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Prince Charles has views which would get him into “dead trouble with foreign governments” if he was the king, according to Andrew Marr.
Marr, historian and broadcaster, was speaking at the Cheltenham Literature Festival about his new book Elizabethans, which covers the last 70 years in Britain, through the eyes of 60 individuals.
The political broadcaster discussed the eventual succession of Charles to the throne, suggesting he could be a good king, but will have to be ready to put his views to one side.
He said: “Prince Charles has been waiting for the job for a very, very long time.
“He could be a good king and it depends entirely on whether he is prepared to put to one side his very sincere and strongly held views about lots of subjects, which will get him, as head of state, into dead trouble with foreign governments if he gets that far.
“There are lots of questions ahead. I think it will be a very profound and rather grave moment for the country and a lot of people will be surprised about how emotionally they feel.”
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Discussing how the country will react when the Queen dies, he said: “I think it is going to be an absolutely massive, massive moment.
“I think people don’t realise yet quite how traumatic and surprising it is going to feel because, whatever your views of the monarchy, the Queen has been part of our lives for more than 70 years.
“She’s been on stamps, she’s been on the currency, she’s been in our dreams.
“We refer to her all the time one way or another, and of course through The Crown and other recent films she’s been on our screens as well.
“She is part of us in a way that we are going to find very, very painful when she is torn out of our imaginations and our consciousnesses when she dies.”
Charles, 71, is the longest-serving heir to the throne in British history, being the heir apparent since he was just three-years-old, when his grandfather died in 1952.
During that time he has expressed strong views on many topics, including a passionate dislike of genetically modified crops and decades of campaigning on environmental issues.
However the most controversial issue he was caught up in as Prince of Wales was the Spider Memos, when he wrote to government ministers, in a private capacity, about those issues and others.
The memos led to the press calling him “the Meddling Prince”.
He has promised he would not be a “meddling king”, saying in 2019 “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”.
Marr also spoke about the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle as senior royals, saying it was “very bad news” for the Royal Family.
“I think it’s very bad news for the royal family in a way because Harry and Meghan had the possibility of being members of the royal family who drew in an entirely new tranche of people to be interested in and indeed support the British monarchy,” he said.
“You know younger, more liberal, more open, and that extraordinary moment at the wedding where you had in the chapel at Windsor a black wife and a black pastor, and it just felt Britain is really changing.
“Here we have the Queen’s grandson marrying a woman who can trace her descent back to African slaves. This is a really, really big moment.
“The fact that they have left Britain and gone off to California, and in many ways come off the front pages as a result, I think is really bad news for the royal family.”
Marr’s comments came after Robert Lacey, the historian and royal biographer, said the Royal Family made a “mistake” in treating Meghan like a “routine royal”.
He told the Daily Mail the Palace should have sat down with the Duchess of Sussex and spoken about what interested her.
Harry, 36, and Meghan, 39, have moved to California after deciding they wanted to seek financial independence, and have subsequently signed a production deal with Netflix.
However they have been criticised for the way they have used their platform since leaving their senior royal roles, as they encourage people to vote in the forthcoming US presidential election.
While the Queen herself has previously spoken about the importance of voting, many argue that Harry and Meghan’s comments are biased against Donald Trump, and that they support Joe Biden, his opponent.
Members of the Royal Family traditionally do not vote, though they are not explicitly banned from doing so, and do not comment on party political matters to retain neutrality.
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