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  Prince Charles responds to "meddling" accusations           ★★★ 【字体:
Prince Charles responds to "meddling" accusations
作者:佚名    文章来源:BBC News    点击数:5    更新时间:2019/12/21 (第12教学周)  

 
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The Prince of Wales says he will not express views on controversial issues, when he becomes King. He told the BBC, ahead of his 70th birthday next week, that he recognised being heir to the throne, and head of state, were two very different roles. In the past, the prince has campaigned strongly on issues such as the environment, and architecture, and faced accusations of "meddling" from some quarters. Our royal correspondent Nicholas Witchell has this report.

The Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Australia. A place where a prince who is passionate about the environment could barely control his frustrations at the failure of governments to do more about climate change.

"We're running out of time, because the necessary action hasn't been taken, has it? That's the problem. And I cannot believe that people simply pay no attention to science."

Charles has been speaking out now for nearly half a century, but as he approaches his 70th birthday next week he knows better than anyone that a new role beckons. When he succeeds to the throne his public interventions must stop, but can the passionate prince transition to a monarch who doesn't meddle? In tonight's BBC documentary Charles said explicitly and publicly that he could and would.

"I won't be able to do the same things I've done as heir, so of course you operate within the constitutional parameters, but it's a different function."

"Of course people have expressed worries about whether this involvement will continue in the same way?"

"No, it won't. I'm not that stupid. I do realise that it is a separate exercise, being sovereign. So of course, you know, I understand entirely how that should operate."

Those undertakings are significant. They should mean an end to Charles' sometimes controversial speeches -

like a monstrous carbuncle on the face of much loved and elegant friend.

- and articles, like this one on genetically modified crops. And then there's his letter writing, his so-called black spider handwritten letters to ministers, asking questions about causes which have caught his eye. Charles' acceptance that these interventions must cease as King have reassured constitutional experts.

"It is very welcome, because some people have been worried that when he becomes King he might continue to send his famous spider memos to ministers and the like, but he's now come out and said he recognises that as monarch it's a very different role."

But that's not to say that as monarch he will be without influence. It just has to be exercised with care.

The constitutional conventions are clear. A British monarch shouldn't make public interventions, as Charles has now explicitly accepted. But a king or queen can encourage or warn - but that must be done privately to the Prime Minister.

Slowly but surely the way is being prepared for the moment when the crown passes from a monarch noted for her discretion to a prince noted, until now, for his tendency to speak his mind. Nicholas Witchell, BBC News, Buckingham Palace.
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