Prince Charles seeks more powerful role as King

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young_guns
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http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...charles-allies

Prince Charles is ready to reshape the monarch’s role when he becomes king and make “heartfelt interventions” in national life in contrast to the Queen’s taciturn discretion on public affairs, his allies have said.

In signs of an emerging strategy that could risk carrying over the controversy about his alleged meddling in politics into his kingship, sources close to the heir say he is set to continue to express concerns and ask questions about issues that matter to him, such as the future of farming and the environment, partly because he believes he has a duty to relay public opinion to those in power.


To my mind, this is unacceptable. He seems to believe he can unilaterally change the role of the monarchy in public life and abandon the fundamental idea that the monarch must be apolitical and uncontroversial. He wants to be free to make public interventions into the political realm where and when he sees fit. He's playing a dangerous game, and risks the future of the institution itself.

Also, the idea that a man as out of touch as Prince Charles believing he will "relay public opinion to those in power" is puerile. The man is beginning to lose touch with reality.
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DaveSmith99
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I can't wait for King Charles, it will probably be the only shot of abolishing the whole ridiculous institution there will be in my lifetime.
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Ace123
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(Original post by young_guns)
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...charles-allies



To my mind, this is unacceptable. He seems to believe he can unilaterally change the role of the monarchy in public life and abandon the fundamental idea that the monarch must be apolitical and uncontroversial. He wants to be free to make public interventions into the political realm where and when he sees fit. He's playing a dangerous game, and risks the future of the institution itself.

Also, the idea that a man as out of touch as Prince Charles believing he will "relay public opinion to those in power" is puerile. The man is beginning to lose touch with reality.

I am not sure the title of the thread is quite correct, he isn't seeking more power or to change the role of the Monarchy the article just seems to suggest he wants to express his opinions more then the Queen does now and talk about issues he cares about (I assume the Green issue will be a key one) Many Monarchs before have been quite opinionated, Victoria expressed her views quite strongly & often would outright argue with the PM's she didn't like
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L i b
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(Original post by young_guns)
To my mind, this is unacceptable. He seems to believe he can unilaterally change the role of the monarchy in public life and abandon the fundamental idea that the monarch must be apolitical and uncontroversial.
The monarch isn't apolitical. They are not partisan, but they are intimately involved in the political system.

Even the Guardian, which does not give too hoots about preserving the role of the constitutional monarch, seems to have failed to get a story here. We have unnamed "sources" who aren't even saying anything in particular: it's a lot of rambling and speculation. Even when the article gets to a point, which is rare, it says stuff like this--

"sources close to the heir say he is set to continue to express concerns and ask questions about issues that matter to him, such as the future of farming and the environment"

That is precisely the duty of the monarch, as set out in Bagehot. There is no question that is what a monarch will do - every one has and every one in the future will.

He's playing a dangerous game, and risks the future of the institution itself.

Also, the idea that a man as out of touch as Prince Charles
Something gives me the idea that you don't particularly value the institution either. May I suggest that we'd be better leaving the future of the monarchy to someone who actually cares about it deeply?
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young_guns
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(Original post by Ace123)
I am not sure the title of the thread is quite correct, he isn't seeking more power or to change the role of the Monarchy the article just seems to suggest he wants to express his opinions more
Which would be to change the role of the monarchy. It's widely accepted that the reason the current monarch has been so good is precisely because she has remained out of the public fray and above politics.

then the Queen does now and talk about issues he cares about
When?

Many Monarchs before have been quite opinionated, Victoria expressed her views quite strongly & often would outright argue with the PM's she didn't like
The first point is that was in the frikkin 19th century! The second is that she did that in private. If you're arguing about what's acceptable based on a period when more than 50% of the population still didn't have the vote, then god help the monarchy
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Rakas21
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Nothing wrong with expressing concerns and asking questions.

That being said, the sooner William is on the throne the sooner the monarchies future is secured.
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young_guns
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(Original post by L i b)
The monarch isn't apolitical
Actually, the monarch is apolitical. It would not be appropriate for the monarch to make an intervention in an area that is the subject of political and democratic debate (for example, how large should the defence budget be) even if it was on a non-partisan basis

That is precisely the duty of the monarch, as set out in Bagehot.
It sounds like you haven't actually read Bagehot. The monarch's has the right and duty to encourage, to advise and to warn. And that is behind closed doors, not as a figure of public controversy.

