Prince Charles says he won't 'meddle' when he becomes king

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent
Prince Charles has spoken about his future as king (PA)

The Prince of Wales has said he won’t speak out on issues he feels strongly about when he becomes king, a new documentary has revealed.

During an interview for the BBC programme Prince, Son & Heir: Charles at 70, to mark his milestone birthday, he was asked whether his public campaigning will go on.

He said: “No, it won’t. I’m not that stupid. I do realise that it is a separate exercise being sovereign. So of course I understand entirely how that should operate.”

Charles has been criticised in the past for his views on topics such as the environment or architecture, dubbed as meddling by critics.

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But the heir to the throne doesn’t see it that way.

The Prince of Wales delivers a speech in Ghana (Getty)

He said: “But I always wonder what meddling is, I mean I always thought it was motivating but I’ve always been intrigued, if it’s meddling to worry about the inner cities as I did 40 years ago and what was happening or not happening there.

“The conditions in which people were living. If that’s meddling I’m very proud of it.”

His Prince’s Trust charity has supported more than 825,000 disadvantaged young people across the UK, since Charles set it up in 1976. 

In the hour long programme, he also speaks about his future role as head of state and says he has always tried to remain “non-party political.”

He added: “I think it’s vital to remember there’s only room for one sovereign at a time, not two.

“So, you can’t be the same as the sovereign if you’re the Prince of Wales or the heir.

“But the idea somehow that I’m going to go on in exactly the same way, if I have to succeed, is complete nonsense because the two – the two situations – are completely different.”

The Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall in The Gambia on their royal tour (PA)

Film-maker John Bridcut has had exclusive access to the prince over the past 12 months, both at work and behind the scenes, at home and abroad.

He speaks to those who know him best, including his wife, Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall and his sons, the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex. His sons discuss their upbringing and their feelings about the prince’s working life.

Camilla paid tribute to Charles’s role as a grandfather, saying her five grandchildren “absolutely adore” the prince, who reads the Harry Potter books while doing the voices of the characters.

The Royal Family on the balcony of Buckingham Palace (Getty)

William said he would like his father to spend more time with his grandchildren – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

He said “when he’s there, he’s brilliant” but “we need him there as much as possible”.

Prince, Son And Heir: Charles At 70 is on Thursday at 9pm on BBC One.