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Prince Charles has finally won All it took was the end of the world

Il Tampaccino (Chris Jackson/Getty Images)


November 5, 2021   5 mins

Until this week, until the world’s leaders saluted him at COP26, hardly a day would pass without the Prince of Wales being bullied. The heir apparent was brutally insulted and mockingly sketched. Or taunted about his ears. Or his most deeply held beliefs. Or the collapse of his first marriage.

Back then Diana — always channeling the popular mood — called him “the boy wonder”, “killer Wales”, and “the great white hope”. She laughed at his medals; she said he’d never succeed his mother. When he tried to pray before bedtime, she’d hit him on the head, and shriek. This was the man’s wife. Imagine what Kelvin Mackenzie’s Sun was saying about him.

Not just the Sun in the Eighties. In more recent times, Charles has been described as a prat, a terrible prat, a dangerous prat, ill-advised, idiotic, the “puppet of sinister gurus”, dismal, a “sower of division and contention”, and “way too grand” — and that’s one article in the Spectator.

Foreigners found this legal national blood sport irresistible too. They joined the hunt. Charles, chuckled a New York Times editorial in 1994, existed for the world’s “amusement”. Perhaps the blackest day for him that year was when the Italian press reduced all those titles to
 “Il Tampaccino”. Being embarrassed for the primitivity of your sexploits by a nation that invented a sophisticated cinematic genre called ‘commedia sexy all’italiana’ would have pushed lesser Royalty over the edge. Not the heir apparent. Nor England. Letting the world ridicule our Prince was the one post-war export drive that actually seemed to work.

Other Royal Charlies had it better, didn’t they? A swift release from his troubles on the scaffold. A convenient hiding place in an oak tree. Ours has endured life as a dangling, slow-twirling, impossible to miss piñata. It would be human to feel sorry for him, if he didn’t feel so sorry for himself.

Even his mother baited him. “Charles is hopeless” was her crushing verdict. “Not all the water in the rough rude sea can wash the balm from an anointed king,” Shakespeare makes Richard II claim. Well, with Charles, the rough sea tried. And tried.

Now that sea is washing out at long last. Finally, Charles is respected, admired, and — most shockingly of all — listened to. His balm is pristine again. It’s not the crown he possesses. Rather it’s an apparently merited authority, derived less from his birthright than from the time-weathered correctness of his views on composting.

This week, whether addressing the G20 in Rome, or handshaking dignitaries at COP26, the Prince has been accorded the kind of fulsome respect that he lavishes on the plants at Highgrove. A sedulous, loving attention. Why?

Since 1970 the Prince has issued warnings about climate change. Unlike his jet-age father, he had no faith in a technological future. He rhapsodised about bees and gazed into hedges. He wanted to protect the elephants and conserve the Botswana Bushmen, seeing them in approximately the same way. He experimented with vegetarian diets when the only other person in beef-dripping England to do so was Morrissey. “At the beginning everyone thought he was crackers
 They wrote him off completely,” his biographer Penny Junor told the Washington Post. “He’s been saying these things for 50 years, but the world has caught up to Charles hasn’t it? He’s certainly not a crank.” Even Donald Trump admitted a few years ago that he “totally listened” to Prince Charles’s eco-views.

While he waited for his mother to abdicate, Charles yearned to do the right thing. He did this through thoughts, not actions. Winston Churchill told the Queen in a letter that Charles, at the age of two, was “young to think so much”. At a luncheon, Edwina Mountbatten told the eight-year-old Charles that he shouldn’t pluck the stalks out of strawberries. He should hoist the fruit up by the stems and roll them in sugar. Moments later his cousin Pamela Hicks observed that “the poor child was trying to put all the stems back on. That was so sad.” Charles’s entire outlook can be reduced to this desire to put stalks back on strawberries. “All I want to do,” he once dolefully told Jonathan Dimbleby, “is to help other people.”

He believed this desire to save and serve was sharpened on the grindstone of reality, rather than the unintended consequence of an artificial upbringing. “I have come to realise,” he wrote in 2002, “that my entire life has been so far motivated by a desire to heal — to heal the dismembered landscape and the poisoned soul; the cruelly shattered townscape, where harmony has been replaced by cacophony; to heal the divisions between intuitive and rational thought, between mind and body, and soul, so that the temple of our humanity can once again be lit by a sacred flame.” Modernity could be escaped and replaced with
 him, in a temple, lighting a flame. More alluring, I suppose, than cutting the ribbon on yet another community centre.

On and on he went like this for decades. The self-image was radical: Red Shelley in an Anderson & Sheppard blazer. He referred to himself, his ex-private secretary Mark Bolland said, “as a ‘dissident’ working against the prevailing political consensus”. All that dissent was collected inside a two-volume, 1,012-page treasury of speeches and remarks, retailing for over £320, illustrated with his own watercolours, and bound in stiff bottle green buckram, published in 2015. These heavy volumes appear designed to trouble the shelves of libraries, not their readers. What they reveal, once multiple introductions, glosses, prefaces, preludials, throat-clearings, and fanfares have been macheted through, is a vehement man hostile to the world as it is.

Charles never changes. But the world always does. When he was born in 1948, wars and revolutions had levelled everything. There was a ‘Great Compression’; inequality was suppressed, by accident, bloodletting, and design. For 30 years there were high taxes, good novels, middle-class successes, and an operational meritocracy.

By the Nineties, Tory politicians in Britain could dream of a “classless” society. Charles was most-lambasted in this midlife period, not merely because of the “War of the Waleses”, but because this socially democratic mood made the monarchy itself look ridiculous. “Who knows what fate will produce?” Diana said, ominously, at the time.

Fate dispatched her, then produced a vastly more unequal world. Meritocracy calcified into an aristocracy. It treats national and international institutions as outdoor relief for its favoured families. After Iraq, the financial crisis, and 2016, this elite, viewed from below, began to look like an Ancien RĂ©gime. With their fabulous wealth, estates, yachts, villas, servants, and elaborate sex lives, this class resembles the Windsors, just with stronger chins.

Charles looks at ease with them all. Being admired by Jeff Bezos; being hailed by the Prime Minister as a “prophet without honour”. Hanging out with Leonardo DiCaprio. Drinking with Bill Gates, whose ratio of wealth to the average US citizen is roughly the same as the richest Roman aristocrats to the plebs in 400 AD. How right it looked. Those who have taken the glitziest prizes from industrial civilisation now, like Charles, believe it is sick.

So the dissident Prince is accepted at last. A fairytale to replace the old one, about the Princess dying in a tunnel. He believed he had waged a guerrilla war against scientific expertise all his life. Now it agrees with him about hedges and bees, so he gives it his blessing. Typically, his victory is Pyrrhic. All it has taken for Charles to be vindicated is the prospect of the near-term extinction of the human race.


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Ed Cameron
Ed Cameron
2 years ago

This is a nasty little piece. The author, too craven to wield the knife himself, merely curating the insults of others.  The weakling tittering behind the pack of bullies – not one of them, but of them. 
Worse, his own thrusts are limp mildly ambiguous pokes: â€œHe wanted to protect the elephants and conserve the Botswana Bushmen, seeing them in approximately the same way.” 
Animals? Endangered? Both? An eighteen word encomium to his cleverness.

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
2 years ago
Reply to  Ed Cameron

I agree, a snide and “look at me, aren’t I clever” article revealing more about the author than the Prince.

Your first paragraph is on the nail, it’s the sort of paragraph the author would like to write, but doesn’t have the talent.

Last edited 2 years ago by Clive Mitchell
stephen archer
stephen archer
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

I have to agree. It’s one thing for Unherd to reflect a wide scope of viewpoints and politics but another to have a staff journalist presenting such a cynical review of a man with an enormous conscience and sense of duty. Maybe Will should be taken down a peg by Unherd’s management or given one chance to self improve.
Prince Charles is so open to criticism and ridicule partly for his background, privilege and situation and partly for his courage in speaking out on issues he feels are important when many others in his situation would just shut up and get on with living a luxurious lifestyle. His opinions are for the most part informed and reasonable even though there are many would appear not to agree with him.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Prince Charles owes his position and platform entirely to his birth.
In a room of 2 people there is an even chance that the is the least intelligent.
It is pure arrogance to ignore these issues and to use his platform to spout forth on issues knowing that because of his birth and privilege his views will carry far more weight and garner far more coverage than they deserve. In short a useful idiot.

Ian Morris
Ian Morris
2 years ago

I disagree with Charles on just about everything but the phrase “In a room of 2 people there is an even chance that the is the least intelligent.” is nonsense. So if the odds are even he could also be the most intelligent. This phrase would apply to any two unknown people in any room. It’s a strange thing to say.

Ethniciodo Rodenydo
Ethniciodo Rodenydo
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Morris

You are quite right.
I was attempting to be fair. What I should have said is in a room of 4 people there the chance that he will be the least intelligent

Ian Morris
Ian Morris
2 years ago

OK mate, let’s not get bogged down with this. Its not important in the general scheme of things

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago

The other three might be Nobel prize-winners.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Morris

Well, not really.
If Charles had an IQ of 130, he’d be in the top 2.5% of IQ distribution (because this is two standard deviations above the mean value of 100). The chances of him being dimmer than a random second person would then be 1 in 40, these being the odds against having an IQ of more than 130.
The average random has a 50% chance of being in the bottom half of the class and 50% of being in the top. Charles would have a 50% chance of being the dimmer of himself and a random person if his own intellect is middling.
Empirically, it is. When Charles went up to Cambridge from Buckingham Palace, he very probably lowered the average IQ in both places.
It seems an unexceptionable observation to me. The point I guess is that the only reason attention is paid to him, someone of apparently undistinguished intellect, is that he’s a prince, which is not a good reason.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago

If two geniuses are in a room one of them is likely to be the “least intelligent.” Equally, if a coin has two sides one of them is likely to be tails.

