Submitted by George Callaghan…
Her Britannic Majesty is not getting any younger. The Prince of Wales is due to succeed and it may come sooner than we think. People speak as though the Queen is immortal. For a woman of her age her constitution appears to be robust. But no one of 93 years is entirely healthy. We may not get a warning of her death such as a public announcement of a grave illness. It would easily be that the monarch suddenly feels the icy hand of death on her. She could pass in the night or be felled by a heart attack as she strolls.
Rumour has it that Prince Charles does not wish to go by his Christian name as monarch. Charles Louis Philip Arthur George Mountbatten-Windsor would rather reign as George VII. The name Charles is not a name of happy augury for his line. Cast your mind back to Charles I and don’t lose your head. Charles II had twenty children and not one of them with his goodwife.
There is a case to be made to say that the prince is unsuitable to be head of state. His Royal Highness has often behaved unethically. As an ardent monarchist I do not wish to see the Crown dragged through the mire. Do not forget that the Crown is in the gift of Parliament. Monarchs in the British Isles have been deposed on several occasions. Parliament has altered the line of succession on a few occasions. The last time this was done was 2011. A catastrophic monarch – Edward VIII – was forced out in 1936. The United Kingdom might have to do the same again.
The prince is notorious for his continuous interference in political affairs. His black spider letters harassed politicians. He demanded this and that. He also suggested that homeopathic medicines be available on the NHS. This is an exceptionally tendentious issue. Every pound spent on homeopathy is not spent on conventional medicine. This is surely a matter for experts. Politicians at least have a democratic legitimacy to their decision making. The same can be said of grammar schools. Should they be restored or not?
Charles tries to have it both ways. He wants independence of action to lobby on issues that matter to him. But he does not want to be subject t public scrutiny. He tried to use lawyers to prevent his incessant interventions in political matters secret. He failed to deprive the public of their right to know and he failed to muzzle the press. His absolutist monarchical proclivities are disturbing. Small wonder that he considers George III a role model. They both talked to plants!
Wales’ prince is known for his disdain for the press. Given the stories they have had to tell about him this comes as no shock. George III also loathed the free press.
As one Labour MP said ‘a monarchy should be seen and not heard.’ His Royal Highness cannot keep his trap shut. He wrote a diary about his time in Hong Kong in 1997 during the handover. He limned Chinese dignitaries as ‘’appalling old waxworks’’. The prince was so pleased with his writing that he had his diary privately published and distributed to his groupies. The diary was leaked to the media. That was entirely predictable. The People’s Republic of China was mortally offended. The prince’s entitlement is to come to an opinion like anyoe else. But given his position it behoves him to take the greatest care not to let these opinions leak.
You might share HRH’s opinions on the whole gamut of issues. But it is still inapt of him to give vent to his views. Even if you see eye to eye with the atheling there are others who do not. The prince is supposed to be there for everyone and not just for those whose views accord with his own. Over the centuries the British Isles moved from the personal crown to the dignified crown.
Charles has often voiced his beliefs on divers matters such as smoking, Iraq, Ukraine and foxhunting. As the prince himself says when he becomes monarch he will have to maintain a diplomatic silence on such heads. But even if he becomes shtum on such issues it is too late. The cat is out of the bag. The public is all to aware of his opinions.
His Royal Highness does not add lustre to the regal diadem.
The prince allegedly lost his virginity to the daughter of the Chilean ambassador. In the early 70s he was a fixture on the country house weekend scene. This party animal was the most eligible bachelor in the world. It was then that he started his liaison with Camilla Shand. This young woman was upper class but not a noblewoman. It was noised that she was not a maiden. This made her totally inappropriate as a royal bride. Besides it was still thought likely that the prince would wed a princess. There were not many Protestant monarchies left. If no princess could be found he might have to wed an aristocrat.
We all know how the prince married Diana insincerely. Within a few years he was committing adultery. Charles is due to become head and supreme governor of the Church of England. He is supposed to lead by example. What sort of role model is he for Christians when he committed adultery on countless occasions? Does this not breach the ten commandments? Or are they now the ten suggestions?
The whole Diana Affair stained the honour of the House of Windsor. The prince’s phone was hacked. His conversation with his mistress Mrs Parker-Bowles was recorded by a tabloid newspaper and published. The prince fantasised about being her tampon. How does a man show his face in public again after this being aired? He is supposed to be our ‘fountain of honour’! It is hard not to feel sorry for him that his phone was hacked and his private conversation was published. How would you feel if this happened to you? Most of us would be mortified to have such intimate goo goo talk eavesdropped on and then broadcast.
