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

Website Editor

£15 - £17 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is currently r...

Year 2 Teacher - Maternity cover

£120 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Luton: Year 2 maternity cover, startin...

KS1 Teacher

£95 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Key Stage 1 teacher require...

Upper KS2 Teacher

£120 - £150 per day: Randstad Education Birmingham: Upper Key Stage 2 teacher ...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Young Syrian refugees gather around a small fire at the Minieh camp in Lebanon  

Cameron and Obama may want to ‘destroy’ Isis, but what will they do about the growing number of refugees fleeing Iraq and Syria?

Kate Allen
“You're running away!” Nick said to me the other night as I tried to leave the hospital  

In Sickness and in Health: ‘There’s nothing I want more than to have you at home, but you’re not well’

Rebecca Armstrong
A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments