Charles, Bri­tain’s long­est heir-in-wait­ing, to take govern­ment dole

The Washington Times Daily - - Life - BY GRE­GORY KATZ

LON­DON Prince Charles plans to claim the govern­ment pen­sion for which he qual­i­fies when he turns 65 on Thurs­day, but he still hasn’t started the job he was born to do.

The el­dest son of Queen El­iz­a­beth II has been heir to the throne since his mother be­came monarch in 1952, when he was 3. He is the long­est-wait­ing heir ap­par­ent in Bri­tain’s his­tory, over­tak­ing Queen Vic­to­ria’s son, Ed­ward VII, two years ago.

Charles be­came a grand­fa­ther this year with the birth of Prince Ge­orge, the first child born to Prince Wil­liam and his wife, Cather­ine, Duchess of Cam­bridge.

Palace of­fi­cials said Wednes­day that Charles will con­trib­ute the govern­ment pen­sion to a char­ity that helps el­derly peo­ple.

The fu­ture king is en­ti­tled to about $175 per week be­cause of his ser­vice in the Royal Navy and vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tions he has made.

As Prince of Wales, he cer­tainly doesn’t need the pen­sion fund. He en­joys con­trol of the lu­cra­tive Duchy of Corn­wall, a vast hold­ing es­tab­lished in 1337 by King Ed­ward II to pro­vide in­come for his heir. It brings Charles mil­lions of dol­lars each year.

The prince, ac­com­pa­nied by his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Corn­wall, will mark his mile­stone birth­day rep­re­sent­ing his mother at the Com­mon­wealth heads of govern­ment meet­ing in Sri Lanka af­ter spend­ing part of the day in In­dia.

The queen has at­tended the meet­ing for decades, and Joe Lit­tle, man­ag­ing ed­i­tor of Majesty magazine, said Charles saw “quite a mo­men­tous oc­ca­sion” by tak­ing her place.

Step­ping in for the queen has be­come more com­mon in re­cent years as El­iz­a­beth, 87, has greatly re­duced her in­ter­na­tional travel. Her hus­band, Prince Philip, 92, also has re­duced his pub­lic ap­pear­ances af­ter a series of med­i­cal set­backs.

Over his decades as heir, Charles has be­come known for his strong opin­ions on top­ics such as ed­u­ca­tion, ar­chi­tec­ture, re­li­gion, the en­vi­ron­ment, or­ganic food and home­opa­thy.

Mr. Lit­tle said the prince was en­joy­ing his rel­a­tive free­dom to speak out be­fore he be­comes king, a role that will re­quire him to be much more cau­tious in his pro­nounce­ments.

“I think he’s very much mak­ing use of the time avail­able to him in that he can put for­ward the­o­ries and get things done that he won’t be able to do when he be­comes king,” Mr. Lit­tle said.

Charles also has cel­e­brated his birth­day by serv­ing as guest ed­i­tor of a spe­cial edi­tion of Coun­try Life magazine, which shares his en­thu­si­asm for pre­serv­ing Bri­tain’s ru­ral ar­eas.

Charles used his stint in the ed­i­tor’s chair to up­braid su­per­mar­ket chains for tak­ing ad­van­tage of Bri­tain’s small farm­ers and said Bri­tain’s farm­ing her­itage is at risk.

In an ed­i­to­rial col­umn, he called the coun­try­side “the un­ac­knowl­edged back­bone of our na­tional iden­tity.”

AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Bri­tain’s Prince Charles is en­ti­tled to about $175 per week be­cause of his ser­vice in the Royal Navy and vol­un­tary con­tri­bu­tions he has made.

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