Clarke ends feud with Charles over 'social utopianism'

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Indy Politics

Prince Charles will today make the highly unusual move of publicly addressing the furore unleashed by his leaked memo to say the it is a "travesty of the truth" to suggest he said people should know their place.

But the Prince, who spent much of the weekend rewriting a planned speech in order to defend himself against attacks following the publication of the memo, offers no apology for his views.

Instead, he will admit that he is old fashioned but seeks to explain his opinions on education, saying that everyone has a "God-given ability" but that "success comes in many forms" and that it is as "great an achievement" to be a bricklayer as a lawyer in the speech to bishops at Lambeth Palace.

Education Secretary Charles Clarke, who led the backlash against the controversial memo last week when he called the future King "old fashioned and out of time" yesterday moved to end the row after Clarence House released the speech, saying the chapter was now "absolutely closed."

In the memo, revealed by the Prince's former personal assistant, Elaine Day, who is suing him for wrongful dismissal, the Prince wrote in exasperated tones, asking: "What is wrong with people now? Why do they all seem to think they can do things beyond their technical capabilities?"

Health Secretary John Reid and Welsh Secretary Peter Hain also attacked the memo, interpreted as an elitist rant against those with social aspirations.

The Prince's former Press Secretary, Mark Bolland, added fuel to the debate yesterday when, writing in the News of the World, he railed against Charles' "extraordinary arrogance" and "self pitying approach to life" saying that he was surrounded by sycophants and cowards who do not challenge his "increasingly cranky causes".