Ministers defend Prince of Wales's fitness for throne
Donald Macintyre writes political sketches for The Independent, having been Jerusalem correspondent since 2004, covering Israel and the Occupied Territories, as well as travelling for the paper to Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Libya and Egypt.
Monday 13 December 1993
In separate Sunday newspaper articles, Lord Wakeham, Leader of the Lords, and William Waldegrave, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, dismissed as idle gossip and baseless speculation suggestions that Prince Charles would not succeed the Queen.
Lord Wakeham said in the Mail on Sunday: 'One day Charles will be king. He will be a fine king. He will follow a wonderful Queen. He will represent Britain at its finest. Make no mistake about it.'
And in a passionate Sunday Telegraph article, Mr Waldegrave said that the unhappiness of the Prince's marriage should be a matter for 'sorrow and sympathy, not for savage exploitation and prurient gossip'. Mr Waldegrave went on to say that Prince Charles had prepared for the throne 'perhaps more conscientiously than any in the long line of his predecessors.'
The articles followed a further endorsement by Michael Heseltine, President of the Board of Trade, last week on BBC Question Time. Richard Needham, the trade minister, met Prince Charles last week and agreed to establish better co-ordination between the Department of Trade and Industry and the Prince's staff to maximise his use as an exports super-ambassador.
Mr Needham described Prince Charles as a 'priceless national asset who should be on the inside, not on the outside looking in'. A series of - heavily denied - tabloid newspaper reports last week suggesting that the Queen and the Archbishop of Canterbury would prefer her to be succeeded by her grandson Prince William were given a fresh spin last week when the Archdeacon of York questioned his qualifications for acceding to the throne. His views were instantly and vigorously denounced by Nicholas Soames, the food minister and a close friend of the Prince.
In a poll of 100 members of the General Synod in yesterday's Sunday Times, 47 per cent thought that Prince Charles should not become supreme governor of the Church of England. More than one in four said he should not be king if he has had an affair.
James Fenton, page 14
- 1 VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
- 2 If you're not already angry about the migrant crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
- 3 Rules on 5p plastic bags likely to lead to arguments at the check-out
- 4 Chaos breaks out in courtroom as father attacks killer of three-year-old daughter
- 5 Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
VMAs 2015: Was Nicki Minaj and Miley Cyrus' awkward acceptance put-down real or staged?
Bank Holiday Monday opening times: Are Tesco, Asda and other supermarkets open today?
The nine most warmongering countries in the world revealed
Isis releases graphic video showing four Shia 'spies' being burned alive in Anbar, Iraq
Blood Moon and Supermoon: September to bring brightest – and dimmest – full Moon of the year on same night
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£20000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award-winning company, whi...
£40000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a unique & exciting opp...
£35000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: You will be working with a 8 st...
£8000 - £12000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A unique opportunity has arisen ...