”

“Well, I was rather hoping… I’m told I have certain screen presence.”

“Hugh Laurie! That’s who we’ll get to play you. He’s big over here right now and he can do that goofy upper-class thing almost as if he’s English. Then we get Helen reprising the Queen, Britney as the fat bee. We just need a love interest, a young Brad Pitt type – pecs, a six-pack, a lunchbox to die for.”

“Actually, Al. My lunchbox is legendary. When we go for picnics at Highgrove, I do those big chicken sandwiches with tomatoes that make the fluffy, organic bread go all squishy and lovely. And ginger beer in those wonderful old brown bottles. Camilla says my lunchboxes are – ”

“I’m getting a good feeling about this project, Prince. Can you jet out right now?”

“Well, there’s a slight problem with my carbon footprint.”

“Prince, you’re losin’ me. Just a simple ‘Yes, please, Al’ will do.”

“Could I mull it over for a while?”