Prince Charles has found himself in the eye of a storm, with a BBC headline reporting: ‘Prince Charles “compared Russian action to Nazis” ‘ First, the context: Prince Charles did not, out of the blue, grab a microphone at an event and start talking international politics.
The Prince, taking an increasing amount of the workload off his mother, the 88-year old monarch, was visiting an immigration museum in Nova Scotia, Canada. The Prince started talking to a 78 year old lady, Marienne Ferguson, who works in the museum. He asked her, in a private conversation, when she came to Canada and she replied, “…in 1939.”
Marienne said that she was talking to the Prince about how Hitler was going into countries and taking them over at the time and she said that the Prince then said something along the lines of it being “not unlike what is now happening in Russia, what Putin is doing”. Now, in the context of the conversation, and considering the fact that the Prince was talking to a lady who had got out of Poland just in time, something other members of her family, tragically, did not manage to do, it is not surprising that Putin’s actions in The Crimea/Ukraine came to mind.
The Prince is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. There are people who say that he is an irrelevance and there are others who, when he speaks and tries to set an agenda for change in areas of our lives, say that he should shut up. It’s all about getting the balance right.
The Queen’s reign has been, and continues to be, a great success. Yes, there have been some ups and downs but, overall, I think she has been close to perfect in the role. So dignified, so professional, so committed. The Prince of Wales is a very different kettle of fish. He is very passionate about the world in which we live, not just in relation to the UK and the Commonwealth but concerning the planet. He cares deeply about the future and the direction in which mankind is going. He cares about the environment, art, architecture, town planning, health and humanity amongst other spheres in our lives. Some say that he has no right to speak on such matters as he has not been elected to speak on our behalf. I think that his NOT having been elected, his not being an MP or a Government Minister — that this is precisely why we should be interested in what he has to say. He is not looking for votes. He does not have to pander to an electorate. He can say what he really believes. The Prince meets so many people from so many walks of life, he meets experts in many fields, he visits more places around the world than most of us can only dream of visiting during the course of our lives.
The Prince’s education started the day he was born and continues to this day. It has been an outstanding education, so wide and varied, his instruction coming from the thousands of experts, scientists, doctors, professors, historians, farmers, fisherman, meteorologists, musicians, architects, builders, entrepreneurs… Prince Charles is surely the most educated man on the planet — what a phenomenal resource. When he speaks on a subject, if someone were to ask him, “what do you know about it”, I’m sure that he could honestly and truthfully say, “I know quite a lot about it”. OK, the Prince has to avoid controversy. He can get close to the political arena and geopolitical matters but he has to go no further than the sidelines but I, for one, want to hear his views, not from a Right Wing or Left Wing perspective, not political-speak, but I want to hear this super-educated man’s opinion and views on the ‘big picture’.
Remember, The Queen came to the Throne when she was only 25 years old and, from that time, although her education has continued, although she has always been learning, she has had to focus on her duties as the Monarch. Prince Charles, however, has had the ‘luxury’ of being able to maintain wide and varied interests and, if the British people let him, they, and the rest of the world, can benefit. To ignore the Prince of Wales, to call him an irrelevance, to brush him aside as an unelected anachronism is so short-sighted and people who do that are cutting off their nose to spite the face.
Long Live The Queen, Long Live The Prince of Wales and Long Live The British Monarchy!