Friday, 25 June 2010


At the risk of crossing swords with my dear bloggy mate Dean, I feel obliged to put down my feelings about the Duke of Rothsay, Earl of Carrick, Great Steward and Lord of the Isles, and his use of his position and connections to intervene in matters well outside the remit of the Royal family.

This time it has ended in tears as a high court judge described his opposition to building plans as "unexpected and unwelcome".

Justice Vos ruled that Charles's intervention in plans for the £3bn Chelsea barracks redevelopment placed the rulers of Qatar, who owned the site, in "an impossible position" and had an impact on the views of the elected politicians charged with deciding on the plans' merits.

The whole story is here, but in essence Voss found that Qatari Diar, a property development company owned by Qatar's royal family, changed its plans for the prime London site as a result of the Charles's direct complaint to the Emir that he did not like the designs by the firm of Lord Rogers.

Charles made clear his opposition to the plan at a meeting with the Emir and he wrote to the prime minister of Qatar saying the designs were part of a "gigantic experiment with the very soul of our capital city".

He wanted instead something more "old-fashioned" like the buildings in "Bath or 18th-century Edinburgh" in its place.

Justice Vos said that Qatari Diar was "caught between a rock and a hard place" as a result of Charles’s intervention and that the company had been forced to make decisions with "diplomatic and political implications".

The judgment said that the Duke had used his powerful influence lobbying fellow royals and was prepared to put pressure on the mayor, Westminster city council and the media. This put Qatari Diar in a very difficult position and left Qatari Diar executives trying to "calm the political waters and prevent royal feathers being further ruffled".

Vos also ruled that even after the Qataris had decided to pursue an alternative scheme, Charles's position continued to have an "impact on the views of the officers and politicians (but primarily the latter) at Westminster city council and the Greater London authority".

This is absolutely insupportable. The role of the monarch is to be aware, to advise and to warn her Prime Minister, in private, without ever expressing a public view. The role of her family is to support her in this.

The people who deal with planning consent are elected not bred, to do so.

I predict that when Charles takes over as head of state he will have the delicately balanced relationship between government and monarchy tumbling down round his ears within a couple of years, possibly sooner if he insists on having that woman that the Church, of which he will be head, does not recognize as his lawfully wedded wife, crowned as Queen Camilla Parker-Bowles.

It’s no secret that this blog would be happy to see the royals replaced with an elected head of state. If Charles of Rothsay continues to behave in this way we may well get our wish.


  1. A slow news day I'm afraid Tris. Therefore it's dominated by a fool who has never earned a penny from his own physical effort in his life.

  2. It's a lame post I know SR, but I didn't want to start blogging at this time of night on the clash between the public sector and Mr Camerclegg.

    I should leave that till I'm not so tired.... or maybe you'll do it. <;¬)

    PS... I have a pile of grass that needs digging up. If he's free he could come and do that. Minimum wage!!

  3. amazing influence of the Royal familyJune 26, 2010 1:00 am

    Our Royalty is often written off in your blog tris as an irrelevance, yet here is a £7m a year Royal family blocking a billion pound development. Royalty may be maligned in the UK but it actually counts in the real world and can influence billion dollar decisions either in favour or against us. For such a tiny annual outlay where could you ever get such influence on the world stage ?

  4. Good evening...aiofrf morning actually.

    If you are unelected you shouldn't be influential. What he did was corrupt. He by-passed the proper channels and used his name, and the kind of influence he has on sycophants who think that his blood is blue and he is a different species from the rest of us who doesn't functions in a different way (if you catch my drift) to get what HE wanted.

    It probably hasn't occurred to him that only a few people could afford to live, or work in the kind of property he is advocating. But then he wouldn't know anything about 'not being able to afford' anything ever in his entire existence, as there is nothing that he could reasonably want that he can't afford. (Within reason, I accept. He couldn't afford the whole of Africa for example.)

    Regardless, it’s not his function to do that. It’s not HIS capital it’s the capital of the English. And he doesn’t represent them, never having been elected.

    His current role is to open things and make speeches and generally sup-port his old mother. Not to poke his nose into things which are the rightful province of the elected representatives.

    It’s his job to be irrelevant.. and when your job is to be irrelevant, it’s probably time to make yourself redundant and bugger off somewhere where you can hunt and fish and shoot, and generally kill things to your heart’s content.