Something gives me the idea that you don't particularly value the institution either.
If by that you mean I'm not a typical lower-middle class Tory sycophant who cares so little for our current constitutional arrangements they'd be willing to toss them overboard, and confuses respect for the monarchy as an institution with sycophancy for the Windsors as people, then yes.

I am a theoretical republican but I support the monarchy's continued existence on Burkean grounds as long as it remains the kind of monarchy we have seen under Elizabeth II. If the occupant of the throne starts to have delusions of having some kind of special insight and believes it appropriate to make public and controversial interventions, I think it's time to abolish it
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Ghost.
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What if he is a good king tho, And him speaking up, anout how the people in the uk feel, might wake our deadbeat politicians up ?
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young_guns
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Nothing wrong with expressing concerns and asking questions.
So you'd be happy for the King to publicly express concerns about the bedroom tax?
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Rakas21
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(Original post by young_guns)
So you'd be happy for the King to publicly express concerns about the bedroom tax?
Sure.

The monarchs job is to give royal assent, if he wants to make a fuss in the meantime then I'm not overly bothered.
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young_guns
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(Original post by Gott)
They have become a part of celebrity culture which makes them to my mind only good for promoting cynisism (essential for a functioning democrasy, although having said that its only important among the intellectual population and is a curse on the ignorant which makes up a major proportion of the population)
That's a very good point, and not one I'd considered before. Having an interventionist monarch also further undermines democratic governance at a time where far too many people in this country are obsessed with the politics of grievance and a kind of churlish, narrow-minded, "Oh all politicians are only in it for themselves" disposition.
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young_guns
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(Original post by Rakas21)
Sure.

The monarchs job is to give royal assent, if he wants to make a fuss in the meantime then I'm not overly bothered.
Wow, so you'd be willing to go further and have the King not just intervene in political controversies but also to withhold royal assent if he disagrees with the content of a bill?

Incredible. I suppose some people just need to be ruled, they need daddy whether it's in the form of a god or an activist king.

Suit yourself. Personally, it sounds to me like you've unmanned yourself
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Rakas21
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(Original post by young_guns)
Wow, so you'd be willing to go further and have the King not just intervene in political controversies but also to withhold royal assent if he disagrees with the content of a bill?

Incredible. I suppose some people just need to be ruled, they need daddy whether it's in the form of a god or an activist king.

Suit yourself. Personally, it sounds to me like you've unmanned yourself
No. The monarch must grant royal assent to just about anything. In the meantime though I have no objection to him debating behind closed doors or even sticking a letter in the Times.
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RayApparently
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(Original post by young_guns)
http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2...charles-allies



To my mind, this is unacceptable. He seems to believe he can unilaterally change the role of the monarchy in public life and abandon the fundamental idea that the monarch must be apolitical and uncontroversial. He wants to be free to make public interventions into the political realm where and when he sees fit. He's playing a dangerous game, and risks the future of the institution itself.

Also, the idea that a man as out of touch as Prince Charles believing he will "relay public opinion to those in power" is puerile. The man is beginning to lose touch with reality.
Ever watched "To Play the King"? Its all coming true!
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RayApparently
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To anyone who thinks politicians are out of touch - multiply that disconnection a hundred-fold and you'll have a Prince.
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L i b
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(Original post by young_guns)
Actually, the monarch is apolitical. It would not be appropriate for the monarch to make an intervention in an area that is the subject of political and democratic debate (for example, how large should the defence budget be) even if it was on a non-partisan basis

It sounds like you haven't actually read Bagehot. The monarch's has the right and duty to encourage, to advise and to warn. And that is behind closed doors, not as a figure of public controversy.
I cannot claim to have read the complete works of Bagehot, but I have certainly read the English Constitution. I studied constitutional law pretty extensively. If you want to turn this into a childish pissing contest, I do warn you I can piss rather higher than most.

There is no question that the head of state can oppose government policy in public: the monarch and his or her government speak with one voice. I never at any point suggested I held that position. That does not exclude the monarch from having views, and expressing them.

If by that you mean I'm not a typical lower-middle class Tory sycophant who cares so little for our current constitutional arrangements they'd be willing to toss them overboard, and confuses respect for the monarchy as an institution with sycophancy for the Windsors as people, then yes.
I'm afraid I don't travel in those circles, so I wouldn't know. A little perspective is perhaps required vis-a-vis the Windsors. Elizabeth II has been Queen for virtually everyone here's entire lifetime, plus decades before.

