‘I won’t med­dle when I am king’

Doc­u­men­tary is a fas­ci­nat­ing por­trait of Prince Charles

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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

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