Queen's Privy Counsellor: Meddling Charles is unfit to be a king

Prince Charles is unfit to be king because of his political interference, says a member of the Queen's Privy Council.

Joyce Quin, a Labour peer, says Charles’s activities ‘verge on the grotesque’ and ‘will need to be curbed if he is to undertake the duties of a monarch’.

Charles - who has said he may reign as King George VII (George is his middle name) rather than King Charles III in honour of his grandfather and to avoid association with the bad years of the reigns of the other two King Charleses - has often written letters to Ministers in which he has given his opinion on a variety of subjects, including GM crops, architecture and the environment. He is an ardent environmentalist and a fan of more traditional-style architecture.

Charles once vented his anger when a futuristic, glass-and-metal design for the new Chelsea Barracks was chosen ahead of an 18th Century, European-style design. He called the chosen design a "carbuncle."

Quin has branded this ‘unconstitutional’ and warns that he could be stripped of his role as head of the Church of England.

The British monarch is not supposed to be political and interfere in British politics, and is banned from entering the House of Commons.

However, you'd probably find that a larger proportion of the British people think that Charles should be allowed to speak his mind about any subject.

Her Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council is an ancient body dating back to the time of the Norman Conquest.

Queen's Privy Counsellor: Meddling Charles is unfit to be a king with political interference 'verging on the grotesque'

By Glen Owen
27th February 2010
Daily Mail

Memos: Prince Charles often sends Ministers notes about his thoughts on a range of subjects

Prince Charles is unfit to become King because of his persistent interference in political matters, according to a Labour peer who is a member of the Queen’s Privy Council.

The controversial suggestion has been made by Joyce Quin in a guide she has written to the British Constitution.

Baroness Quin, a Minister in Tony Blair’s Government, says Charles’s activities ‘verge on the grotesque’ and ‘will need to be curbed if he is to undertake the duties of a monarch’.

In further attacks she describes the Prince’s ‘propensity to write letters to Ministers on a variety of subjects’ as ‘unconstitutional’ and warns that he could be stripped of his role as head of the Church of England.

The baroness’s outspoken remarks in her book The British Constitution are all the more stinging because she is a member of the Privy Council, the august body of Royal advisers that dates from the Norman Conquest of 1066.

Although most of its powers have been taken over by the Cabinet, the counsellors retain privileges such as issuing Royal charters.

According to the Privy Council Office:

The Privy Council is one of the oldest parts of Government, but it has, over time, adapted to reflect the fact that the United Kingdom is a constitutional monarchy. The Privy Council advises on the exercise of prerogative powers and certain functions assigned to The Queen and the Council by Act of Parliament. It is therefore the mechanism through which interdepartmental agreement is reached on those items of Government business which, for historical or other reasons, fall to Ministers as Privy Counsellors rather than as Departmental Ministers. This includes much business under the Royal Prerogative, including the affairs of Chartered bodies, as well as statutory areas where an Act of Parliament has given an Order-making power to the Privy Council.

Appointment to the Privy Council is for life, but only Ministers of the Government of the day participate in its policy work.

The Privy Council Office is the Secretariat of the Privy Council. Its ministerial head is the Lord President of the Council, Lord Mandelson, and the Clerk of the Council is Judith Simpson. Much of the day-to-day work of the Privy Council Office is concerned with the affairs of Chartered Bodies, the 900 or so institutions, charities and companies who are incorporated by Royal Charter.

The Privy Council also has an important part to play in respect of certain statutory regulatory bodies covering a number of professions and in the world of higher education.

Baroness Quin writes about how, during her time as a Farming Minister, she had visited the Prince’s home at Highgrove and had been ‘taken aback’ by a sign reading ‘you are now entering a GM-free zone’ – a reference to his support for non-genetically modified foods.

She says: ‘If the Prince found himself King of a pro-GM government, his anti-GM stance would be seen as constitutionally improper and even untenable.’

Charles has faced controversy over his political ‘meddling’ since it was revealed that he had bombarded Ministers with ‘black spider’ memos – a reference to his handwriting – on issues such as the environment, architecture and the education system.

In the letters, he bemoaned the fact that young people ‘think they can all be pop stars’ and said he feared that the growth in nanotechnology would lead to out-of-control ‘nanobots reducing all the Earth’s biomass to grey goo’.

Guide: Baroness Quin

But the baroness, who was also a Europe Minister, says that ‘the justification of this by “sources close to the Prince” that he merely wishes to expound views which otherwise might not be listened to – such as that of farmers – does not hold water’.

She adds: ‘It verged on the grotesque when the Prince apparently endorsed a highly sectarian view that farmers were treated less well than “blacks and gays”.

‘Have “blacks and gays” received generous annual subsidies from the taxpayer to the average tune of £30,000 each for the last 35 years?’

She says threateningly that the Monarchy will be safeguarded only if the Royals are ‘circumspect’ in their behaviour.

And she gives a warning that ‘even if the Monarchy itself survives, aspects of the constitutional role will be the subject of ongoing debate. The status of the Monarch as head of the Church of England could be changed in the future without the Monarchy itself being replaced’.

A Clarence House spokesman said: ‘We have always maintained that the Prince has the right to communicate with Ministers in his role as Heir to the Throne and as a Privy Counsellor.’

Last night Baroness Quin was not returning phone calls.


Baroness, I think you will find that Prince Charles voices the opinion of quite a few of British people, at least those who care for this country.

He is a Prince of Wales now and there is no 'constitutional' obstacle for him to discretely voice his opinion on variety of issues, which the Prince does. Moreover, as member of the Privy Council, he is perfectly entitled to do that.
Once he is King, I am sure he will limit his interference. Prince Charles knows the responsibility and duties of a Monarch better than anyone else.

By the way, who exactly gave you the right to strip him of his role as head of the Church of England? Is Labour that determined to bring the end of everything British, including Monarchy?

- Amanda, London, UK

Baronness Quin should remember that Prince Charles is a British citizen and has as much right to express his views as anyone else in these islands, free speech applies to him as much as anyone, by writing letters he is able to express those views without causing public embarrassment for the lower rank plodders such as she.

- dunxx, South Africa

Charles is not yet the king and has every right to communicative his feelings the same as any free man under the Westminster system. This woman is nuts.

- Bea Kay, Melbourne, Australia

As the monarch, he would have every right to voice his opinion or concern to the prime minister of the time who would or not take note.As the monarch is a constant and politicians come and go, the monarchs opinions would be dismissed at the peril of the government of the time.

- bernie, romford,essex

There are some who think they are all high and mighty, they dislike the monarch, and which to see it destroyed. much like they have destroyed British tradition in the name of move over folks we are letting them in and you have no say

- jack, Boston USA,

This woman is a fool. Charles is a citizen of this country the same as all of us, he has every right to send letters to parliament, just as we do.
Labour have torn this country apart too much as it is. They ought to keep their hands off of our monarchy.
Okay some of Charles's ideas may be a little potty, but the important thing is HE CARES, more than what the liebour traitors do.

- David Cole, Great yarmouth

www.privy-council.org.uk (external - login to view)
Last edited by Blackleaf; Feb 28th, 2010 at 12:49 PM..
Any and all members of the so-called "royal" family is unfit to be king.

Any human being is unfit to be king or queen.

Any Head of State should be Head of State by ELECTION, not by an archaic and atavistic, out-of-date institution, supported only by servile and senile living-in-the-past drones.
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