Fergus Mason
Fergus Mason
2 years ago

In a room of 2 people there is an even chance that the is the least intelligent.”
Have you ever met him? Because I have, and he’s an intelligent man who asked relevant, thought-provoking questions on a very technical and obscure subject.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Fergus Mason

he’s an intelligent man 
If so, why did he only get 5 O-Levels and two A-Levels?

Mel Bass
Mel Bass
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

If O and A levels are a measure of intelligence, explain Richard Branson’s success.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  Mel Bass

He’s an entrepreneur. In what sense is Charles successful?

Ian Stewart
Ian Stewart
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Jeez you really are obsessed with shallow measures of intelligence as the measure of a person. You don’t seem to realise that it reveals your own lack of insight about people.

Marianne Vigreux
Marianne Vigreux
1 year ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

C’mon! Why do any of us flunk exams?!
Intelligence has nothing to do with academic achievement – you only have to look at the Conservative Party!

George Stone
George Stone
2 years ago
Reply to  Fergus Mason

Arise Sir Fergus.

Jacques Rossat
Jacques Rossat
2 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

“Maybe Will should be taken down a peg by Unherd’s management”. No, no and no, If you are unable to listen to or read the opinion of somebody you doesn’t agree with you, you thus join the sinister woke cohort you certainly, and hopefully !, despise.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 years ago
Reply to  Jacques Rossat

No. I am quite prepared to hear all the arguments against the PoW’s views and opinions, but this was just a nasty unfunny dragging up of old innuendo

stephen archer
stephen archer
2 years ago
Reply to  Jacques Rossat

Woke? you’ve no idea! It’s not just opinion, it’s cheap and underhand. Opinion is fine but the quality level of opinion normally found on Unherd is way above what Will has produced. And do you seriously believe that the majority of the article is opinion, or is it just dredging?

Last edited 2 years ago by stephen archer
Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

Let’s not turn UnHerd into an echo chamber just because an author writes something you disagree with. If you’re unable to hear dissenting opinions without wanting the author reprimanded then may I suggest this website isn’t for you?
I don’t really agree with the thrust of the article but I certainly don’t want the man who wrote it to be “taken down a peg” by management

stephen archer
stephen archer
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

You haven’t seemed to understand my comment. It’s not a question of dissenting opinions since there are no real opinions in the article. It’s a question of journalistic quality and integrity since the majority of the article’s text is a snide portrayal of Charles’ comments and views over the years. The opinions expressed in other articles which I’m not in agreement with I put up with without the need to add unnecessary comments. How about yourself?

Billy Bob
Billy Bob
2 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

The writer was portraying how Charles has gone from being mocked by the elites for his opinions on environmentalism to now being embraced by the same people for the same opinions he’s always held. I thought the article highlighted their hypocrisy rather than anything else.
As for your other point, I don’t believe I’ve ever said a writer should be reprimanded for any of their articles

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago
Reply to  Billy Bob

Agreed

Clive Mitchell
Clive Mitchell
2 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

I don’t know what is achieved by personal attacks. Criticism of what he has advocated is a reasonable approach, but this was simply spite.

I thought I was reading the Guardian for a second!

George Stone
George Stone
2 years ago
Reply to  Clive Mitchell

You must read the Guardian for more than a second.

chris sullivan
chris sullivan
2 years ago
Reply to  stephen archer

I agree, I have always been interested in his thoughtful opinions and have been rather shocked (by now i shouldnt be) by the callow nastiness of the press always after the lowest common denominator of public opinion – shameful as always.

Jon Hawksley
Jon Hawksley
2 years ago
Reply to  Ed Cameron

The article catalogues the media’s response to Prince Charles highlighting a turn around in his favour which had not previously occurred to me. I did not read it as cynical on that turn around so it is essentially positive on him if gratuitous. Commentators seem to have sympathy for him suffering the bad press yet disagree that he merits the turn around which seems less generous than the author.

Robin P
Robin P
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Hawksley

You are right. The other commenters here are projecting their own assumptions of nastiness.

Geoffrey Simon Hicking
Geoffrey Simon Hicking
2 years ago

He was right about traditional architecture. He also talks to plants, as any civilised man should.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago

Yes ‘cos you are giving them extra CO2. I have winter carrots on my (spare) bedroom window sill. I cajole and threaten them in equal proportions every morning for that same reason. It would be better if I put them on my bedroom window sill but there’s no room cos of my solar panels.

