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  #121  
Old 07-10-2013, 06:02 AM
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Well, as far as I can read, Queen and the heir to the throne must remain neutral and non-political at all times, which is in the link I posted. No, according to the link Charles must not express his views on political issues.

And no, I don't want to enter into an argument about this. I'm happy to agree that we disagree!
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  #122  
Old 07-10-2013, 06:46 AM
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It says that The Queen must be politically neutral. As Head of State, The Queen must remain politically neutral, since her Government will be formed from whichever party can command a majority in the House of Commons.

It then says that Other members of the Royal Family do not act on ministerial advice, but they also are required to preserve their political neutrality so as not to embarrass The Queen.

Political neutrality doesn't mean no communication with the government of the day - and Charles has had communication with the government regardless of the political persuasion of the government.

Neutrality means not taking sides - that is not showing a preference for one side of politics or the other. Neither the Queen nor Charles nor any of the rest of the family have ever done that - they have the right to let the government of the day know their views and ask the government of the day questions - that isn't the same thing as breaking political neutrality.
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  #123  
Old 07-10-2013, 06:47 AM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
I didn't see anything in that link that disagrees with what I said - he has the right to vote but, along with the rest of the family doesn't exercise that right.

The Queen is slightly more limited in what she can do - and if for one moment anyoong thinks she doesn't 'meddle' and get her points of views across they are living in cloud cuckoo-land. What do you think she and the PM discuss every week in their meetings about which NO minutes or other records are kept at all - so we will never know how much she interferred or 'meddled' whereas Charles' letters will be in the archives at some point for historians to read.

Charles does have the right to express his views and to ask questions and to be informed - which he does.
I agree.

IMO, Charles is not dong anything wrong in setting out his views on certain issues to Ministers of his mothers government. The final decision on whether the advice of Charles is acted on or not is the Ministers own.

I also think that members of the BRF go out of their way not to appear party political in any way. For example, Camilla invited Sarah Brown to lunch at Clarence House, when Gordon was PM. Similarly, she has engaged with Sam Cameron.
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  #124  
Old 07-10-2013, 02:17 PM
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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
I didn't see anything in that link that disagrees with what I said - he has the right to vote but, along with the rest of the family doesn't exercise that right.
Actually, the link does seem to suggest that he doesn't have the same rights as even his brothers.

It says: "it is considered unconstitutional for the Sovereign and his or her heir to [vote in a general or local election]." Basically, while HM and Charles may technically be allowed to vote, they're also not really allowed to vote. The other royals are all allowed to vote but instead chose not to.

The link also doesn't include Charles in the list of Royal Dukes who had previously held, but did not use, the right to vote in the House of Lords. This seems to imply that as the heir Charles is put on a special pedestal regarding politics.

I agree that Charles should be allowed to have a political opinion - as should HM - and I don't think that he's done anything wrong in being involved in politics in a private matter. Personally I agree with the decision to keep the letters private, as they help maintain the appearance I political neutrality of the (future) sovereign. I also don't see a problem with him vocalizing his opinions to politicians, as really the Queen does the same. Charles doesn't (yet) have a venue like the weekly PM's meeting, and given as he's going to end up having those meetings it makes sense that he develop a knowledge and understanding of politics while still heir.
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  #125  
Old 07-10-2013, 02:39 PM
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I have always thought that Charles will be a different Monarch. He's going to bring some of his own flavor to his future role.
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  #126  
Old 07-10-2013, 02:45 PM
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I have always thought that Charles will be a different Monarch. He's going to bring some of his own flavor to his future role.
Charles will definitely be different because he is different.

