The Man Who Would Be A Rubbish King.


Blogger Adam Bienkov submitted a Freedom of Information request to see correspondence between Boris Johnson and Prince Charles.

This is being resisted. However, interesting revelations have still come to light. According to the Evening Standard:

Mr Johnson is understood to receive handwritten memos from the Prince “every few months”. Sources also claim the Mayor has met Charles at Clarence House every three or four months.
It raises questions over how far Charles influenced the Chelsea Barracks housing project. The development was dropped last June by its Qatari backers after Charles wrote to them criticising its modernist appearance.
Prince Charles has raised some eyebrows in the past by stating strong opinions on topics as diverse as fox hunting, GM crops, and education.
Rather than play-it-safe by concentrating entirely on supporting charities, Prince Charles cannot resist the urge to share his views on controversial matters. A former aide claimed that the Charles sees himself as a “dissident” and feels compelled to confront majority opinion when he feels it is mistaken.
If Charles was a normal, though obviously slightly eccentric, letter-writing bloke, that would be fine. Charles Windsor could participate in debates, lobby powerful politicians, and even stand for election if he so wanted.
But as Prince and future monarch, Chuck must accept that he has to stand above the political fray. For the monarchy to survive in a democratic polity it has to depoliticise itself as far as possible. That means abstaining from these sorts of arguments and avoiding putting excessive pressure on politicians to do what you want them to do, whether in public or in private.
Queen Liz II has managed to function in such a manner quite successfully. Her reign has seen some tumultuous political happenings, but Elizabeth has stayed aloof and has therefore preserved the “dignity” of her position.
She is apparently shy and not especially interested in politics and current affairs, so that has all worked out very conveniently. Her popularity was only really dented by the personalised controversy surrounding the Royals’ treatment of Diana.
A King Charles III who uses his position to influence elected officials and to try to change policy decisions will soon alienate politicians and probably public opinion at large. Good news for republicans like me. Does Charles have the self-discipline to change his behaviour once he inherits the bench covered in velvet? Stories such as this suggest not.

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6 Responses to “The Man Who Would Be A Rubbish King.”

  1. Sophia Marsden Says:

    But Charles is actually right about these matters, should the monarchy really just stand by and let things go to hell just out of the principle of “apoliticism”?

  2. Danivon Says:

    How do you know he’s “right” Sophia? We don’t even know what he’s written to Boris yet. Would you support him being an active political monarch if you thought his views were “wrong”?

    I don’t think democrats should be comfortable with the idea that a person only in the position of power because of their heredity is somehow entitled to effect political change.

    And things really are not ‘going to hell’.

  3. Sophia Marsden Says:

    1. I meant right about architecture and organics and stuff like that.
    2. Would I support his being an active political monarch if I thought he was wrong… mmm I don’t know – it’s a good question, I hate hypocrisy as much as the next guy but I am as vulnerable to it as well.
    3. I’m not really a “democrat” particularly.

  4. Al Widdershins Says:

    “3. I’m not really a “democrat” particularly.”

    But surely you acknowledge that most people, to an extent and certainly over things like this, are? A ‘political monarch’, even within a constitutional framework, is no longer feasible in this country (thank God). In practice the choice is between a figurehead monarch or no monarch.

  5. Sophia Marsden Says:

    I’m not very practical either – but of course on a practical level it has basically nothing to do with me since I am practically without power on the matter.
    So all I’ve got is blather anyway.

  6. Danivon Says:

    1. well, ‘architecture’ can be quite subjective (and Poundbury is no utopia), and that combined with ‘organics and stuff like that’ may be important to Charles, but are not really matters a monarch should be overruling democratic governments about. Our predecessors fought in a Civil War to stop Charleses from over-reaching

    2&3 – Figures.

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