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Coffee House

Letting his opinions be known

19 November 2009

8:14 PM

19 November 2009

8:14 PM

Today’s Evening Standard features an interview with Bernice McCabe, co-director of the Prince’s Teaching Institute. McCabe tells the paper that:

“He [the Prince of Wales] is very passionate about the fact that children need a good grasp of literature and that all children need to understand the history of our country,” she said. “He is passionate that these subjects should remain there in the curriculum.”

I happen to agree with the Prince of Wales on this point, but it is completely unacceptable that someone is speaking for him on what is a political issue. The monarchy survives in this country on the basis that it doesn’t express political opinions in public, a rule that the Queen has observed. (Clarence House is saying there is nothing to comment on because the Prince hasn’t said anything himself, but this argument doesn’t really work as McCabe is saying what his views are and it is therefore up to the Prince’s spokespeople to say that McCabe doesn’t speak for him).  If Prince Charles wants to continuing expressing views on subjects that are part of political debate like education, climate change, and the built environment then we are heading for a constitutional disaster.  

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