Prince Charles revealed how his grandmother Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, inspired his love of music.
The 71-year-old Prince of Wales also admitted that he was delighted to have been asked to choose several plays for Prince William’s wedding to Kate in 2011.
Prince Charles said he became aware of the “inspiring” performing arts by attending the Bakhchisarai Fountain of the Bolshoi Ballet in 1956.
Describing it as an unforgettable experience, the young prince attended the Covent Garden-based performance with his grandmother.
Speaking in an interview with Alan Titchmarsh for Classic FM, the royal, who currently lives in Birkhall on the Queen’s Balmoral estate in Aberdeenshire, also revealed that the queen mother often played music with her grandson.
Prince Charles follows his grandmother, the Queen Mother, to their car after watching a morning performance of “The Bakhchisarai Fountain” by the Bolshoi Theater Ballet in Moscow at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden, London in 1956
Prince Charles, who learned the cello (pictured) and the trumpet at residential school, spoke of the role music played in his life, previously listing favorites ranging from classical composers to 1930s dance groups and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge smile after their wedding at Westminster Abbey on April 29, 2011 in London
A preview of the program, which airs tonight at 8 p.m., was shared on Clarence House’s Instagram page this afternoon, along with a selection of old family photos showing Charles with his grandmother.
When asked what his first memory of classical music was, he replied, “Well, I guess various people would play it around me. My grandmother played quite a bit of music, so I heard something there.
“But I suspect that the first time I really realized that my grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, took her to Covent Garden at the age of seven, I think.
“It must have been in 1956 to see the Bolshoi Ballet perform. It was their first visit to the UK and I will never forget this incredible opportunity. I was completely inspired by it. “
Elsewhere in the interview, the prince revealed how he helped his son, Prince William, 37, decide the musical choices for his 2011 marriage to Kate, 38.
“I love trying to organize interesting music, I hope for some occasions … especially for weddings if people wish,” he said.
A preview of Prince Charles’ classic FM show, which airs this evening at 8 p.m., was shared on the royal’s Instagram page this afternoon, along with a selection of old family photos showing a young Charles with his family. (photo from 1951)
A young Prince Charles photographed in 1979 surrounded by musicians when he seems to be trying to conduct the orchestra
“I know that my oldest son was very understanding and was perfectly happy for me to suggest some pieces for their wedding.
“I hope this has pleased some people, but it is rather fun to have orchestras for special occasions like this, and why not suggest a few pieces on occasion? Anyway … I like that.
The royal, who has four grandchildren – Prince George, six, Princess Charlotte, five, Prince Louis, two and Archie Mountbatten-Windsor, one – also spoke of the importance of taking the kids to the shows .
He explained, “This is why it is so important, I think, that grandparents or other relationships cause children – around the age of seven – to experience some form of art in spectacle. “
A collection of photographs of a young Prince Charles enjoying the music was shared with the audio.
The Duke and Duchess of Cornwall attend a performance together in 2008. The couple isolate themselves in Scotland during the British lockout.
The legend said: “His Royal Highness recalls one of his first memories of classical music, when he first visited the Royal Opera House, at the age of seven, in 1956 with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth the queen mother.
Tonight at 8 p.m., the first of two Classic FM specials featuring The Prince of Wales will be broadcast. Each piece of music, personally chosen by Her Royal Highness, has been recorded by a range of her musical patrons across the United Kingdom.
Among the pieces he has chosen are Richard Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll – which Prince Charles previously revealed had played the Philharmonia Orchestra as a “terribly romantic” gift for Camilla on her 60th birthday.
Charles, who learned cello and trumpet at residential school, spoke about the role that music has played in his life, previously listing favorites ranging from classical composers to 1930s dance groups and singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen .