Someone tell Prince Charles we’re no longer an absolute monarchy

The Independent has revealed that the Prince lays down an absurdly draconian set of demands upon media organisations

Tuesday 01 December 2015 23:05 GMT
Prince Charles and Camilla during a visit to the BBC last year
Prince Charles and Camilla during a visit to the BBC last year (Getty Images)

The environmental work the Prince of Wales has carried out over much of his lifetime adds currency to his opinions on climate change. That said, his view that it lies at the heart of the civil war in Syria points to a less than perfect understanding of geopolitics. Like most other commentators, he has strong points and weak points – and like all other commentators, he should be open to journalists and, by proxy, the public scrutinising his opinions as they are expressed. Or at least, if Charles wants to play a role in the public debate – as he does over the importance of the Paris climate talks – he must play by the same rules as everybody else. That, however, is not the practice of Clarence House, as The Independent has revealed.

An absurdly draconian set of demands made upon media organisations should disqualify the Prince from the off. It is inappropriate for an opinionated man such as he to be able not only to dictate the precise questions in advance, but also to pull his own material from the final cut if the programme does not satisfy him. Channel 4 wisely decided not to sign up to such a contract. Those media organisations that have agreed to it should be aware that they have debased themselves in doing so. Nobody’s opinion is worth agreeing to such censorship; least of all, some might say, an unelected member of an outdated institution.

We know from the infamous “black spider” memos that the Prince has previously used his position to gain privilege with those in power. He is likely to be a far more activist monarch than his mother, the Queen. This is discomfiting, particularly so if he plans to set the terms of any public engagement.

Charles should think again. If he does not, the media should break royal protocol, and dare to report on him properly.

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