It is, of course, absurd that in the second decade of the 21st century, the Prince of Wales should again be testing the boundaries of his personal freedom to make political interventions (Prince proves he is a chip off the old block, 22 May). More depressing, however, is the supine reaction of Britain's party leaders. The roles of the monarch and heir to the throne are largely defined by precedent and constitutional conventions, so an action that is not challenged can ultimately form the basis of a putative right. By failing to express concern over Charles's recklessly indiscreet comments about Vladimir Putin, in which he compared the Russian president to Adolf Hitler, the UK's leading elected representatives have offered him implicit constitutional licence to make similar outbursts in the future. These can only serve to undermine the monarchy's value as an instrument of British diplomacy. Nick Clegg's claim that Charles should be "free to express himself" was presumably a clever ruse to hasten the advent of a republic. Otherwise, it was just rather silly.
Professor Philip Murphy
Director, Institute of Commonwealth Studies
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Grauniard letters page:
at 10:08 am