Thursday, May 22, 2014

Prince Charles Is No Stay-At-Home Wife

Ah, Prince Charles. You may have done it again. For those of you who haven't followed British (or Russian) events lately, the heir to the British throne has allegedly made an offhanded comment comparing Putin to Hitler during a private conversation with a woman who escaped the Holocaust. It caused an uproar--not so much the comparison itself but because of WHO Charles is. (For the most part, people agree the comparison is spot on.)

And of course in the British system, personal opining is a big no-no for the royals. The queen would never either publicly or offhandedly comment on her personal opinion.

So some British politicians now are calling again for Charles to resign as heir to the throne because he apparently can't respect the "gag" order that he has to stay out of politics.

I can see the issue here because he represents Britain but isn't coordinating with government officials on official public policy. But at the same time... hmm. it's just really fascinating. He has been in hot water before for kind of trying to "govern" a little, whether through injecting tiny personal opinions here and there or something like secretly inserting staffers into governmental offices (a matter that seems to have been blown way out of proportion).

All I know is that while Charles may not reign long, he will be a fascinating monarch in his own right because for the first time in probably several hundred years, the monarch might actually try to influence policy in a public manner rather than through the weekly private meetings with prime ministers.

Side note: Charles has yet to acknowledge if he actually made these remarks.

And here is some clarification as to why this issue might be so important.

I'm sure Queen Elizabeth II has had to sign plenty of bills she doesn't personally agree with. But under British law, any bill has to be signed by her to become law. And the way the government is set up, she is obligated to sign anything.

Now, Charles...I could see him signing plenty of bills he personally disagrees with, but if one crosses his desk that he strongly and deeply disagrees with, I can see him as the kind of guy who can't let that sit on his conscience. And he very well might refuse to sign the bill, thus throwing the British system into an uproar. It's just really interesting for me to think about this maybe happening.

In a way, the British royals are like an old-fashioned stay-at-home wife. They provide the looks and the pageantry but are expected to keep their opinions to themselves. This apparently isn't exactly to Charles's liking.

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