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By royal (friend) request: Prince Charles to use MySpace

The heir to the throne is to use MySpace for the first time -- but he won't be signing up personally to the social network. It'll be used to premier a new film on deforestation

The Prince of Wales is to use MySpace to spread the word about tropical deforestation, with an online video and webcast telling the kids about the The Prince's Rainforests Project. Also on board are Harrison Ford, the Dalai Lama, Daniel Craig and Robin Williams. What a waste! With that cast, they should be remaking Cannonball Run.

Before anyone guffaws that this is a sure sign MySpace is, like, so over, we should make it clear HRH is not actually signing up to the site. Sadly, we won't be seeing Prince Charles' own MySpace page, complete with garish backdrop and blurry snaps of Camilla necking raspberry Breezers at all those right royal knees-ups. Although the younger princes are reportedly keen users of social networks, Charles will simply be premiering the video on MySpace and a variety of other sites.

MySpace may lag behind Facebook these days, but it's a logical choice for this kind of project, as it's more of a public forum for broadcasting than Facebook, which is primarily designed to enclose each user in their own ecosystem.

We'd also like to see the prince using Twitter -- his best mate, national treasure Stephen Fry, could show him how. We think he'd be popular: an unofficial fan page on Facebook for The Prince of Wales has a whopping 1,251 members. Someone tweeting as PrinceCharles has a respectable 1,544 followers, for proclamations such as, "Polo tomorrow early so may have an early night. Blockbuster dropped off my blu-rays this morning" and "Just went over 400 followers. Not as high as my peasant count but getting there".


Not as many as us, though: Crave tweets as cnetuk about the latest tech news, reviews and videos. One would love it.

The online plea to save the rainforests will premier today at 6pm, preceded by an address from Prince Charles himself. Afterwards, viewers will be able to mash themselves up with the stars of the film, including a CGI frog created by the FXnicians behind The Golden Compass.

Update: The sites showing the film will be MySpace, YouTube, the Telegraph, the Sun, Sky, Treehugger, Time and the Huffington Post.