We must not confuse her individual style - which is the only example recent history provides - with the restrictiveness of constitutional monarchy: they are too very different things. You may well argue that the examples of previous monarchs is not itself instructive - that constitutional monarchy has moved on since the early 1950s. It's a line of argument that places a great onus on the person arguing: one monarchs practice is not evidence of constitutional convention.

It is very much the entitlement of every sovereign to adopt their own manner of governing, in line with our constitution.

If the occupant of the throne starts to have delusions of having some kind of special insight and believes it appropriate to make public and controversial interventions, I think it's time to abolish it
Yet, if you were a bit more familiar with Bagehot, he makes the case that a constitutional monarch does indeed have special insight by dint of their role. There's certainly a case for that, and it's something I largely agree with - obviously with certain caveats.

Indeed, Bagehot - if I remember correctly - extended that with an example of Prince Albert, who was active on in talking about social issues in very much the same way that Charles has as Prince of Wales.
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ChaoticButterfly
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Might help get the idea of a republic on the agenda
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Smash Bandicoot
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Coming to a cinema near you in 2016: Glorious Revolution 2-Curse of Cromwell. Starring Jason Statham as Prince Charles
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young_guns
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(Original post by L i b)
I cannot claim to have read the complete works of Bagehot, but I have certainly read the English Constitution. I studied constitutional law pretty extensively.
Do you mean studied in the law degree / LLM / BCL sense, or that you've read a few books on it? As someone who has also studied it extensively, both out of personal interest and as part of an LLB, I'd point out that the conventions that make up the UK constitution viz the monarch's behaviour don't have any legal standing as such.

That does not exclude the monarch from having views, and expressing them.
There are two issues with that. The first is that if it is an issue of controversy, a monarch's comments can only be taken to imply either criticism of the government (which most would agree is unconstitutional) or criticism of the opposition (which, unless it is in the form of the speech from the throne) could be considered partisan in nature.

If the monarch publicly states a position on a matter of controversy or on a political issue, it means the monarch effectively gets down into the mire and ceases to be above politics. It diminishes the monarch.

We must not confuse her individual style - which is the only example recent history provides - with the restrictiveness of constitutional monarchy: they are too very different things.
To the extent that other styles might have been possible prior to this current monarch, it wouldn't be appropriate any longer. I mean, as recently as the 1960s the Queen appointed a Prime Minister (Home) despite a majority of the Conservative Party preferring RAB Butler (now I accept that there are other considerations there, but that simply wouldn't occur now and wouldn't be seen to be appropriate)

one monarchs practice is not evidence of constitutional convention.
I disagree. Repeated practice in itself creates convention, that's one of the defining caracteristics of an unwritten constitution.

It is very much the entitlement of every sovereign to adopt their own manner of governing, in line with our constitution.
That's completely tautological. The whole point is that we are at odds over what is constitutional.

Yet, if you were a bit more familiar with Bagehot, he makes the case that a constitutional monarch does indeed have special insight by dint of their role.
Insight to make decisions about the use of reserve powers in extreme circumstances, not insight to consider themselves as some kind of moral arbiter who will wade into public debates. And it is simply absurd that Charles believes that he can "explain" public opinion to elected politicians.

Many people confuse the fact we've had a very good monarch with inherent traits of monarchy. They forget it's entirely possible to have bad monarchs (republicanism was probably more popular during the reigns of George IV, William IV and Edward VIII than it is today), that's rather axiomatic given the selection process for the role. In fact, even as recently as 20 years ago people thought the monarchy was in danger of losing broad public support. It was brought back from the brink by the good management of the present occupant of the throne.

A bad monarch will push it back in the other direction, and people are far less likely to be tolerant of such a monarch. The left will abhor Charles for the obvious reasons, and many on the right will feel equally disgusted by his sympathy for Islam and extremist environmental views.

In any case, if that's what he wants, have at it. I think it risks the end of the monarchy. But I suppose I don't care one way or the other, I look at it from a practical perspective. If the system works, keep it. If it doesn't, ditch it. I don't feel any inherent obligation to support the monarchy if it starts to become a caricature of itself.
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Swanbow
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I like Charles, and if he wishes to speak on a matter which he cares deeply of while Monarch so be it. Hardly the end of the bloody world is it?

I hate these wish wash republicans who want a republic only because they don't like Charles, or the so called monarchists who would rather Charles defy constitutional convention and immediately abdicate in favour of William. One of the downsides of a Monarchy is that you don't get to choose the head of state! You either agree with the existence of the institution or you don't.
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