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

Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executives - B2B

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...

Recruitment Genius: Media Sales Executives - B2B

£20000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Recruitment Genius Ltd continue...

Recruitment Genius: Online Media Sales Trainee

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: If you have the right attitude,...

Ashdown Group: Client Services Executive - Enfield, North London

Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Client Services Executive - Enfield, North London ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Carrie's son Jack on holiday in the Carribean  

As a parent of a child with autism, this is what I want you to know about my family

Carrie Cariello
 

i Editor's Letter: A royal serving the nation

Oliver Duff Oliver Duff
Syrian conflict is the world's first 'climate change war', say scientists, but it won't be the last one

Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
How I outwitted the Gestapo

How I outwitted the Gestapo

My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
The nation's favourite animal revealed

The nation's favourite animal revealed

Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
Is this the way to get young people to vote?

Getting young people to vote

From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn