Mon, Nov 17, 2008 - Page 6 News List

Britain’s Charles wants to speak out as king: biographer

AFP , LONDON

Britain’s Prince Charles wants to break with tradition and keep speaking out on key issues when he becomes king, biographer Jonathan Dimbleby said in the Sunday Times newspaper.

Charles, the heir to the throne, is outspoken on several matters. However, sovereigns traditionally keep their opinions out of the public domain.

“There are now discreet moves afoot to redefine the future role of the sovereign so that it would allow King Charles III to speak out on matters of national or international importance in ways that at the moment would be unthinkable,” Dimbleby said.

Queen Elizabeth II has adhered to the tradition that the monarch’s views are only heard by prime ministers and the privy council.

“To breach this convention, however cautiously, would represent a seismic shift in the role of the sovereign,” Dimbleby wrote.

Charles would not speak out to the degree he does now, Dimbleby said.

“But those who believe Britain needs an ‘active’ sovereign in the 21st century claim that it would be a waste of his experience and accumulated wisdom for it to be straightjacketed within the confines of an annual Christmas message or his weekly audience with the prime minister,” he wrote.

Charles has told confidantes that he would like the role of monarch to evolve so that his experience and knowledge are not wasted once he inherits the throne, Dimbleby said.

“This is not an issue that the prince likes to discuss in such terms even with his most trusted intimates,” Dimbleby said.

However, “he has latterly intimated to one or two of his confidants that he would like his present role to evolve so that once he inherits the crown, his knowledge and experience, his contacts and his unique ability to ‘convene’ others in the national interest could be put to good use rather than go to waste.”

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