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Britain Isn’t Ready For Charles And His Activism, Fears Queen

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Valentine Low, The Times

The Queen fears that Britain may not be ready for the radical new style of monarchy envisaged by her eldest son, according to a new biography of the Prince of Wales.

Catherine Mayer, the author, says that the prince intends to be a more campaigning kind of sovereign than his mother, but some courtiers at Buckingham Palace — as well as the Queen herself — feel that the country is not prepared for the “shock of the new”.

Mayer also says that the Duke of Edinburgh is among his harshest critics and believes the prince to be guilty of “selfish behaviour” in putting his “cerebral passions” before his royal duties.

Charles: The Heart of a King, serialised in The Times, argues that the prince has ambitions that mean “he will never be content as just a figurehead”. Describing the prince as a man of “extraordinary achievements and sometimes equally extraordinary mistakes”, Mayer says that his passion for embracing a wide range of causes has caused disquiet at Buckingham Palace.

“In the corridors and back rooms and private apartments of Buckingham Palace there is mounting anxiety as the Queen’s reign enters what an insider calls ‘its inevitable twilight’,” she writes. “In defining his role as heir apparent, the prince has signalled a redefinition of the monarchy. Some courtiers — and the sovereign herself — fear that neither the Crown nor its subjects will tolerate the shock of the new.”

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Prince Charles ‘Tried to Change Tony Blair’s Climate Policy’

BBC News, 29 June 2014

Former environment minister Michael Meacher claims he and Prince Charles “would consort together quietly” to affect policy on climate change and genetically modified crops. He said they worked together “to try and ensure that we increased our influence within government”. “We were together in trying to persuade Tony Blair to change course.”

 

The Prince of Wales tried to persuade Tony Blair’s government to expand grammar schools, former education secretary David Blunkett has said.

In a BBC Radio 4 documentary examining the constitutional role of the prince, Mr Blunkett said Prince Charles “didn’t like” it when his request was refused. […]

He discussed complementary medicine and climate with other Labour ministers.

Former environment minister Michael Meacher recalled that he and the Prince “would consort together quietly” to affect policy on climate change and genetically modified crops.

He said they worked together “to try and ensure that we increased our influence within government”.

“I knew that he largely agreed with me and he knew that I largely agreed with him,” said Mr Meacher. “We were together in trying to persuade Tony Blair to change course.”

Asked if there might be a constitutional problem in the Prince taking a political opinion, Mr Meacher replied: “Well, over GM I suppose you could well say that. Maybe he was pushing it a bit. I was delighted, of course.” […]

The Royal Activist is broadcast on BBC Radio 4 at 13:30 BST on Sunday, 29 June.

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