In a large documentary to mark his 70th birthday next week, the heir to the throne addresses the issue of his controversial lobby.
And he promises to stop campaigning on the environment, architecture and homeopathy as king and insists: “I’m not that stupid.”
He speaks for the first – and, says the deputy, last time about a subject that has held much of his time as Prince of Wales: “I realize that it is a separate exercise that is sovereign. So I fully understand how that should work.
“I tried to make sure that what I did was non-party politics, but I think it is important to remember that there is only room for one sovereign at a time, not two.
“You cannot be the same as the sovereign if you are the Prince of Wales or the heir. But the idea in some way that I will continue in exactly the same way, if I have to succeed, is complete nonsense because the two situations are completely different.
The prince, however, has no criticism of his public campaign in the past half century. He says archly: “I always wonder what interference is? I mean, I always thought it was motivating.
“But I have always been intrigued, if it would interfere with the inner cities as I did 40 years ago and what happened or did not happen there – the circumstances in which people lived. If that interferes with me, I am very proud of it.
The documentary, Prince, Son and Heir – Charles on 70, which broadcasts on BBC One at 21:00, is a fascinating portrait of the king-in-waiting, with candid contributions from family, including his sons William and Harry and his wife, the Duchess of Cornwall. It reveals that:
- Charles is such a workaholic that at midnight he often falls asleep at his desk with a memo on his forehead;
- When the Duchess of Sussex discovered that her father would not take her through the aisle, Charles offered himself immediately;
- Prince William wishes his father could spend more time with the grandchildren George, Charlotte and Louis;
- Although born to be king, Charles does not think much about his destination;
- William insists that he is his own man & wants to become like Prince of Wales.
Documentary filmmaker John Bridcut had unparalleled access to Charles for a year, and watched him closely, both at work and in private.
And although a sensitive issue with the prince, the problem of his lifelong lobby was hard to ignore.
Over the years, the prince has been accused of risking the constitutional impartiality of the monarch by interfering in government policy.
Stories about his so-called “black spider memos”, the regular missives written to ministers who asked for action in his distinctive clawed handwriting, have made many uncomfortable about his ability to be a neutral monarch.
In the interview, the prince confronts the problem directly, pointing out that as the longest-serving throne in British history – he inherited the role at the age of four – it was his duty to find a way to live a productive life.
He compares his role with that of the 14th-century Black Prince, a predecessor as Prince of Wales and commander during the Hundred Years War.
Charles says: “Each of my predecessors had to figure out how they would do it, many of them fell dead or were killed before they got very far.
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SOURCE: Daily Mail