‘I won’t meddle when I am king’
Documentary is a fascinating portrait of Prince Charles
IN A major documentary to mark his 70th birthday next week, the heir to the throne tackles head-on the issue of his controversial lobbying. And he vows to stop campaigning on the environment, architecture and homeopathy as king, insisting, “I’m not that stupid.’ Speaking for the first and, aides insist, last time on a subject that has dogged much of his time as Prince of Wales he says, “I do realise it is a separate exercise being sovereign. So of course I understand entirely how that should operate.” I've tried to make sure whatever I've done has been non-party political, but I think it's vital to remember there’s only room for one sovereign at a time, not two.You can’t be the same as the sovereign if you’re the Prince of Wales or the heir. But the idea somehow that I'm going to go on exactly the same way, if I have to succeed, is complete nonsense because the two situations are completely different.”
However, the prince is unrepentant about his public campaigning over the past half century. He says archly, “I always wonder what meddling is? I mean I always thought it was motivating. But I’ve always been intrigued, if it’s word meddling and said he meddling to worry about the prefers the word motivating”. inner cities as I did 40 years ago Bridcut said Charles’ wife and what was happening or Camilla says the ‘burden’ of not happening there the conditions being the next monarch ‘does in which people were living. not weigh heavily on his shoulders If that’s meddling I'm very because he has known all proud of it.” his life it is going to happen’.
Documentary-maker John He added, “Actually Bridcut admitted Prince he told me he it Charles appeared to resent the might be rather word meddling when he asked relieving to step him the question. He said back from that today, “He bridled a bit at the rather more front line role he’s carried on as Prince of Wales.”
Over the years, the prince has been accused of risking the monarch's constitutional impartiality by meddling in government policy. Tales of his so-called ‘black spider memos’, the regular missives written to ministers calling for action in his distinctive scrawled handwriting, have
Prince Charles’ celebrates his 70th birthday next week
left many uneasy about his ability to be a neutral monarch.
In the interview the prince confronts the issue directly, pointing out that as the longestserving heir to the throne he inherited the role at the age of just four it was his duty to find a way to live a productive public life. He compares his role to that of the 14th-century Black Prince, a predecessor as Prince of Wales during the hundred Years’ War.
Prince Charles and Queen Elizabeth II.
PRINCE William wishes his workaholic father could spend more time with his grandchildren, the documentary to mark Charles’ 70th birthday reveals.The Prince of Wales is described as a ‘brilliant’ grandfather who will spend hours crawling on the floor and making silly