May 23

Prince Charles: Leadership beyond politics


There is a growing worldwide recognition of the significant role Prince Charles is playing in fields as diverse as protecting the rainforests, preserving our architectural heritage, and practical ways of helping the disadvantage.

Yet republicans think that when the Prince succeeds to the Throne some sort of as yet undefined politicians’ republic will miraculously fall into their laps. They are of course making a serious mistake. May they continue down  this road to their republican dead end.

The Prince’s world leadership role was perhaps most noticed during the recent G20 Summit in London (“Prince Charles: Respected World Statesman,” 5 April 2009).

…..passion for the environment…

The Prince was recently awarded the Royal Horticultural Society's highest accolade, the Victoria Medal of Honour at the Chelsea Flower Show  in recognition of  'his passion for plants, sustainable gardening and the environment'.

The Prince's interest in the environment comes from a time when it was not at all fashionable, and some in the media would caricature him for this.   How times have changed – it is no exaggeration to say we are all environmentalists now. 

The Medal was presented by his mother The Queen, whose hand the Prince gallantly kissed.   

The Prince of Wales numbers among only 63 horticulturalists entitled to hold the award at any one time. This number was chosen to commemorate Queen Victoria's years on the Throne.

As Paul Harris observed in the Daily Mail (19/5) it was “the first time the plants have had a chance to say thank you.

The Prince famously admitted that he talked to plants when he was interviewed for a TV programme in 1986. Asked about his gardening practices and philosophies, he replied: 'I just come and talk to the plants, really. Very important to talk to them – they respond, I find.' “

In the meantime the Prince continues to fight for the retention of our architectural heritage, exemplified by his intervention to protect the Chelsea Barracks (“Prince Charles defends old London,” 5 May 2009).  In his recent address to the Royal British Institute of Architects,  he stood his ground (“Parliament of spivs; Prince of good sense,” 18 May 2009. 

…The low carbon House of Windsor…

Prince Charles is not only interested in the past. His Foundation for the Built Environment – one of his many charities – has just developed what is called The Natural House. This is a low-carbon prototype which is being created at the Building Research Establishment in Watford by HRH's own Foundation for the Built Environment.

A report on this by Eve McGowan in the Daily Mail (19/5) appeared under this most appropriate headline, “ The low carbon House of Windsor”.

This prototype “eco-home” is made of clay blocks, rendered in lime and hemp, and insulated with wood fibre and sheep's wool. It is said to be simple, cheap, and will serve as an example to volume house builders.

The Prince is making a major contribution to he well being of the world. This is already over shadowing the attempts by those who practice caricature journalism.  



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