Prince Charles plans to continue to intervene in public affairs after he becomes king, sources close to the heir to the throne have reportedly said, despite concerns he has been too overtly political.
The Prince has made his views known on a range of subjects, from his support for grammar schools and alternative medicine to his opposition to genetically modified crops and some modern architecture. He also famously warned that nanotechnology research could see the development of tiny self-replicating robots with the potential to turn life on Earth into a mass of “grey goo”.
And he has also written a number of letters – the contents of which are currently secret - to Government ministers over the years to give his opinions.
Some had thought such outspoken remarks would be abandoned after he is crowned King Charles III to preserve the idea that the monarch is politically neutral.
However, a “well-placed source” told The Guardian that the prince would remain “true to his beliefs”.
“Rather than a complete reinvention to become a monarch in the mould of his mother, the strategy will be to try and continue with his heartfelt interventions, albeit checking each for tone and content to ensure it does not damage the monarchy,” the source said. “Speeches will have to pass the following test: would it seem odd because the Queen wouldn’t have said it or would it seem dangerous?”
Organic farmer Patrick Holden, a friend who advises the prince on sustainability, also told the paper: “The prince understands the need to be careful about how he expresses concerns or asks questions, but I do think he will keep doing exactly that.
“He is part of an evolving monarchy that is changing all the time. He feels these issues are too serious to ignore.”
The Supreme Court will consider next week whether letters sent by Prince Charles to ministers should be published after a freedom of information request by The Guardian.
A Clarence House spokesman said: “Speculation about The Prince of Wales's future role as king has been around for decades but it is not something we have commented on and nor will we do so now.
“The Prince of Wales cares deeply about this country and has devoted most of his working life to helping individuals and organisations to make a difference for the better - and not for his personal gain.
“He takes an active interest in the issues and challenges facing the UK and around the world through his own work and that of his charities. Over the past 40 years in his role as heir to the throne, the Prince of Wales has visited countless places and met numerous people from every walk of life.
“He carries out over 600 engagements a year. This gives him a unique perspective which has often led to him identifying issues before others which might otherwise be overlooked.
“He is often described as being ahead of his time and the evidence for this has been well documented and includes leading the work on corporate social responsibility, from as early as the 1980s, demonstrating the benefits of organic farming, as well as finding ways to help young people who are not in employment, education or training through his Prince's Trust.”