Should the British monarch always remain neutral?
The Prince of Wales has said he will stop speaking out on issues when he becomes king, saying he is “not that stupid” to continue what some have termed as “meddling”.
Charles has been criticised in the past for his views on topics such as the environment and architecture, but said he recognises being heir to the throne and head of state are two different roles.
Interviewed for a BBC documentary about his 70th birthday, the prince acknowledged he would not be “able to do the same things I’ve done as heir” and as monarch would have to operate within “constitutional parameters”.
Speaking in detail about his future role as head of state, he said: “You know, I’ve tried to make sure whatever I’ve done has been non-party political, and I think it’s vital to remember there’s only room for one sovereign at a time, not two.
“So, you can’t be the same as the sovereign if you’re the Prince of Wales or the heir.
“But the idea somehow that I’m going to go on in exactly the same way, if I have to succeed, is complete nonsense because the two – the two situations – are completely different.”
Asked whether his public campaigning will go on, he added: “No, it won’t. I’m not that stupid. I do realise that it is a separate exercise being sovereign. So of course I understand entirely how that should operate.”
Asked about what some have termed his “meddling”, Charles defended his actions, which include establishing the Prince’s Trust in 1976 to help disadvantaged young people.
He said: “But I always wonder what meddling is. I mean, I always thought it was motivating, but I’ve always been intrigued, if it’s meddling to worry about the inner cities, as I did 40 years ago, and what was happening or not happening there.
“The conditions in which people were living. If that’s meddling I’m very proud of it.”
What do you think? Would the British monarch be abusing a position of power by lobbying for issues that are important to them? Should a monarch always remain neutral? Or does their involvement help highlight important social issues that deserve greater attention?
What are your views?
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