Last edited 2 years ago by Doug Pingel
Andrew Fisher
Andrew Fisher
2 years ago
Reply to  Doug Pingel

Yes that is right, though it is extra CO2, carbon dioxide which plants need, not CO, carbon monoxide, which is poisonous.

Doug Pingel
Doug Pingel
2 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Fisher

Thanks for the spelling correction. You are quite correct.

Ian Morris
Ian Morris
2 years ago

No he was n’t. He was wrong about traditional architecture

Ian Morris
Ian Morris
2 years ago

Saying he was right about traditional architecture makes no sense. Would you want to be condemned to only reading Jane Austin novels or looking at Impressionist paintings ( although on reflection the latter would not be too bad). Do we want all cars to look like Bentleys and Rollers?. Art moves on . We should not cancel things we don’t like. Architecture is a bit different I admit because it is our environment, as well as an art form. There will always be good and bad architects just as there are good and bad novelists. The aim should be to create beautiful and well designed buildings.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Morris

A man called Morris should know that Jane Austin did not build cars

David Simpson
David Simpson
2 years ago
Reply to  JR Stoker

and I’m pretty sure it’s Austen, not Austin

Christopher Gelber
Christopher Gelber
2 years ago

In July 2009, Charles said we had 96 months left to save the world. Oops – apparently new urgent deadlines now apply. How conveniently he forgets his failed forecasts, as they all do. He is accepted today by politicians and plutocrats because his babbling on the lie that is AGW suits their interests.

Ian Morris
Ian Morris
2 years ago

Well said. Funny how nobody mentions that in the history of the planet increases in temperature precede increases in CO2. So the idea that CO2 drives temperature change seems arse about face.

Jacques Rossat
Jacques Rossat
2 years ago

Just a small anectode which reminds me of a time when ecology was still a new and strange word. At the time, around 1974-6, I was the marketing manager of a small Swiss firm which was building huge solid-waste shredders. We took one of our machines to Birmingham where one of the first “waste processing and recycling” fair took place ; our positioning in the main hall was excellent…to hear, 10 metres away, the keynote speaker of the exhibition, non other as Prince C. I was braced for a conventional speech drafted by a second rate assistant. Wrong. The address was spot on, perfectly documented and full of humour. And, mainly, the speaker seemed to be deeply convinced of what he said…not very often the case with such discourses.

Last edited 2 years ago by Jacques Rossat
Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago

I have always supported Prince Charles when he was campaigning against wanton environmental destruction even if sometimes the way he presented his views was somewhat eccentric. I am therefore sad to see that he has joined the ranks of the “climate change” mob who are more or less exactly the same people who have become eye-wateringly rich by doing exactly what he has always campaigned against, including interfering with nature.
His victory will indeed be Pyrrhic when the full cost of the unattainable Holy Grail of controlling the climate becomes apparent. He should have stuck to pollution and environmental damage.
By the way, I agree with some other posters here – the tone of the article was gratuitously nasty.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

How on earth you can imagine a man with energy consumption levels ( carbon footprint – haha) of small town cares a jot about environmental destruction? He cares about reputational destruction, his own. After how he treated a wife young enough to be his daughter i don’t think even his huge spend on aviation fuel, petrol and diesel can rescue his rep. Heading off the common herd in advance – he may have an electric Aston Martin but his vast estates and many businesses use the same fossil fueled grid as the rest of us.

Peta Seel
Peta Seel
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

First, I agree that he did not treat Diana well and it was a mismatch from the start, but 15 years age gap is not “young enough to be his daughter” and she was a grown woman when they married.
Second, I have no problem with the Royal estates including his. They are very well run and managed employing thousands of people. A lot of people who are not in the public eye have similar, and they too are often inherited and passed down through generations. I’m not an envious person. Also, as heir to the throne it is quite clear that he cannot use public transport in the same way as the rest of us do and I don’t have a problem with that either.
Where I do have a problem with him and all others of his ilk is that on the back of the myth that climate is something we can control they would all expect us to hugely reduce our standard of living while nothing changes for them. There is no doubt that we do over-consume – and so do they – and this causes massive environmental damage and pollution. That is where our problems lie and that is within our control. It is also non-political, unlike “climate change” which has become highly politicised, and in my view he should have stayed within those parameters where he does, in fact, set a good example in the management of his own estates.

Last edited 2 years ago by Peta Seel
L Walker
L Walker
2 years ago
Reply to  Peta Seel

Where I come from young enough to be his daughter is very possible. Tennessee. Jerry Lee Lewis.

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

An age gap of 12 years would have made him a pre-pubescent father. As for who treated whom ‘badly’, we have only the circulation-driven impressions of the press and the one-sided accounts of the late Princess and her acolytes to inform us.

Allison Barrows
Allison Barrows
2 years ago

”Near extinction of the human race”. Good God, what a prat.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
2 years ago

Whether you agree with Charles or not, somebody who put his life in trying to make the world better without being able to benefit should be respected. Discussing/using ‘science’ to argue against what Charles says is a sign of lack of humanity. That does not mean he is always, right, nobody is ever completely right, but it means that true motivation to respect other people,animals and the earth can only be seen as a human accomplishment. Petty discussions and ridicule are likely sings of lesser humanity….

Rick Lawrence
Rick Lawrence
2 years ago

Well said

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
2 years ago

If he respects other people, animals and plants, there are many biologists, I wish he would read. Don’t always listen to D.Attenborough, who pretty much lies, if it fits into his Apocalyptic view of Climate Change. Just read the recent book ( “Fake Invisible Catastrophes and Threats of Doom”) by Patrick Moore, who founded Green Peace, because of his life long concern for the environment. He would be a great man to have discussions with
 If he cares about people, then P.Charles should recognise the plight of farming in the 3rd world and also care about his subjects, when energy will be so expensive, that soon many of them can’t heat their home anymore
.

Ian Morris
Ian Morris
2 years ago

Well said Stephanie

Jerry Mee-Crowbin
Jerry Mee-Crowbin
2 years ago

How true! But sadly, we can all rest assured that Charles will NOT read the book, or any other which might give him cause to doubt his (very) many failed predictions on tipping points.

Ian Morris
Ian Morris
2 years ago

We should respect science and truth. What is the point of supporting something which is completely wrong because you think it expresses “humanity”. When someone on limited means has to replace their boiler in a few years, and can’t buy a gas one because someone with “humanity” has decreed that only expensive heat pumps are acceptable, what is he to do? Well maybe he will die of cold, very humane.

Edward De Beukelaer
Edward De Beukelaer
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Morris

sorry, Ian: science and truth..? So much ‘science’ is actually worthless or dubious: the editor of the lancet said this 6 years ago.

Joe Donovan
Joe Donovan
2 years ago

I dissent from the comments below mine. I think that this is a fine, very well-written article. I wonder if reactions to it differ consistently depending on one’s side of the Atlantic. From where I sit in Boston, Charles seems an intelligent and very well-intentioned man trapped in a comically obsolete and hypocritical role. He is right about many things, including modern architecture, and wrong about many things, including climate change (see Freddie Sayers’ wonderful interview with Bjorn Lonborg, who punctures every premise underlying the climate conference agenda).

hugh bennett
hugh bennett
2 years ago
Reply to  Joe Donovan

i am not in Boston but the Wales, trust me Charley boy is a “bit thick” as my old mum would say. His lack of intelligence propped up by an elite education that his intellect did not deserve and his cortege. Trapped lord no, he loves it all, he has played the “doff your cap to me ” card all through his life, and now he`s just as sad as old Joe Biden, both little boys wanting to be Kings before they die…..
Joke time – The Queen and Prince Charles are enjoying a cup of tea when there’s suddenly a knock on the door. The Queen goes to open it and it’s the Death standing on the other side.
So the Queen shouts loudly: “Hey Charles, it’s for you.”
Right I am off the talk to my pink geranium, shes called daisy.

Robin P
Robin P
2 years ago
Reply to  hugh bennett

Shoulder chip much?

John Riordan
John Riordan
2 years ago

“This week, whether addressing the G20 in Rome, or handshaking dignitaries at COP26, the Prince has been accorded the kind of fulsome respect that he lavishes on the plants at Highgrove. A sedulous, loving attention. Why?”

There is an alternative explanation for the eventual inclusion of Prince Charles into mainstream acceptance by the people who make the rules, and it’s simply this: Charles is as batty as ever, but unfortunately now most other people in positions of power are equally daft.

Stephanie Surface
Stephanie Surface
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Watson

Thank you for this link. I was about to write a shorter version of M.Philips’ thoughts. Just listening to Professor Lindzen and Prof.Curry in discussions with other scientists is a delight ( hopefully still on YouTube).
Prince Charles would have liked to live 200 years ago, tending to his farm and garden, surrounded by his flowers and hangers on. Wonder if he ever read opposing views on Climate Apocalypse (“Warming” is no longer in the vocabulary of the doomsters) 
 It is very nice to promote organic farming in a wealthy society, but in many poor countries farmers are desperate to get moderated seeds, which grow on dry land to feed the huge population. His sister Anne has quite opposing views to him, and I read that they don’t have long discussions on the subject. Good luck to him, galavanting with actors, billionaires and government ministers, who in turn are meeting Saint Greta in a semi religious worship of this teenage drop out, who has a huge entourage of political motivated scientists and PR firm behind her.