    Sooner they are gone the better.

  5. It’s absolutely appalling that Charles feels he has the God given right to interfere in this way. If they don’t want huge parts of their capital looking like Lord Rogers land (incidentally Rogers was knighted in 1991 by Queen Elizabeth II. He was created Baron Rogers of Riverside in 1996. Rogers was appointed a Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour in the 2008 Birthday Honours list. So he is hardly anything but an establishment figure) then don’t sell it to the Qatari Royal family. But now that you have it is up to the planning department of the City of Westminster to decide what is architecturally acceptable not some un-elected, opinionated royal.

    I agree Charles will be a disaster as King, the best thing a republican can hope for. It should start with his insistence on the royal crocodile becoming Queen Mrs Parker-Bowles.

  6. Nonsense.

    Would we rather have our future King a quiet, uninterested by-standard, or a future monarch passionate about our capital, our culture and our future heritage?

    I am content that we have a future king with passions, beliefs and interests. More than we can say for many of our MPs; who all seem apart of a managerial class.

  7. "amazing influence of the Royal family said...
    Our Royalty is often written off in your blog tris as an irrelevance, yet here is a £7m a year Royal family blocking a billion pound development. Royalty may be maligned in the UK but it actually counts in the real world and can influence billion dollar decisions either in favour or against us. For such a tiny annual outlay where could you ever get such influence on the world stage ?"

    Damn good point!

  8. Deary, dear Dean, talk about brainwashed! Of course you have never yet successfully settled the dichotomy of your unwavering support for the Queen because she does not interfere with you also unwavering support for the, supposed, next king Charles because he does interfere. Either interference is an asset in a monarch or it’s not. If you can’t resolve that dichotomy I would suggest you refrain from using it as an argument for monarchy because either way it makes a mockery of your logic and a nonsense of your reasoning.

  9. "Either interference is an asset in a monarch or it’s not"

    It depends upon the individual monarch does it not?

    And I noticed that you avoided the issue: do you want a caring king or an uninterested one?

  10. Our current Queen is a bystander and does not interfere in anything, even things done in her name. This impartiality is often cited by the pro-monarchy cabal (including Dean) as one of the greatest assets of a constitutional monarchy after all if Prince Charles went on TV and said “vote Labour” that really wouldn’t be on would it? It may be an extreme example to make the point but that is in effect what Charles is doing here. He is setting himself up against, in this case, the elected government of the City of Westminster and its planning department. The minute he tries that with the Prime Minister and government policy is the minute he will find himself abolished.

  11. Dean: I don't want a king at all and I thought that I have made that abundantly clear.
    I’m sorry Dean that wont do. I’m not going to put up with a cop out like that. Constitutionally speaking is the notion of monarchical interference a good thing or a bad thing? Yes or No will suffice after all the constitution cannot take into account the personality of the sovereign can it? Nor can it set limits on interference based on the supposed personality of an individual can it?

  12. Munguin,

    Charles is entitled to his personal views, and is entirely within his rights to campaign on issues of importance to him.

    You would deny him that right? As heir to the throne it is vital that he is active, through the excellent Princes Trust, in architecture. I want to know the future King cares deeply.

    You it seems do not.

    And let me shatter your illusion about Her Majesty. Before she came to the throne she was very active too; in her own way, in a manner suited to the times.

    All Charles is doing is the same, only in a different manner, suitable to our times.

    You have a republican agenda, thus you wish to reduce the relevance of our monarchy, Charles is very relevent. And good news.

  13. And monarchial activism is good or bad depending on the monarch. Seems simple, the monarch is entitled to his/her views. And can decide the suitable means to express them.

    As a subject, it is our duty to realise this inherent right that they have.

  14. Dean, so you are saying he will cease to interfere when he becomes king is that right?

    In which case you imply that monarchical interference is in effect a bad thing yes?

    When Princess Elizabeth was doing all the interefing before she became queen did she set herself up against the wishes of an elected body?

  15. I don't think I make a secret of my republican leanings, if I had I would hardly have used the word in the title of this blog would I?

  16. Munguin,

    It is preferential for a monarch to avoid activism once enthroned, surely. However it is for the monarch to decide if he/she is to be active or not.

