The Earl of Wessex has been announced as the first Royal Patron of The Production Guild of Great Britain – the UK’s leading membership organisation for professionals working in film and television drama production.
To mark the announcement of his new patronage, Prince Edward visited Twickenham Film Studios in west London.
On becoming Patron, The Earl of Wessex said: “The Production Guild of Great Britain provides incredibly valuable support to the UK’s production industry and crews, especially those in the less glamorous and visible roles.”
“If we want more young people to consider a career in production, then we ought to be shining a brighter light on where the opportunities lie. I look forward to working with the Guild and trying to help them in their efforts to broaden access and inclusion within the UK production workforce.”
Edward took the opportunity to meet production crew at the studios to hear more about their experiences of working in the industry, as well as the support given to them by The Production Guild of Great Britain.
The Royal joined Oscar-winner, Tim Cabagin, who took home the award for sound editing for his work on Bohemian Rhapsody, at the studio’s mixing desk, to learn more about the craft and importance of sound editing in film and TV production.
Prince Edward has always taken an interest in the arts, and before becoming a full-time working Royal in 2002, he worked in both theatre and television. The Earl even ran his own television production company, Ardent Productions, which made films including ‘Edward on Edward’.
The Queen’s son is already Patron to a range of organisations that aim to widen opportunities within the arts sector, including the National Youth Theatre of Great Britain, Northern Ballet and The Orpheus Centre Trust.
Cara Sheppard, managing director at Twickenham Film Studios, said: “We were honoured to welcome The Earl of Wessex, a long-time supporter of our industry, to Twickenham Film Studios today. We were delighted to give His Royal Highness a tour of all of our filming stages and our BAFTA and Oscar-winning Sound and Picture department, and to introduce the Earl to some of our clients and in-house creative talent.
“It is hugely encouraging to feel the genuine support for increasing diversity and inclusion within our industry and attracting and training the next generation of filmmakers.”
Producer Alex Boden, who is the chair of PGGB, said: “As a patron of the arts with a personal interest in developing employment opportunities for young people, the Earl of Wessex is uniquely qualified to become PGGB’s first royal patron.
“We’re at a point where the creative success of the U.K. film and TV industry delivers an increasingly significant contribution to the national economy. With His Royal Highness’ support we will continue to showcase our members’ outstanding work as well as the importance of broadening the diversity and inclusion of the UK production workforce, and nurturing new talent entering the industry.”