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The Madness of King Charles

This is a cross-post by James Snell

Soon, perhaps sooner than you think, Britain is due a change in monarch. That much is simple biology. What will follow, though, is far from scientific. Elizabeth II, who has sat on the throne for over 60 years, will die and arcane rules will determine that her son, Prince Charles, should succeed her and become king. Aside from complaints about the anachronistic, hereditary manner through which royal power is passed on, there are many reasons to be anxious about King Charles III’s ascension the throne.

The first and most obvious of these objections is Charles’ own nature. He is not a traditionalist, unlike his mother. Simply existing in silence and ceremony is not his style. Charles has pushed the impression that he will be an interventionist, keenly interfering in the affairs of the elected government of the nation he will rule. To some extent he has already done it, and in no small way. And this intervention is hardly benign. Anyone invested with a great deal of political status on an accident of birth is vulnerable to conceit and self-importance, and Charles exhibits these far from desirable traits in abundance. Some of his enthusiasms make for unhappy reading.

He writes a lot of letters. Some of them (popularly dubbed “black spider memos” due to the shape of the Prince’s scrawled handwriting), which were sent between Charles and Ministers of State throughout the terms of several governments, concern relatively minor things. In 1969 he apparently sent a note to Harold Wilson, then Prime Minister, about his concerns regarding Atlantic salmon.

Other examples of this trait are less absurd and parochial. Some are worrying to behold. Charles and Secretary for Health Jeremy Hunt, no less, have a shared interest in the pseudoscientific promotion of homeopathy. And the Prince once went on the record to suggest that horticulturalists ought to speak encouragingly to plants in order to ensure their growth.

Do read the rest of the post here.

A version of this article was first published in the August/September edition of Free Inquiry magazine.

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