Daily Express

Kingdom divided over more political role for monarch

- By Michael Knowles

ALMOST 40 per cent of Britons would support King Charles speaking out on political issues such as climate change, a poll has revealed.

In the survey, 45 per cent of young people want to see the monarch voice his views, perhaps impressed with his outspoken views on the need to tackle climate change.

But almost half of adults, 46 per cent, believe the newly-crowned King should follow in the footsteps of his mother and remain politicall­y neutral.

According to statistics from polling firm BMG, this is particular­ly the case among older adults, with 59 per cent believing he should remain neutral.

Just 27 per cent of people aged over 65 think the monarch should discuss political issues publicly.

Voicing his political views would mark a huge shift from the late Queen, who largely refused to venture into the political arena during her seven decades on the throne.

Royal expert Phil Dampier told the Express: “The King believes he is here to serve and improve things, and will find it hard to ignore the cost-of-living crisis, food banks and nurses on strike.

“Last week it was revealed he has set an example by awarding his own staff a six per cent pay rise as well as a bonus of up to £600.

“He will want to do things differentl­y from his mother, but it is essential he moves slowly and strikes a balance if he wants to take the public – and the politician­s – with him.”

BMG said the enthusiasm for the younger generation to support King Charles being vocal about issues was likely to be because King Charles had strong views on climate change and the environmen­t – an issue many young people are particular­ly passionate about.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss asked the then Prince not to travel to COP 27 in Egypt.

But he held a reception at Buckingham Palace for around 200 politician­s and campaigner­s to discuss climate change.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has paid tribute to King Charles’s work on climate, saying he had worked for 50 years to find solutions, long before the first UN COP meeting.

In 2018, outlining how he might address political matters, Charles said: “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, so 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 in exactly the same way if I have to succeed is complete nonsense, because the two, the two situations are completely different.

“Clearly, I won’t be able to do the same things I’ve done, you know, as heir so of course you operate within the constituti­onal parameters.”

Asked if he could continue, as King, to use his “convening power”, Charles said: “Well, you never know. But you could only do it with the agreement of ministers. That’s how it works.”

During his first overseas visit as King, to Berlin, the monarch hailed “vital” efforts to cut carbon emissions and praised Germany’s “extraordin­ary generosity” in hosting Ukrainian refugees.

It prompted some to say the visit to Berlin indicated the King would not be silent on those issues dear to his heart.

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