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Airing: Sunday, May 28, 2000
9pm to 10:30pm on PBS
(Check local listings)
Aired previously November 22, 1998

A working-class cop goes to Cambridge University as personal bodyguard to a British royal and both fall in love with the same woman, on The Prince of Hearts, a delightful romantic comedy.

Robson Green (Reckless, Touching Evil) stars as Barry, a pugnacious and worldly-wise policeman assigned to protect a college-bound member of the Royal Family, loosely based on Prince Edward (the Queen's youngest son) and played with dashing aplomb by Rupert Penry-Jones.

Tara Fitzgerald (The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, The Woman in White) is Grace, a beautiful American exchange student that Barry and the Prince keep encountering on campus. Both men are smitten, but Barry represses his own urges to give His Inexperienced Highness lessons in the delicate art of seduction--no mean feat with the self-absorbed Grace.

Inept at both love and learning, the Prince relies increasingly on Barry for help with both. Ghostwriting love lines and academic assignments, the macho bodyguard, whose main passion is soccer, develops a taste for metaphysical poetry. All the while his heart brims with secret longing for Grace.

If it sounds a bit like the plot of Cyrano de Bergerac, then it should be no surprise that this is the very play mounted by the college, with Grace and the Prince cast in starring roles and Barry as a last-minute replacement for an indisposed actor.

The Prince of Hearts reaches its charming denouement on stage, as our three heroes suddenly realize that their lines from the play express a surprisingly personal truth.

One of Britain's hottest TV talents, Robson Green won critical raves in last season's Reckless on Masterpiece Theatre, with a performance hailed as "a thoroughly convincing portrait of a man smitten" (The Wall Street Journal) and "a joy to watch" (The Providence Journal-Bulletin).

And not just a joy: "If the quivering reaction of my female colleagues is anything to go by, Robson Green has made quite an impression" (The Chronicle Herald, Canada).

All photographs courtesy BBC

The Prince of Hearts | Cast and Credits

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