    It is not for me to decide, or dictate to my monarch how to behave.

  17. Dean: your changing tack again now? Monarchical interference is a good thing after all? Just depends on the personality of the soverign? Even though its an established fact in all European monarchies that they don't interfere. But because it looks like Charles will its ok and now depends on personality and not the constitution after all.

  18. Now we are plumping on the fence in a convenient half way house, of its up to them. And its not for us in our lowly condition to dicate the behaviour of the God appointed.

  19. Can I suggest that you go and think about it and come back when you have made up your mind. You wont win over any republicans with the "its not for me to dicate to my soverign" line. This is the 21st century and its customary for our leaders to be elected otherwise they don't have a thing called a mandate which is what they invariably need to interfere.

  20. Munguin,

    Rubbish. An active monarch, before he comes to the throne is an excellent thing. An active monarch once in the throne can be an equally good thing.

    Equally an inactive monarch like Her Majesty is also a good thing, as she does it brilliantly.

    i.e the monarch can decide how to carry himself/herself. Either way we are all winners, and ought to celebrate our monarchy. The true embodiment of Britain.

  21. I hardly feel inclined to interfere in this interesting discussion between you two Dean and Munguin. But I shall, none the less.

    It seems to me that if we MUST have a monarch that the current one is a reasonably good example of how to behave. Utterly private. Neither you nor I have the slightest idea how Elizabeth feels about anything.

    Her faults actually are not really her fault (if you see what I'm saying). I suspect that she would be happy to live in one palace, but of course I have no real idea because of what I said in the last paragraph. (The fact that she takes corn flakes out of Tupperware suggests to me that, in private she's just like everyone else and all the grandeur is for show.) Unlike Charlie, who inherited his grandmother’s love of all things expensive and grand.

    In many ways I think Charlie’s right about this particular thing, but I wouldn’t have any idea about the costs involved. Certainly many modern buildings are an eyesore shortly after their erection, but erecting 18th century-style buildings in a day and age where the labourers expect to be able to eat from what they are paid, may out price even the people who might think of moving to that part of London. Charlie may not be aware that some people have limitations on their expenditure.

    The point is that, as Munguin says we can’t have a job description that wobbles over the personality of the job holder. The minute that the monarch takes a stand on anything, he or she starts to become political. If he supports something, then he has taken the side of a political party, and he has taken against another one. Here he has interfered with officials' and councillors' business.

    We can’t have him taking a political stance. What will happen if he takes against the Conservatives? They are about to make changes that will hurt everyone in the UK. What if that offends Charles’s known compassion for the poor and he speaks out about it. How can Camerclegg accept that? What will happen if the Labour Party starts to associate itself with the views of the Duke of Rothsay, he becomes their hero, and therefore the enemy of the party of big fat cat business....? Where are we then?

    The newspapers tried to insinuate that the Queen hated Mrs Thatcher and was angry about what she had done to the poor of the UK. “Queen furious at devastation of ....blah” headlines. Talk of how it never works when there are two women in a kitchen was rife.... But, it was all speculation. In the end they had no facts. The Queen’s opinion of Thatcher remains unknown to this day.

    Can I suggest Dean, you read “To play the King” Michael Dobbs (1992). That’s what could happen if the monarch interferes.

  22. But Dean how do we know that. The constitution calls for a monarch that does not interfere and you yourslf said that one of the best reasons for having a monarch was that they did not interfere. I don't remember you ading a caveat that interference was dependent on whether the monarch a) wanted to and b) had a personality suited to it. You cannot have it both ways no matter how hard you try. You have now floated a raft of excuses that skirt around the main thrust of this, that it is wrong for an unelected monacrch to interfere with an elected institution.

  23. Tris,

    It is the duty of any loyal monarchist to defend his leader at all times.

    "Disziplin, Treue, Ehre".

    discipline, loyalty, honour.

  24. Dean: What happens when he supports Labour over the Tories? Will you follow suit?

  25. Dean "his leader" don't you mean sovereign? After all is David Cameron or Annabel Goldie not your leader (or Nick Clegg)?

  26. God save the Prince of Wales, Duke of Rothsay and next defender of the faith.


    [wound up yet?]

  27. LOL Dean.... you're a bad bad boy!!