However, I'm not sure if he should be different regarding political neutrality. The monarch is supposed to be above that and be able to have an appeal to everyone (except for maybe republicans), which is harder to do when the monarch is not politically neutral.
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  #127  
Old 07-10-2013, 03:07 PM
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There is actually a pretty good book called "Spirit Undaunted, The Political role of George VI". Obviously it deals primarily with George VI, although it does reach back to his predecessors, and covers his role in advising PMs on the selection of cabinet ministers (strong suggestions as to who he would or would not like to see in cabinet and the ministries they should have). Although his PMs were not bound to pay attention to what he said GVI did voice his opinions and in cases his PMs did listen and act accordingly.
I suspect QEII also voices her opinions to her PMs when she feels strongly about an issue and I have no doubt King Charles III will do the same. It is within the monarchs role to advise their PMs and as long as they remain outside of party politics I see no reason for that to change.
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  #128  
Old 07-10-2013, 03:22 PM
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Originally Posted by NGalitzine View Post
There is actually a pretty good book called "Spirit Undaunted, The Political role of George VI". Obviously it deals primarily with George VI, although it does reach back to his predecessors, and covers his role in advising PMs on the selection of cabinet ministers (strong suggestions as to who he would or would not like to see in cabinet and the ministries they should have). Although his PMs were not bound to pay attention to what he said GVI did voice his opinions and in cases his PMs did listen and act accordingly.
I suspect QEII also voices her opinions to her PMs when she feels strongly about an issue and I have no doubt King Charles III will do the same. It is within the monarchs role to advise their PMs and as long as they remain outside of party politics I see no reason for that to change.
I agree completely - the monarch is a political individual who advises the government of the day, but also maintains an appearance of political neutrality.

It's a delicate balance that Charles has to maintain.
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  #129  
Old 07-10-2013, 05:10 PM
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I assume, that he will have to follow the rules, as they are the rules. He may advise the government, and correct me if I am wrong, they need not take his advice, but just listen politely.
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  #130  
Old 07-10-2013, 06:31 PM
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I think that some people assume the term 'political neutrality' with 'political nonentity' which is not the case at all. Political neutrality means not showing a preference for either side publicly while still being part of the political process.

The Queen is able to voice her opinion and does so quite strongly on occasions I am sure in the weekly meetings, and the other meetings she has with members of the government of the day. Her voice will be heard. She is definitely part of the political process and has the right to veto legislation - not done since the days of Queen Anne but the right still exists.

Charles also has the right to be heard - they don't have to listen to him. The CC reports the meetings both he and his mother have with any members of the government of the day.

As for the voting in the House of Lords I will go with Charles on that - I saw an interview with him some years ago where he talked about losing his seat and right to vote with the 1999 reforms and that he was different to Philip and Andrew. In essence Philip and Andrew had to formally refuse a life peerage - a right given to all first holders of the current creation of their titles - while his situation was different as Cornwall and Rothesay are always new creations but it was agreed that all three of them would not seek a seat in the reformed House of Lords. The Dukes of Gloucester and Kent weren't eligible as they were the 2nd holders of the current creations. I also remember reading, when he took his seat in the House of Lords that he would probably never actually vote although he had that right as the last Duke of Cornwall to vote was either Edward VII or possibly George IV. I know Edward VII was advised against voting in the Lords, when DoC, on a housing bill and he was upset because he knew if he voted then it would pass but if he didn't vote it wouldn't - it didn't.
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  #131  
Old 07-11-2013, 01:28 AM
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If Charles has been writing these letters for a number of years, thereby to ministers of different parties, I would say it was far from being political unless he was trying to undermine one particular party's policies all the time.
Ministers are ordinary yet ambitious people seeking high office in order to enforce their own opinions and ideals on others in a legitimate way. Once in office, they can more or less do what they like until a few months before an election, when they suddenly become aware of what the people want and start to listen.
Accordingly, I take heart by the fact that someone with abit of common sense (i.e. the heir to the throne) can do as much as he can to keep said ministers on teh straight and narrow.
I say write more letters! Bombard the politicians and influence their dodgy ideas as much as possible!!!
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  #132  
Old 07-11-2013, 01:32 AM
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If Charles has been writing these letters for a number of years, thereby to ministers of different parties, I would say it was far from being political unless he was trying to undermine one particular party's policies all the time.
Ministers are ordinary yet ambitious people seeking high office in order to enforce their own opinions and ideals on others in a legitimate way. Once in office, they can more or less do what they like until a few months before an election, when they suddenly become aware of what the people want and start to listen.
Accordingly, I take heart by the fact that someone with abit of common sense (i.e. the heir to the throne) can do as much as he can to keep said ministers on teh straight and narrow.
I say write more letters! Bombard the politicians and influence their dodgy ideas as much as possible!!!
I agree! Charles is known as one who speaks his mind and states his views. It's possible he'll make a real pest of himself with the politicians once he's king.
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  #133  
Old 08-12-2013, 06:11 AM
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Prince Charles has held 36 private meetings with Cabinet ministers since last election