Army officers are said to dislike the prince. Andrew Parker-Bowles was a cavalry officer. Indeed, he was part of the prince’s escort at his wedding in 1981. An officer simply does not have an affair with the wife of a brother officer. Any other officer would have been cashiered for this. But they could not very well do that to a prince of the blood. Tupping the wife of a comrade is unconducive to good order, discipline and camaraderie. Bear in mind that Charles is colonel in chief of one of the regiments of the Household Division. Parker-Bowles was in that same division.
Charles gave an interview to Dimbleby in which he freely stated that he had been unfaithful to the marital bed. Was that honest or brazen? Was it noble or rash? Until then no member of the royal house had made a declarative statement about infidelity. His admission goaded his wife into doing likewise. It was at the very least a breach of protocol. He is supposed to be a traditionalist.
The prince speaks of his admiration for Islam. What is the penalty for adultery in Islam?
Has the prince been a good father? His younger son Harry certainly did not turn out a well-adjusted man.
We are given to believe that the prince is a paternalist. Yet far from being a kindly landlord he is a rackrenter. The Prince of Wales made a name for himself as the scourge of modern architecture. His tome A Vision of Britain was warmly acclaimed by aesthetes because it lambasted ferroconcrete monstrosities. He remarked that some edifices were like ‘a carbuncle on the face of an old friend’. But there are those who appreciate modern architecture. Further, it is all very well saying that optics matter most of all when you do not have to count the cost. What about money? Funds are limited. Building something splendid costs a fortune. The prince has never had to worry about where the money is coming from. When he opines on topics about which he knows little he is giving a hearing because of his handle. Such rants coming from a plain mister would not be entertained. But his ravings are treated with grace and seriousness just because of who spawned him.
HRH is always on at people to do their bit for the environment. Environmentalism starts at home. As Great Thunberg said no one is to small to make a difference. The crown prince is no petty personage. Yet he flies around the world with several staff in tow. No carbon offsetting by them either. He drives in Chelsea tractors. If he is to drive at all he could use a small and environmentally friendly vehicle such as a Prius. His much-vaunted concern for ecology appears to be an affectation. Like his wayward son Harry it is very much ‘do as I say and not as I do.’ The House of Windsor ought to practice what they preach.
The prince raised the natural world as an issue in the 1980s before it was en vogue as it is now. His conduct suggests that any claim to be perturbed by environmental degradation is an affectation. In 2005 he was invited to New York to be awarded the title of Global Environmental Citizen by Al Gore. It was just after the former vice-president’s ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ film had come out. The prince jetted across the Atlantic with several staff in tow. Did he offset his carbon footprint.
Charles said that the UK Government ought to buy only British products. Perhaps the prince does not know this but he is supposed to represent the other 15 realms as well. As for buying British he constantly purchases German cars. Buying things on the basis of price and quality is acceptable for a prince but not for commoners?
HRH is a multimillionaire. We are not told just how affluent he is. But he is forever telling people to donate to charity. Yes, the peasants must dig deep. The poor must give till it hurts. But royalty never give a brass farthing. If the royals donated so much as a bean then you can be sure their PR teams would tell you about it on every front page.
The prince was friends with Jim Davidson and indeed invited him to stay at various royal residences. This comedian was well known for his fine line in racist humour. His negrophobic routine would not be tolerated now. The prince is colonel in chief of various regiments. The British Army is trying to crush racism. It wants to make itself more attractive to ethnic minority recruits. Charles’ amity with Davidson militates against this.
Charles is colonel in chief of the Parachute Regiment. This makes him a hard sell in Derry. Few people on the Bogside have been notable for their unswerving devotion to Her Britannic Majesty. But the Parachute Regiment in particular has something of a PR challenge in Derry.
What can be said in favour of the prince? He is an erudite sort which is more than can be said for most of his clan. He was a passable naval officer. He is self-assured and has the common touch. If you read If by Rudyard Kipling it might have been composed for this prince. Moreover, HRH cares. Whatever his manifold shortcoming he is trying to help. His ‘help’ is often counterproductive and tends to undermine his own position. But nonetheless his injudicious interventions in the public square are borne of a heartfelt concern for the common weal.
In many regards the prince is unsuitable to be sovereign. He has his qualities. He ought not be ruled out altogether. However, he needs to be penitent. The prince needs to change his ways.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Duran.