Prince's week-long love-in with Labour

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The Independent Online
The Prince of Wales will appear on platforms with three members of the Cabinet on different days this week - and have lunch with a fourth - in a move that has been hailed by some Labour sources as an historic endorsement of its policies.

But the unprecedented contact between the heir to the throne and senior ministers could cause friction with the Conservatives.

Tomorrow, Prince Charleswill join Donald Dewar, Secretary of State for Scotland, at the University of Strathclyde where the minister will urge Scottish employers to back the Prince's Trust. On Tuesday, the Prince will join Gordon Brown, the Chancellor, who will be speaking on welfare- to-work, with Prince Charles promoting Business in the Community, a charity which he chairs.

Then later in the week, the Prince will welcome David Blunkett, Secretary of State for Education and Employment, to Highgrove for an event promoting primary school teaching. Prince Charles is also due to have lunch with the Foreign Secretary, Robin Cook, this week.

One senior Government source described this as a clear and unprecedented endorsement of Labour policy. Another added: "There is a lot of respect for Charles in government. He's got his own interests; it would be wrong for him to stop being interested in welfare-to-work just because we have a government committed to it."

One of the Prince's allies said that the Government was "coming round to his point of view", and that the Prince was staying above politics.

Recently, there have been reports in the media that senior figures in Whitehall have been considering the implications of a marriage between Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.