Last edited 2 years ago by Stephanie Surface
Ian Morris
Ian Morris
2 years ago
Reply to  Peter Watson

Not mad but sad, like all virtue signallers, he just wants to be liked.

David Simpson
David Simpson
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Morris

I think this is grotesque – for most of his adult life he’s been deeply disliked because people (Daily Mail readers mostly) thought he’s bats, and cruel to Diana. Actually he’s been right about many things, but most people know nothing about him apart from what they read in the tabloids. I just hope his brain isn’t turned by this sudden onset of adulation from the great and good.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago
Reply to  David Simpson

IIRC Charles was regarded as an amiably eccentric pointless buffoon until he married and mistreated Diana, and then became regarded as a heartless and faithless pointless buffoon.
I am not sure either label is wholly fair. If your mother is a Windsor and gives birth to you aged 21, there is some chance she could actually outlive you. At minimum, you’re going to be in your dotage when you accede.
He’s spent his entire life trying to be relevant in some way knowing he will be an old, old man before he succeeds his mother, so that whatever impression he wants to leave, there’ll not be long to do so if he waits till he’s King George VII.

Kate Heusser
Kate Heusser
2 years ago
Reply to  Jon Redman

Interesting that you’ve suggested the regnal name ‘George’. I’ve also wondered what name he would take – ‘Charles’ has an unfortunate resonance south of the border, and it would be quite ironic if a Windsor ‘Charles III’ were to take the Scottish throne just as Scottish independence is more likely than at any time since the end of the Stuart era.

Paul Ansell
Paul Ansell
2 years ago

This piece seems completely in tune with current orthodoxy. It is lightweight emotive stuff full of hyperbole that ought to be beneath Unherd to publish. Where is the academic rigour that Unherd is usually good at ?

Jacques Rossat
Jacques Rossat
2 years ago
Reply to  Paul Ansell

Is orthodoxy and rigour an oxymoron ?

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago

What a hagiography? Finally won? Did he die?

Brendan O'Leary
Brendan O'Leary
2 years ago

At last I understand the purpose of COP26.

Warren T
Warren T
2 years ago

Purpose #1: Another reason to burn private jet fuel
Purpose #2: Self pleasure themselves (mental masturbation)
Purpose #3: Attempt to quell their enormous guilt for overconsuming

Hugh Eveleigh
Hugh Eveleigh
2 years ago

Methinks in due course the Prince will be found to have been wrong in his expostulations on climatic doom. He means well but he has been wrongly schooled and one is on very unstable intellectual ground when views are of that ilk. I believe him to be fundamentally wrong on CO2 and its supposed influence – the freely available ‘science’ on the internet can soon show the truth but he has a point in tree planting (not that the UK takes any notice as we chop them down and chip them up for burning in power stations – or rather we outsource others to do so).
We are experiencing one of those extraordinary group-held blinkeredly obsessive mantras that will, if allowed, fundamentally change global politics for the worse – far, far worse. The PM needs to be shown the door and others must lead us away from this precipice of self-harm we appear to be indulging in.

mike otter
mike otter
2 years ago

Pity it is such a hit job as Charles is actually very dangerous. Unlike other eco zealots and warmist hypocrites impoverishing others with their political fantasies he has a lot of power, soft or otherwise. He anti science crackpot ideologies match Preseident Xi with his coal power expansion in China and Africa. By science i mean the Mertonian Norms as applied to processes of conjecture and refutation. Nothing to do with faking climate or virus models for political ends. The article would be better spent playing the ball – breaches of our consitutional conventions, environmental hypocracy, failure to understand a Monarchy’s need for taste as per Netherlands, Norway etc and its need NOT to enter politics. Playing the man is too easy and in any case how he treated his first wife plus his sleaze bag companions and aides tell you all you need to know about this man. Worst of all he will be one hell of a recruiter for Repulicans in UK, Aus, NZ+ Canada which is sad because his Mum has done a great job and i expect William would be a pro too.

Last edited 2 years ago by mike otter
Jerry Mee-Crowbin
Jerry Mee-Crowbin
2 years ago
Reply to  mike otter

For all the fact that there are others here who spout about Charles’ intelligence, it’s clear he has no intention of following his mother’s lead in avoiding politics. And it’s by this means he will end up exasperating his loyal subjects and speed the demise of the monarchy. But the poor fool just hasn’t the wit to see it.
I’m all for the Queen and all she has achieved but I dread Charles III. I wonder when he will realise that it’s long gone time for him to cease his silly predictions. The man is a joke.

Adam Bartlett
Adam Bartlett
2 years ago

A superb article that’s helped me look at the Prince in a new and more appreaciative light. “No prophet is accepted in his lifetime” – except when apocalypse now.

James Joyce
James Joyce
2 years ago
Reply to  Adam Bartlett

Great film. Underappreciated.

Mikey Mike
Mikey Mike
2 years ago

I like the piece a lot. It’s funny, unmerciful, abstruse, pretty arrogant and, for this Tennessean, bubbling over with cultural references I don’t understand at all. Nevertheless, there are some great lines even though my general conclusion is that I don’t know much about the person the author is talking about, but I can picture his ears.

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 years ago
Reply to  Mikey Mike

How very thoughtful and abstruse an observation

Alan Thorpe
Alan Thorpe
2 years ago

Charles does not have clue about science and especially the physics related to the climate. He also hasn’t a clue about the scientific method and is unable to see how he is being deceived by climate activists. Hanging about with Leo and Bill is doing him no good.

Ian Morris
Ian Morris
2 years ago
Reply to  Alan Thorpe

Agree but forgive my ignorance. Who are Leo and Bill?

Lindsay S
Lindsay S
2 years ago
Reply to  Ian Morris

Bill gates and leonardo de cappuccino

D Glover
D Glover
2 years ago

Prince Charles is no scientist. His degree is in history, and he was lucky to get into Cambridge with two mediocre A levels. You can hear the creaking of strings being pulled.
Edzard Ernst was professor of complementary medicine at Exeter university until he angered Charles by dismissing homeopathy, a practice the prince endorses. Prof. Ernst was forced to retire.

Jon Redman
Jon Redman
2 years ago

Charles and Diana are one of those pairs where the more you hear about them, the more you dislike both of them.
Diana was a shrieking vacuous clothes horse whose only achievement was to marry a prince. Charles’ only achievement was to be born one. He’s also the most poisonously vacuous hypocrite imaginable. Who else flies to Gstaad to go skiing and has his Aston Martin driven there and back by an underling in case he needs to use it?

JR Stoker
JR Stoker
2 years ago

That is a very nasty piece that does not deserve any publicity. Shame on you, shame on you writer and publisher

V Solar
V Solar
2 years ago

ill Will Lloyd is at it again

Alan Osband
Alan Osband
2 years ago

The rough rude sea has tried nothing of the kind ( wash the balm off an anointed king ) and will be in no position to until after the coronation .

Rod Hine
Rod Hine
2 years ago

Will Lloyd is better when he’s attacking politicians who can fight back in the public arena. Very easy to score cheap points just by regurgitating the many attacks on Charles whose constitutional position prevents him from defending his views. OK to publish in Unherd? Of course, any and all views welcome, but this isn’t a particularly good article – not much original material, could do better! C-minus at best.

Alan Hawkes
Alan Hawkes
2 years ago

Fancy putting so much effort into insulting someone. What a waste of a day.

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper
2 years ago

Yes, a very unpleasant piece hedging its bets behind smartarseness and professional cowardice. Why not just say the Prince of Wales is right about x y and z and we’ll done to him

Last edited 2 years ago by Jim Cooper
Zorro Tomorrow
Zorro Tomorrow
2 years ago

His campaigns for conservation of nature and ugly architecture are admirable. To sneer at that is to highlight your own ignorance. To side with deluded liars like Attenborough, Thunberg and now Boris is unforgivable, oddly at odds with the very people who would see us a republic like France, Italy and Germany, awash with multiple political parties none of which can independently form a decent government; the cusp on which we find ourselves. The summary of the vapid harridanesque Diana? Spot on.

Mike Bell
Mike Bell
2 years ago

Thank you Will. An excellent piece. A few of us have been banging on about this nearly as long too(but without the publicity.)
Back in 1981, when the SDP was formed, I joined, thinking it would be about new stuff. I had become convinced of the climate change argument by then. (there were also major issues, now largely solved – like ozone-layer, acid-rain, whaling etc). I helped form SDP Greens early on and then Green Liberal Democrats after merger.
Back then, young people were ‘awake’ to these problems, but as the decades rolled by, we actually went backwards. In the 90s, 00s young people were almost silent on these subjects.
We warned that,, with more energy in the atmosphere, we should expect an increase in extreme weather and uncertainty. (a feature of chaotic systems). We warned about heavier rainfall/floods, hurricanes etc. I’m not sure many were warning about wildfires – which has (finally?) tipped the balance in favour of the Green view.
Now at last, 40 years on, we finally have a PM saying some of the things we have been wanting senior politicians to say for decades, but we have now left it so long that it will take a massive effort to avert serious damage.
I have never been a ‘10 years to save the planet‘ person. We will survive all this – but at what cost?
The sad thing is reading some of the responses in this and other forums. A splendid denial-ism which still labels us as cranks.
Don’t worry, we’ve gotten used to it.

