Charles Under Fire

  August 20, 2009 at 12:09 pm by

“Unfortunately we also await the inevitable uninformed drubbing of Prince Charles, his foundation and all five connected firms.”

I penned those words in the full expectation that there would be “Consequences” for Charles continued advocacy of architecture as a living environment as opposed to the prevailing position of architecture as “Art”! But even I was totally unprepared for the blistering barrage of bile and sheer bloody-minded spite.

The first salvo was a seemingly harmless article in The Telegraph. Inspired, perhaps, by Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, the Prince of Wales has created “an eccentric tribute to the stars of his own universe.” A none too subtle hint that that Charles is not like you or I, he is, quite frankly, a bit odd, a total whack job no less. Think cabbages!

The second salvo was an all-out assault on the success, viability and even safety of his Poundbury project in the Gaurdian: “Cracks appearing in Prince Charles’s dream village in Poundbury”

  • Residents complain about poorly-finished homes
  • Alleys and corners fuel petty crime, say locals

This is followed by a litany of discontent and allegations of total disillusionment by the inhabitants and pronouncements of the imminent disaster it heralds, this is strangely at odds with Simon Conibear, Poundbury’s development manager, assertion that Poundbury had been “an overwhelming success among the people who live here” and pointed to a survey by Oxford Brookes University that showed 86% of residents were glad to have moved here.

Not to dismiss what are obviously significant teething problems, 86% of residents are happy to be there which leaves a mind-blowing 14% disillusioned, irate or just plain peeved. Most local bodies and councils would be ecstatic with an 86% approval rating in anything at all!

In the third salvo, just in case we all missed the point, Monsters and Critics “Slammed Prince Charles Perfect Village.” So yes, OK, it isn’t perfect but anyone with half a brain would concede the vandalism and general unsociable behaviour is on the increase internationally and that most communities are grappling with the problem . . . . . . . in a plaza not a million miles from me they play “Barry Manilo” songs over the PA to deter undesirables from congregating . . . it seems to be getting a result!

And now for the “coup de gras”, Third Sector reports “Prince Charles architecture charity ‘like a political lobby group’! Pressure group calls for Charity Commission to investigate Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment.”

Pressure group Republic has reported Prince Charles’ architecture charity to the Charity Commission.

Republic said the Prince’s Foundation for the Built Environment had behaved like a “private lobbying firm” to promote Charles’ own architectural views, calling into question the charity’s independence.

Republic? Isn’t that a lobby group? But I digress, the gloves are off and now we wait . . . .

Filed under British Royals
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  5. Prince Charles, The First Carbon Neutral Monarch?

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