Prince Charles attempted to try and postpone the US invasion of Afghanistan due to Ramadan, it was claimed last night.
The Prince of Wales allegedly contacted the US ambassador to London to ask if the conflict, which was launched following the September 11 attacks, could be halted to allow for the Muslim holy month.
According to a new biography, the reply to the Prince was "Sir, are you really serious?".
The book claims his intervention came behind the back of then prime minister Tony Blair, according to extracts in the Daily Mail.
It would not have been the first time the Prince had attempted to intervene in policy, as previously released “black spider memos”, nicknamed after the Prince’s handwriting, have revealed his attempts to lobby ministers.
The invasion in 2001 saw 20,000 US and British troops sent to Afghanistan by George W Bush and Mr Blair after the Taliban refused to give up Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
A month after the offensive began in October, Charles placed an urgent call to William Farish, Washington’s ambassador to London.
In the biography, Mr Farish said he explained it would be difficult to halt as it had already started. "Prince Charles asked me if it would be possible to stop the invasion to honour Ramadan, and if I could convey that request to President Bush," he said.
"But Americans can do anything!," the Prince allegedly replied.
Last night an officer who led UK forces in Afghanistan said the prince’s request was absurd.
The exchange is revealed in a new biography entitled Prince Charles, The Passions and Paradoxes of an Improbable Life by historian Sally Bedell Smith.
The heir to the throne had stood with the Queen and Mr Blair and Mr Farish three days after the attacks in a service of remembrance at St Paul’s Cathedral.
The book also claims that the Prince was given short shrift after trying to influence Margaret Thatcher, who allegedly told him: "I run this country, not you, sir."
The reputed incident happened in 1985 and Mrs Thatcher apparently rang Buckingham Palace to complain.