The meddling prince: Charles’ secret letters published 193



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We didn’t think the power had gone to his head but now we can’t be so sure – Prince Charles’ private letters to Labour ministers have been published following a long court battle.

Sent over 10 years ago, the letters are far-ranging and in one letter, the Prince of Wales wrote to the prime minister asking for more resources for the armed forces.

Other letters (27 altogether) released by The Guardian talk of the dominance of supermarkets, badger culling and the herbal medicine sector and were written between September 2004 and April 2005, reports the BBC.

He really is an older man!

According to The Guardian, the publication of letters Prince Charles sent to government ministers is a triumph for the Freedom of Information Act – the public have a right to know how those in authority are governing them.

This important release of letters shows us how the heir to the throne has been seeking to influence government policies – but are we really shocked?

Another letter from September 2004 details how concerned the prince was about the Army Air Corps’ ability to deploy equipment and was “frustrated by the poor performance of the existing Lynx aircraft in high temperatures”.

“I fear that this is just one more example of where our Armed Forces are being asked to do an extremely challenging job (particularly in Iraq) without the necessary resources,” he wrote. Tony Blair responded and said they were already aware.

Earlier the next year, in February 2005, Prince Charles wrote another letter to Mr Blair and argue that supermarkets and retailers were the “single biggest issue affecting British farmers and the food chain”.

It seems like any respond Mr Blair had was merely a courtesy – you couldn’t ignore a Prince’s letters, surely?

BBC royal correspondent Peter Hunt says that royal officials say Charles has done nothing inappropriate and at no stage did he talk about party political matters.

It looks like his critics will accuse him of meddling and those who adore him will insist he cares about the issues he raises and is using his power only for good.

But Graham Smith, chief executive of anti-monarchy campaign group Republic, said the prince “does meddle”.

He said the government had wanted the letters kept secret “so that we can carry on pretending he [the prince] is impartial”.

“In fact they [members of the royal family] are busy trying to influence politicians… and that is not acceptable in a democratic society”.


So what do you think? Is Prince Charles just a cranky old man with a bee in his bonnet or do his letters make sense? Is he just exercising his right to have a say or is this an attempt to put his nose where it doesn’t belong?

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  1. He has a right to have his say it doesnt matter who he is and who really cares what he said 10yrs ago surely there are more important things to write about.

  2. Dont forget that he has freedom of speech a god given right of every one .get over it there is worse going on in the world than what’s said years ago.

  3. Murdoch is always meddling , I do think Charles is as entitled to a say about things he cares about the same as any other person . I would find it interesting to read what he has to say unlike anything Murdoch has to say which Is Always being rammed down out throats wether we like it or not .

    2 REPLY
  4. I cant stand Charles. But he has a right to have a say he is after all a human being…

    3 REPLY
    • So, it is really not relevant whether you like Charles or not. We are talking about his imput, not his popularity here.

    • Well Jenny nothing is relevant what i say or feel to be just saying he has a right to have his say.why has it become a debate or an issue because he wrote letters ten years ago .so freaking what.

    • Oh an jenny cathcart noticed you didnt have a go at everyone else that said the same and similar to me… guess I’m privileged to have relevancy.

  5. the royals are exempt from the Freedom of Information act. …Charles & Betty frequently lobby the British govt to change policies & bills not in their families best interest …same act also keeps secret the cost of security for royal family …apparently in the millions each year ….

    2 REPLY
    • They can’t be too exempt,if his letters were published. Rosanna, I believe you have a problem with the Royals and are trying to justify your theories.

    • The Royal familiy bring in millions each year in tourism .. much more than it costs for their security or upkeep. And how do you know they lobby the government?

  6. I agree…he had a right to an opinion, the same as anyone else! Most of the topics are related to his Green ideals anyway! He,s not asking for political issues to be addressed. To the person who suggested that the royals ask the Government to change things to their advantage…please be very careful what you say. The Royal family generate far more money for the UK than what they cost to protect.

  7. Why are you shocked that he would write letters regarding his country. He is as much entitled to do so as anyone else and was merely voicing his views. He loves his country, is an environmentalist and wants done what he think is best for his country. No different to us stating our views on this site or writing letters. The Queen can dictate to any government but never has done, but keeps in close contact with the government of the day on all issues. The Queen might not share the views of Prince Charles so he puts pen to paper. No big deal.

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    • As far as I’m aware “the Queen can dictate to any Government” is a false statement. The reigning monarch fortunately lost that ‘right’ long ago.

  8. He’s entitled to his opinion, as we all are. He’s entitled to write to politicians, as we all are. The fact that he’s a prince is irrelevant in this case – except to the media.

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