Julie Kemp
Julie Kemp
2 years ago

I’m close to Prince Charles in age (same month and year) yet i am an Antipodean (Melbourne, Australia) ‘girl’ and one with deep long roots in Scotland and England. I’m also the eldest sibling, been a loyal admirer of the Crown and of course Francis (Tudor) Bacon – the ‘concealed’ Prince of Wales of his time – while his amazing but seriously flawed mother ‘did her thing’ by not openly fighting for her son’s right to follow her. And of course Francis turned out to be the greatest dramatist ever – ie, William Shakespeare or ‘Shakespeare’! What a history, what a great country.
So, as per my usual conviction, i applaud Charles for being basically a very good chap at heart and will be a very good king and master of his household. I’m glad he has Camilla as his consort. The past has to be absorbed and loved and those two have done that. Diana will not be diminished of course.
Charles is staunch. He has seen and known much. This will see him through. I think ‘Shakespeare’ and the late Prince Philip will support him along with many others around the World. I think Her Majesty, The Queen, will be pleased!

Julian Pellatt
Julian Pellatt
2 years ago

For me the most telling element of this article, whether one thinks it is snide or not, is the focus of the penultimate paragraph: all the neo-Establishment names and elite people hanging out with Charles. Why? Because in the not too distant future he will become King of England/the [dis]United Kingdom.

Steve Byrd
Steve Byrd
2 years ago

For a real hatchet job on poor Charles, listen to the King-In-Waiting himself on Simon Armitage’s podcast, the ‘Poet Laureate Has Gone To His Shed’.

JILL HUDSON
JILL HUDSON
2 years ago

Love Charles. Always have.

Jim Cooper
Jim Cooper
2 years ago

Et tu Mr Lloyd? Is it something about journalism
that makes journalists the ridiculous smartarses they are?

Barbara Williams
Barbara Williams
2 years ago

All it has taken for Charles to be vindicated is the prospect of the near-term extinction of the human race.” Well whose fault is that? Extinction rates have been escalating ever since Unherd was established and this is the first article to acknowledge that reality. Looking at the remit for this paper ‘As you may have guessed from our strange spelling, UnHerd aims to do two things: to push back against the herd mentality with new and bold thinking, and to provide a platform for otherwise unheard ideas, people and places. I have never yet seen an article that challenges our obsession with economic growth and coercive consumerism. The I=PAT equation and the Jevons paradox together prove that economic growth inflicts unsustainable environmental damage. Unherd have done nothing to bring the twin horns of our existential dilemma into the realm of free speech, namely overconsumption and overpopulation. Time to ‘Pay up or Perish’ as the Prime Minister of Malawi put it at the end of this excellent COP26 interview. Both the writers and the readers of this paper need to wake up to the reality of ecological collapse, if we fail to embrace an urgent, voluntary and ethical Degrowth aspiration we shall all have our lives severely curtailed. Trying to make a profit out of the ‘green transition’ will only shorten our life-spans and that of our children. At this late stage in ecological collapse the more we try to grow the more we are struggling up an accelerating ecological down-escalator. I have immense respect for Charles and I consider the entire celebrity culture in the media as a pathetic circus that has for decades distracted us from the real news that we are daily destroying our eco-systems. Until we can move away from the growth mindset we are simply continuing to decrease our life expectancy daily.

LCarey Rowland
LCarey Rowland
2 years ago

Chin up, now, Will. It’s not so bad as all that. In the sense of those prescient souls who are now gathered in Glasgow, Charles was a man ahead of his time.
Somewhere above, you mentioned “good novels.” Once upon a time, I wrote one, “Smoke” that began in London on the day of Charles’ grandfather’s Coronation.
On May 12, 1937, George VI, Charles’ grandfather, was crowned King of the British Empire. He entered into that august role with a stuttering handicap, over which he gained admirable control–and that, during a time of encroaching war and extreme tribulation.
As history attests that King George could overcome a stutter, I daresay his grandson can outmaneuver–when destiny requires it of him– the sound and fury of a few cheeky journalists.
Especially since he has an international support group who, no doubt, appreciate his empathy for their long-overdue strategies to clean up this planet . . . a planet that has been hyper-carbonated by an overzealous industrial revolution, which originated in the fair shores of Albion.
King Charles–if he ever ascends to such status in the Abbey at Westminster, may well be a man ahead of his time.
Or perhaps . . . history will not be so kind to him. There may come a time when an erstwhile self-appointed pundit will uncover some skullduggery of foolishness that forever entombs Charles’ dubious legacy. On such a fateful day as that, the scrivener would likely twit a tweet on yon quaint and quarrelsome social media . . .
. . . Alas, poor Charles! we knew him well.