Prince Charles: The Three Degrees song that gave me the irresistible urge to dance

The Prince of Wales is not famed for throwing shapes on the dancefloor.

But while he may be better known for his love of classical music than 1960s soul, the heir to the throne has revealed the one track guaranteed to get him strutting his stuff.

In a special programme recorded for hospital radio, the Prince said that Givin’ Up, Givin’ In by The Three Degrees “long ago, used to provide me with an irresistible urge to get up and dance”.

The glamorous American trio performed the track at the Prince’s 30th birthday party at Buckingham Palace in 1978, at his personal request.

So captivated was he that he even joined them on stage for a dance.

“He was a good mover,” band member Valerie Holiday once recalled. Yet his own rose-tinted recollections of that glitzy night might differ from those of the band.

Singer Sheila Ferguson reminisced about the event in 2017, claiming that the Prince had subsequently sent her letters. “He was a womaniser,” she said. “I didn’t want to be a notch on his bedpost. I valued myself a little more than that.”

The Prince discussed a selection of his favourite tracks in an hour-long programme for the Hospital Broadcasting Association called Music & Memories with HRH The Prince of Wales.

His own take on Desert Island Discs saw him pick out 1980s classic Upside Down by Diana Ross and Peter Skellern’s 1972 hit You’re a Lady.

The Prince also chose Don’t Rain On My Parade by Barbra Streisand, recalling how he was able to see the singer perform on set of her film, Funny Lady at Warner Bros. Studios in 1974 when he was serving as a young Lieutenant on HMS Jupiter.

It was later claimed the Prince was infatuated with the singer and described her as “my only pin up” while serving in the Royal Navy. Streisand joked: “If I had played my cards right, I could have been the first Jewish princess.”

The Prince’s trip down memory lane featured La Vie En Rose by Edith Piaf and the Qongqothwane or Click song, a traditional song of the Xhosa people in South Africa.

He also chose La Mer by French composer and singer Charles Trenet, Bennachie by Scottish group Old Blind Dogs, and Lulu’s Back In Town by Dick Powell.

The eclectic selection included They Can’t Take That Away From Me by Fred Astaire & Ginger Rogers, The Voice by Irish singer Eimear Quinn, and Tros Y Garreg (Crossing the Stone) by Welsh singer Catrin Finch, who was the Prince’s official harpist from 2000 to 2004.

His final track was Tydi a Roddaist (or Thou who Gavest), written by Arwel Hughes who organised the music for his 1969 investiture at Caernarfon Castle.

The Prince of Wales' playlist

The Prince said: “It is a prayer for those divine qualities of beauty, peace and harmony to be reflected in our own lives.

“That is my prayer for us all, as I close with my warmest possible good wishes to everyone in the Hospital Radio service, in the National Health Service and to all patients and their loved ones.”

Earlier in the programme, the Prince described how he had been “profoundly impressed by the dedication shown by our wonderful NHS staff and volunteers right across the country” and thanked them for their “sheer resilience and indomitable spirit” in “this most testing of times”.

He paid particular tribute to volunteers of hospital, health and wellbeing radio stations for their work in keeping communities connected and patients entertained during the pandemic.

“At all times, hospital radio provides an invaluable service to patients, staff and families,” he said.

“During current times, when we have been dealing with the effect of this dreadful pandemic, the role of hospital radio has been even more important, and I know it has been of immeasurable value in connecting people, in providing comfort and companionship, and in raising people’s spirits when that is needed.”

The programme will be broadcast across the Hospital Broadcasting Association’s 180 stations at 12pm on Sunday, the eve of the NHS’s 73rd birthday.

Grant McNaughton, chairman of the association, said: “We are exceptionally grateful for HRH The Prince of Wales to recognise the dedication to volunteers across the UK who have continued to assist healthcare providers throughout these difficult times.

“Local dedicated and focused entertainment provided to hospital and healthcare patients has and remains an exceptionally important part of recovery and recuperation. Sometimes unrecognised, raising the awareness of hospital, health and wellbeing radio as a key provider to the community is a challenge, but for our stations dedication and their services to be recognised by HRH is truly amazing and we are beyond grateful for his support.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *