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  #81  
Old 10-22-2012, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by BellaFay View Post
If Blair had listened to Charles instead of being manipulated by his spin-doctor Alistair Campbell into referring to him as 'silly' tens of millions of animals would not have been needlessly killed & millions of £s of taxpayers money would not have been wasted on the consequent compensation to farmers.
And what if Prince Charles had advocated the contrary and got it all wrong ? He would still have sent a memo to the Prime Minister “urging” him to take one particular decision. No one can always be “right”. In any case, I seriously doubt the efficiency of a memo sent by a Prince of Wales, in a middle of a very big crisis when, no doubt about that, the Prime Minister would have already been advised by all the experts available and be made aware of what every fraction of the population may feel about it. That he then took a bad decision is bad luck or stupidity or whatever, but it is his responsibility to make a decision; that’s why the British people have put him in charge and that’s why he is ultimately responsible before them and can be dismissed.

Likewise, in my opinion, Prince Charles’s views can never be those of the whole population, because no such thing exists. Otherwise, there would be no need for elections and political parties. The topics mentioned by EIIR may well be a concern for the British people, but I am certain not everyone has the same solution to these problems or give them the same degree of importance (if any). When Prince Charles writes to ministers about them, it is inevitably political.

But I am not saying Prince Charles should do nothing. He has set up charities for the causes he champions, and I understand there is a need for these charities to appeal to ministers to be given funds and advantaging policies. They are lobbying, and as long as this is public knowledge and they aren’t given privileges, I don’t see any problem with that. But if it is right that Prince Charles uses his own privileged access to ministers to do it on their behalf, I am not sure I would agree.

Indeed, to me, the role of the sovereign “to advise, warn and encourage “ is different, at least in the way the Queen has done it (as describes by herself and some of her Prime Ministers and senior aides). It’s much more subtle than giving your own views on something ; it is much more about listening and asking the right questions than giving answers ; it is much more about being the confident of the Prime Minister and help him stay confident than confronting him and challenging his views ; and it is definitely about trying to maintain political impartiality, even during those confidential meetings with Prime Ministers (as documented by Tony Blair or John Major).

For me, writing long and numerous memos to almost every minister in charge, memos where you express your own strong opinions on different topics and even on public policies (as documented by the Attorney General), is very different and goes beyond the traditional role of the monarch, at least, and I say it again, in the way the Queen has done it.

Prince Charles may well give another meaning to “advise, warn and encourage” when he is King and continue to write to ministers and express strongly his opinions in private letters and meetings. But I don’t think it could work in modern Britain.

I believe the confidentiality of the Queen’s views is strictly maintained partly because she takes trouble to try to stay impartial and doesn’t usually seek to defend strongly her own ideas. I am not sure the confidentiality of the letters and meetings eventually held by the future King would be as well protected if he is too political in private. Some ministers might take offense, leak the content of the private correspondence and audiences, and thus break the idea that the King is above politics, preventing him from being able to represent all Britons. This is already happening and in that way, I think, it could threaten the monarchy. Now, he is only Prince of Wales, the monarchy will not break down under Queen Elizabeth II and he may well be given a few more years to adapt ; I do hope so.

I just want to add that I am just giving my opinion here. I am not anti-Prince Charles at all : I think he is an interesting character and that he has done a lot for the country thanks to his charities. It is only because I would love the British monarchy to live on for many many more years that I do express my concern. I would be the first to jump with joy to be proven wrong and too pessimistic !
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  #82  
Old 10-22-2012, 07:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Alpa View Post
And what if Prince Charles had advocated the contrary and got it all wrong ? He would still have sent a memo to the Prime Minister “urging” him to take one particular decision. No one can always be “right”.
I believe the confidentiality of the Queen’s views is strictly maintained partly because she takes trouble to try to stay impartial and doesn’t usually seek to defend strongly her own ideas. I would love the British monarchy to live on for many many more years...
Well reasoned, well stated and thanks for sharing. There is much common sense in your post.
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  #83  
Old 10-23-2012, 07:03 PM
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Originally Posted by AdmirerUS View Post
Well reasoned, well stated and thanks for sharing. There is much common sense in your post.
1. The Queen also has strong opinions which she delivers to the govt - see her recent complaints about the lengthy time it took to extradite Abu Hamza to USA. Opinions which she not only voiced to the Home Secretary but even went as far as directly leaking to a BBC journalist, who promptly headlined it on a major news programme!

2 Like the Queen, Prince Charles offers his comments as advice - at least that's what the former Labour minister Jack Straw stated in his Telegraph comment piece (see above), and I can see no reason to believe he is lying.

3. The Queen doesn't need to write lots of letters because she has very regular meetings with the PM & so can give her opinion orally. On the seemingly very rare occasions that notes were made from those meetings which were later released by the National Archives under the 30-year rule - e.g. 1956 and 1969 meetings released in 2003 and 1999 - they show her to be quite capable of intervening for her own personal or financial benefit. In fact in the case of the 1956 meeting she actually refused to take the advice of the Lord Chancellor, the highest legal appointee in the land, to abolish the 1772 Royal Marriage Act.

4. The main point I am trying to make is that there seems to be a persistent claim that the Queen always acts constitutionally and apolitically, whereas Prince Charles gets criticised for acting in exactly the same way.
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  #84  
Old 10-23-2012, 08:07 PM
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As, I believe, and correct me if I am wrong, they have the right to state what they think, the government, also, has the right to ignore them. They have no particular right for the government to have to change their views to theirs. It is an advise and "keep your mouth shut" position.
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  #85  
Old 10-24-2012, 09:41 AM
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AG Grieve says Charles just trying to help

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/ukne...-problems.html
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  #86  
Old 10-24-2012, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by BellaFay View Post
4. The main point I am trying to make is that there seems to be a persistent claim that the Queen always acts constitutionally and apolitically, whereas Prince Charles gets criticised for acting in exactly the same way.
Well, that's where we disagree ! To me, the ways the Queen and Prince Charles "advise, warn and encourage" are totally different :
- in style : listening and questionning vs writing memos to the government and "urging" a Prime minister to do something ;
- in scale : a weekly informal meeting with the Prime Minister vs numerous letters to different ministers ;
- in purpose : being the confident of the Prime minister vs trying to make a difference by having access to ministers ; the first one is subtely trying to help the Prime minister do his job without really telling him what his job should be, the second one is trying to help other people by suggesting to ministers how they should do their job better ;
- on which topics to express strong opinions about : the monarchy itself, the Commonwealth, a terrorist, ... vs education, energy, housing, ...

Now, some people might be all right with the way Prince Charles sees and does his job ; I am just concerned about those who don't.

As Prince Charles's "style" is getting more and more documented (see the Attorney General's new declaration as providing by Duke of earl - thanks!), I thought I would just add references on how the Queen sees her job and how it has been described :
- by the Queen herself :
- by senior aides and politicians : The real Elizabeth II: part two - Telegraph

so that everyone can make his/her own mind.
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  #87  
Old 10-31-2012, 11:26 AM
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Prince Charles's Correspondence and the Nature of Constitutional Monarchy

Prince Charles’s Correspondence and the Nature of Constitutional Monarchy | Carolyn Harris: Royal Historian
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  #88  
Old 10-31-2012, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by CarolynHarris View Post
Prince Charles's Correspondence and the Nature of Constitutional Monarchy

Prince Charles’s Correspondence and the Nature of Constitutional Monarchy | Carolyn Harris: Royal Historian
This was a great read. Thank you for adding the historic context. While I realize the exemption from the Freedom of Info Act is a current issue, I do doubt letters written in 2004-2005 have much of an impact today on what the government is doing.
Yes, it may be a bother to get a critique from the future King, but I think people understand that he has his personal causes just as every other citizen does. I think it also well understood that his impact on public opinion about many of his causes is less than overwhelming. In the end - the popular vote does triumph. Women vote, the National Health exists, etc.
I look at the pics today from the State Visit of the President of Indonesia. I do wonder if people think all Her Majesty, Princes Charles and Andrew will say to the President is something along the lines of "How do you find the weather?... Did you enjoy the carriage ride?"... etc? Of course they probably will ask tactful, appropriate questions that show concern. Things like "How is your growing Democracy coming along?".... "Where are you finding economic success for your country these days?" are things I would expect any sentient human to ask. Yet, these questions are political. And to expect the Queen then to NOT discuss her impressions of the visit with the PM seems odd.
Her Majesty does, after all have more than an ounce of good common sense!
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  #89  
Old 10-31-2012, 03:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Alpa View Post
Indeed, to me, the role of the sovereign “to advise, warn and encourage “ is different, at least in the way the Queen has done it (as describes by herself and some of her Prime Ministers and senior aides). It’s much more subtle than giving your own views on something ; it is much more about listening and asking the right questions than giving answers ; it is much more about being the confident of the Prime Minister and help him stay confident than confronting him and challenging his views ; and it is definitely about trying to maintain political impartiality, even during those confidential meetings with Prime Ministers (as documented by Tony Blair or John Major).
Various politicians have described the way QEII interacts with them during these meetings and it always reminds me very much of the way physicians and mental health professionals are trained to communicate with their patients, (insert joke about the Queen as psychiatrist in chief here). I think her method of interaction is more likely to be respected, and actually more likely to benefit the population as a whole over the long term, than the blunter, "this is what's wrong and let me tell you how you should fix it" style of the PoW that's being hinted at in these recent articles.
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  #90  
Old 11-04-2012, 11:01 AM
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On the updates POW website, under the EDUCATION heading it says the following
"On 12th May 1970, The Prince of Wales raised in public some of his concerns about the environment and conservation... In his debut at a Cambridge Union debate, he spoke to the motion that "This house believes that technological advance threatens the individuality of man and is becoming his master".The Prince made it clear that he was not formally for or against the motion. "I am in a slightly difficult position," he said..."


Under the BIOGRAPHY section it says..."On 11th February 1970, His Royal Highness took his seat in the House of Lords."


The former, I think shows a sensitivity toward having an opinion and not wanting to be POLITICAL (in the sense of undue influence on the sitting Government).


But the later shows (I think and correct me if I am wrong) he can legitimately and legally, as he is not yet king but does (or did) hold a seat in the House of Lords , speak his mind about issues there. Yet when I pull up membership on the HOL - he is not listed. I am confused. I know LPs create peerages.


In any case - I thought the fact that these comments made it to the official webpage throws some light on Claridge House's take on the issue of BEING POLITICAL.
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  #91  
Old 11-04-2012, 04:03 PM
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The reason why Charles, Philip and Andrew are no longer listed as members of the House of Lords in the 1999 House of Lords Reform Act. That act removed the automatic right to be a member of the Lords to inherited peers although the first peer of a new creation could remain and all three are actually the first creation of the current peerage (even though the titles themselves are older they were all created anew by LPs for each of them - Charles new creation is Earl of Chester). However all three declined to continue to take their seats. Edward never had the opportunity as the change was happening at the same time as he was being created Earl of Wessex and the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent weren't eligible as they had inherited their titles from their fathers.

Philip took his seat in 1947/8 with The Queen in the gallery to watch him and Charles had both his father and great-uncle there. I am not sure who was there for Andrew but imagine his father and older brother and wife.


Whether Charles ever actually spoke in the Lords I don't know but I do know that a predecessor - the future Edward VII - did attend the Lords regularly and sat on committees and argued that he should be allowed to speak on matters from those committees to get the changes past - he was advised not to speak but he did still make his views known by signing the committees' reports.
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  #92  
Old 11-04-2012, 04:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
The reason why Charles, Philip and Andrew are no longer listed as members of the House of Lords in the 1999 House of Lords Reform Act. That act removed the automatic right to be a member of the Lords to inherited peers although the first peer of a new creation could remain and all three are actually the first creation of the current peerage (even though the titles themselves are older they were all created anew by LPs for each of them - Charles new creation is Earl of Chester). However all three declined to continue to take their seats. Edward never had the opportunity as the change was happening at the same time as he was being created Earl of Wessex and the Dukes of Gloucester and Kent weren't eligible as they had inherited their titles from their fathers.

Philip took his seat in 1947/8 with The Queen in the gallery to watch him and Charles had both his father and great-uncle there. I am not sure who was there for Andrew but imagine his father and older brother and wife.


Whether Charles ever actually spoke in the Lords I don't know but I do know that a predecessor - the future Edward VII - did attend the Lords regularly and sat on committees and argued that he should be allowed to speak on matters from those committees to get the changes past - he was advised not to speak but he did still make his views known by signing the committees' reports.
Thanks for this. So future creations will also have the right to sit in the House of Lords - though this will be discouraged. Does that mean William technically can/has refused? This seems to be a loophole the 1999 Reform Act did not close.
I just think of a third or fourth son or daughter with a passion for the Law - what a shame they would not follow their dream. I do generally feel for the non-core royals who lack certain freedoms but get few of the privileges that go along with being royal.
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  #93  
Old 11-04-2012, 09:40 PM
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I L B, Perhaps now as POW, but absolutely not as monarch. The Monarch cannot be involved in specific political issues. QEII understands this and has remained above the fray which is one of the reasons for her enduring popularity. Charles is a very stubborn fellow with strong opinions and a complete conviction that his opinion is the correct one. I am not sure he has the self control to bite his tongue, so to speak.
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  #94  
Old 11-04-2012, 10:18 PM
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Originally Posted by AdmirerUS View Post
Thanks for this. So future creations will also have the right to sit in the House of Lords - though this will be discouraged. Does that mean William technically can/has refused? This seems to be a loophole the 1999 Reform Act did not close.
I just think of a third or fourth son or daughter with a passion for the Law - what a shame they would not follow their dream. I do generally feel for the non-core royals who lack certain freedoms but get few of the privileges that go along with being royal.

Don't forget that they can now be elected to the Lords so if that is their passion/interest they can still follow it.

No doubt further reform will come and the Lords will be fully elected and peers of the realm will be able to seek election to either house.
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  #95  
Old 11-05-2012, 10:33 AM
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No doubt further reform will come and the Lords will be fully elected and peers of the realm will be able to seek election to either house.
Iuvbertie - I agree and that further reform will likely be during Charles reign?
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  #96  
Old 12-28-2012, 06:14 PM
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Prince Charles held private meetings with ministers - Telegraph

I don't understand why the Palace released the dates of meetings, knowing what was discussed at the meetings is private and therefore not released.
It makes it appear like the Prince of Wales is up to no good when in fact he has every right to meet with certain ministers in the government
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  #97  
Old 12-28-2012, 06:23 PM
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Senio members have many meetings with politicians, business leaders etc which are listed in the court circular and the minutes are never released. This is not unusual and is just mischief making in my view.

I think it's entirely appropriate for the future monarch to talk to such people as part of 1. His charities and 2. Understanding of these people's agendas. It is a 2way street.
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  #98  
Old 12-28-2012, 06:30 PM
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What I don't understand about all this 'Is Charles being political?' stuff , if he is allowed to meet with ministers and discuss certain matters, then what's the issue and if he isn't allowed to meet with ministers, why does the government give him access?

I'm missing why certain people complain about this
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:35 PM
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If he meets with ministers, he is being political, when in reality, the Queen does not want him to be as unprepared as she was in the beginning. If he doesn't, he is not preparing for his future role, or the Queen does not trust or believe in his ability. Either way, he cannot win in his current position. It is their institution, everyone should just let them run it. I has been going on for a while you know. Lol
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Old 12-28-2012, 06:39 PM
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It's politics.

What I find interesting is the assumption that Charles is influencing policy. That is a labour MP saying that implying that the Tory ministers cannot withstand Charles wishes. Using Prince Charles for political gain is not acceptable.
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