Prince Charles has held 36 private meetings with Cabinet ministers since last election - Telegraph
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  #134  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:02 AM
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Prince Charles 'has a duty to talk with Government'
Prince Charles 'has a duty to talk with Government' - ITV News
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  #135  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:08 AM
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Speaking to Government leaders and ministers is not being political. it is information seeking, questioning and listening. if he played one party off against another, criticised ministers in public and publically preferred one party over another then he would be being political.

He has the freedom to do this now and IMO he has every right to do so.

It takes two to have a meeting, so if it is a problem and he doesnt have the right, they could have said no.
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  #136  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:43 AM
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Speaking to Government leaders and ministers is not being political. it is information seeking, questioning and listening. if he played one party off against another, criticised ministers in public and publically preferred one party over another then he would be being political.

He has the freedom to do this now and IMO he has every right to do so.

It takes two to have a meeting, so if it is a problem and he doesnt have the right, they could have said no.
LOL - you could be describing an average British primeminister or politician here!
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  #137  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:44 AM
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LOL - you could be describing an average British primeminister or politician here!
That's the point, Charles isn't doing that because that's what PMs and politicians do.
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  #138  
Old 08-12-2013, 10:57 AM
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Indeed it does take two or more. I think those that wish to make this an "issue" want us all to overlook, ignore or just be plain ignorant of the fact that the Royal Family represents the UK. Every foreign head of state that meets the Queen and enjoys a royal state banquet does so at the invitation of the government. And, you had better believe that the BRF representatives are as politically well briefed on the stance of the government on any pertinent subjects as are it's political representatives.

The Queen has "fronted" for the government officially for 60 years as indeed has her husband. The Prince of Wales, the Princess Royal, Princes Andrew and Edward and their families have all been ambassadors for their country. The notion of them being politically naive or ignorant is more than a little counter-intuitive.

Foreign dignitaries do not just chat over their pre-dinner sherries when at Buckingham Palace or Windsor Castle. They talk about the world and their place in it. Members of the government also involve the Royal Family in so very many different ways. The most glaringly obvious is the Opening of Parliament. HM may read the speech but it's content is dictated by the government. But the Queen has never been a bubble head who just "reads" what she is told to, she has always striven to understand the message which, considering some policies, is no easy feat.

Just like the President of a major corporation, HM needs to know what she is talking about. And, when it comes to the Commonwealth, well let's just equate HM's role as had of a very large Multi-National Corporation.

It is all politics and fumbling and stumbling around in ignorance ill befits the BRF and it's role in a Constitutional Monarchy. In short, the PM doesn't visit the Queen just for the tea! In such a world it would be impossible for Charles to be "ignorant" of all until the magical moment of Coronation whereupon he would be expected to know all. Think of how many years ago he was created Prince of Wales and then think of that as "an entry level position"!
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  #139  
Old 08-12-2013, 04:15 PM
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Very interesting debate:

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  #140  
Old 08-13-2013, 09:43 AM
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Even "Airmiles Andy" has had 11 meetings with various ministers of different portfolios over a span of 3 years, after he resigned as trade rep of the UK. Who would have thought so??
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