The people's Prince

Share

Some of our readers, we know, feel some affinity with the news values of the Daily Star, which reported the pending nuptials of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles under the headline "Boring old gits to wed". Their only quibble might be that it was on the front page rather than in a "news in brief" column inside. Yet the marriage of the heir to the throne is neither a trivial matter nor a mere comic subplot in a royal soap opera.

Some of our readers, we know, feel some affinity with the news values of the Daily Star, which reported the pending nuptials of the Prince of Wales and Camilla Parker Bowles under the headline "Boring old gits to wed". Their only quibble might be that it was on the front page rather than in a "news in brief" column inside. Yet the marriage of the heir to the throne is neither a trivial matter nor a mere comic subplot in a royal soap opera.

Whether or not the monarchy survives in this country depends less on the merits of the case against the hereditary principle playing a part in government than on the actions and demeanour of the royal family itself. It would be perfectly possible for the Crown to survive as a purely symbolic figurehead, if Prince Charles commanded the respect of the people.

There is the rub. It is not the element of farce in the arrangements for his second wedding that matters, but what they reveal of his attitude towards the people of the kingdom whom he seeks to serve. He seems to regard the matter of his future second wife's title as purely a matter for him. After years of preparation, he and his spin doctors came up with the idea of calling her the Duchess of Cornwall, and seem to have overlooked the legal formality that she will be the Princess of Wales on official documents. Either that or they assumed that people would not mind. That is a serious and rather obvious mistake, given that he is considered to have behaved badly towards his first wife.

It may have been unfair of Gavin Hewitt, the BBC reporter, last weekend to make public seven-year-old private comments by the Prince, but their self-pitying and disdainful tone added little to public perceptions of the man. And that is his problem. The Prince of Wales has done a great deal of good work for disadvantaged young people, and for many other worthwhile causes, but is widely regarded as a selfish and aloof person. Unless he can demonstrate the humility fitting to someone who aspires to public service, he, rather than any republican campaign, may be responsible for bringing down the House of Windsor.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Software Developer / C# Developer

£40-50K: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Software / C# Developer w...

Guru Careers: Software Developer

£35 - 40k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Software Developer (JavaS...

SThree: Trainee Recruitment Consultant / Resourcer

£18000 - £23000 per annum + Commission: SThree: As a Trainee Recruitment Consu...

Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, AngularJS)

£25000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: UI Developer - (UI, JavaScript, HTML...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

In Sickness and in Health: 'I'm really happy to be alive and to see Rebecca'

Rebecca Armstrong
Supporters in favour of same-sex marriage pose for a photograph as thousands gather in Dublin Castle  

The lessons we can learn from Ireland's gay marriage referendum

Stefano Hatfield
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine