Prince Charles Britain’s “best informed lobbyist”

The Herald reports on details revealed by the UK Guardian that Prince Charles receives top secret cabinet papers, and he lobbies Ministers.

Revealed: Prince Charles’ access to top secret Government files

The Guardian has revealed that Prince Charles has received confidential Cabinet papers for decades, making him Britain’s “best informed lobbyist”.

Confirmation came from the Cabinet’s “precedent book”, which was locked away “cupboard within a locked office in a secured corridor inside the Cabinet Office”.

The Cabinet Office fought for three years against the release of the documents, which came after a request from Republic, the campaign for an elected head of state.

The document reads: “The standard circulation for Cabinet memoranda includes the Queen, the Prince of Wales, all members of the Cabinet, any other Ministers in charge of departments (or to be treated as in charge of departments)”.

It’s now revealed that Prince Charles lobbied with full knowledge of Cabinet agendas and policy.

“The disclosure of Cabinet papers to Prince Charles is quite extraordinary,” said Graham Smith, Republic’s chief executive. “Not only because they would contain highly classified information, but because it gives him considerable advantage in pressing his own agenda when lobbying ministers. He is essentially a minister not attending Cabinet. He gets the paperwork and has private meetings with ministers about policy.”

Member of Commons, Paul Flynn, said: “This means that he is not only the most influential lobbyist, but the best informed and he is lobbying for his own interests, which are not always benign or sensible.”

Not good for someone who could become New Zealand’s next head of state?

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20 Comments

  1. I plead ignorance! At first sight it doesn’t look great, no.

    But isn’t Charles receipt of these papers much the same as the Queen’s?
    It may be a contingency in the event of the Queen’s sudden death?

    Isn’t it kind of like the Vice President being fully briefed in the event of the President’s death?

    I wonder who’s on the list in NZ? The Governor General? Is there a Vice-GG or GG-in-waiting? Do our cabinet papers go to the GG’s Aide-de-Camp so as to maintain the Office of the GG in an unfortunate event?

    I guess you could say our GG doesn’t lobby, or leastwise we don’t know about it if he does? Charles, to my knowledge, speaks openly about issues he’s interested in. Does this constitute lobbying? As opposed to ordinary freedom of speech?

    If Charles does lobby I think he’s fairly open and transparent about it.
    Personally, I’ve always liked the guy, don’t understand what so many people have against him, don’t understand why the Queen hasn’t handed over the reigns, and I reckon he’d make an excellent King.

    Reply
    • If we are going to have a monarchy, I prefer John Key and his merry band of All Blacks.

      Reply
      • @ artcroft – Yes, indeed, “Hi ho, hi ho, it’s off to bank we go, hiho, hiho, hiho, hiho !!!”

        Mind you, the Windsor’s, with a few notable exceptions, have been a bunch of bankers for a very long time too, haven’t they?

        Imagine electing a HoS (Head of State)? Who would stand for the job? Ex politicians? Jenny Shipley for Queen. Ruth Richardson? Helen Clarke? Jim Bolger for King?

        Or cele-braties perhaps? Lucy Lawless? Lorde for Queen? Or Temuera Morrison, Jeremy Corbett or Kim Dotcom for King? Bring back Buck! Or Larry Morris?

        Or the other option … oh no, please no … a HoS appointed by our elected government.

        Nooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!

        Reply
        • Jake the Muss for PM, imagine how those international conferences would go, someone has to stick it Putin’s Manhood (physical, in person, with a fist, in a repeatable fashion until consistency of baby food is achieved…)

          Reply
  2. Zedd

     /  16th December 2015

    I thought the Queen was briefed on political issues.. BUT the Royal family are supposedly a-political ? :/

    Obviously more misinfo.

    Reply
    • @ Zedd – yes indeed. It’s quite possible all official info is misinfo?

      Briefed and a-political eh?
      But who knows what lobbying the Old Girl gets up to behind the scenes?

      She’s kept the brute in Phillip under control all these years!

      Bet she muscles over the likes of Blair, Brown and Cameron, one way or another. No match for Wilson, Heath or Major though, they were all either too abstracted or distracted.

      (And I have no idea what I’m talking about really)

      Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  16th December 2015

      She doesn’t have a vote, no monarch does.

      That’s whiskery old news about PC. If I knew it, it must be well known as I don’t take that much interest in the Royal Family. But I wouldn’t believe every word I read in the Guardian.Enter Rumour, painted full of tongues.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  17th December 2015

        My mistake, she can in theory but never does because it’s seen as unconstitutional.

        Reply
  3. Nick R

     /  16th December 2015

    Complete non-story. The Queen gets cabinet papers because she is head of state everything discussed or decided in the cabinet papers is (at least nominally) being done in her name, up to and including passing legislation through Parliament.

    The Queen is also nearly 90. Prince Charles will at some point be required to assume her role either as her regent or successor. That could happen at extremely short notice. It would be undesirable to have to brief him from scratch on everything the government is doing at that point.

    If he was using cabinet papers or access to Ministers for some improper purpose, there would be a problem. But there is no evidence he has done that, as far as I know.

    Reply
  4. I don’t see a problem with the future King being briefed on everything, as long as he is discreet about how he uses the information. The Prince of Wales is of course still a member of the House of Lords, and can speak there and vote on legislation if he so chooses. However, I am not aware of the current Prince doing this at all, and I would think it generally unwise for a Prince of Wales to be too openly partisan in that manner.

    Reply
    • kittycatkin

       /  16th December 2015

      I don’t know if he has a vote-he may, although the Queen hasn’t.

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  16th December 2015

        Members of the actual Royal Family don’t vote.

        Reply
        • They can though. Legally speaking. And technically, the Queen is the President of the House of Lords – she can come and sit in the Chair at her leisure, although in reality she only does so on formal occasion such as that of “the Queen’s Speech”.

          Reply
  5. Maggy Wassilieff

     /  16th December 2015
    Reply
    • @ MW – I wish I had the time and energy to log every royal visit around the world over many decades and equate them with “deals” done at the time. Turns out I’ve got better things to do, but were I so inclined, I have no doubt whatsoever there would be agendas and ulterior motives aplenty attached to each and every one of them, with outcomes benign and malevolent, intended and not, foreseen and unforeseen.

      Big deal for BAE eh? Closer associations for the “well predicted” war on terror maybe?

      Got me wondering about the last two or three royal visits to New Zealand actually …. ?

      Reply
      • kittycatkin

         /  17th December 2015

        How would anyone know if he was doing all this lobbying ? Seeing papers doesn’t mean he’s acting upon them.

        Reply

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