PRINCE Charles has often voiced his desire to reform the monarchy, which put him on a collision course with other royals including the Queen and Prince Philip. He has drawn comparisons with another Prince of Wales who shook the Royal Family to the core.
The current Prince of Wales is “determined to push the boundaries to prepare for a new style of monarchy”, according to a source. But no matter how groundbreaking for a royal his projects may be, Prince Charles have a famous predecessor who also had planned to carry out major changes in the House of Windsor – Edward VIII. Royal expert Ted Powell argues the royal, who abdicated in 1936 to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, had plans that would have caused a “decisive break” from traditions.
The author of King Edward VIII: An American Life told Express.co.uk: “When Edward came to the throne, he promised a decisive break with the cautious traditionalism of his father George V.
“He consciously sought to carry on the informal, democratic approach to his royal duties which he had developed as Prince of Wales.
“His formative experiences had taken place during and after World War I, when so many European monarchies had collapsed.
“He recognised that the House of Windsor’s position could not be taken for granted, it had to be positively sold to each generation.
“He grasped intuitively that the British monarchy was a product, a ‘brand’ which needed to be refreshed and marketed, and soon discovered that he himself was a natural salesman.
“As part of the rebranding process, he believed that the Crown needed to modernise if it was to survive as a relevant institution – rather than an historical relic – in twentieth-century Britain.”
In a similar way, Prince Charles has called for a reorganisation to adapt the Windsors to the changes that came with the 21st century.
The Prince of Wales shocked the royals when he called for a “slimmed down” monarchy, which would take away titles from the members of the family too far down the succession line to ever be crowned.
His plans put him on a collision course with his brother Prince Andrew, who opposed to them as they would deprive his daughters, Princess Eugenie and Princess Beatrice, of their titles.
Charles has also been accused of meddling in politics, taking stances on political issue such as climate change and China’s occupation of Tibet.
In 1999 he went as far as snubbing a state dinner hosted by the Chinese government during its leaders’ official visit, a move believed to be a protest against Beijing.
This move left his father Prince Philip in “dismay”, according to historian Max Hastings, who said: “This turned to be a source of considerable frustration and dismay to Prince Philip, who has led an intensely disciplined life, with which he’s kept his mouth largely shut, under
Prince Charles’s plans to take the monarchy into the new century go back to his youth.
In a letter written in 1978 to his private secretary, Prince Charles expressed he wanted to help those in need in a different way than the one adopted since by the Crown.
He wrote: “I want to consider ways in which I can escape from the ceaseless round of official engagements and meet people in less artificial circumstances.”
And he even declared his desire to visit “immigrant areas”, in a bid to use his fame and influence to shed a light on their issues.
He said: “I want to pay more visits to immigrant areas in order to help these people to feel that they are not ignored or neglected.”
Between the 1980s and the 1990s Prince Charles did get involved with helping communities in inner cities, visiting troubled neighbourhoods in London and participating to campaigns against knife crime.
Source: EXPRESS CO UK