Prince charles

Labour, Prince Charles and homeopathic quacks: Andy Burnham has some explaining to do

Obfuscation is an important tool in the kit of any snake oil salesman, which helps to explain why the Royal London Homoeopathic Hospital has changed its name. It’s now known as The Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine. In this context the word ‘integrated’ is used because it’s suitably vague. It’s a catch-all term to describe any treatment ‘outside of mainstream healthcare’ – or in other words, treatments that don’t work. Homeopathy is a huge embarrassment to the NHS, but it’s not nearly as maligned as it should be. In fact it has one very prestigious backer, with a direct line to the Cabinet and the Prime Minister. Prince Charles’

Long life | 21 May 2015

I have rather a poor record for speeding over the years. I have been caught by cameras quite often, sometimes getting points on my licence and paying modest fines, and twice avoiding further points by attending speed-awareness courses to be educated in the dangers that speeding can cause. It has all sort of worked; I am now much more careful. But imagine if I was Finnish? According to a report I read recently in the New York Times, a Finnish businessman called Reima Kuisla was fined €54,024 (about £39,000) for driving at 64 mph in a 50 mph zone. This, Mr Kuisla pointed out, was enough to buy a brand-new

Charles Moore

The Spectator’s Notes | 21 May 2015

Who benefits from Prince Charles’s handshake with Gerry Adams? Not the victims of IRA violence, including the 18 soldiers who died at Warrenpoint on the same day as Lord Mountbatten was murdered. Not the moderate parties in Ireland, north or south, who never blew up anybody and so can get no kudos for pretending to be sorry about it afterwards. Only Adams (who was a senior IRA commander at the time of the killings) and Sinn Fein. His party has thus been relieved of current unpopularity in the Republic caused by long-running rape accusations, and is suddenly made to look good in the run-up to the centenary of the Easter

Prince Charles’s letters reveal the extent of his lobbying for dangerous ‘alternative medicine’

The age of enlightenment was a beautiful thing. People cast aside dogma and authority. They started to think for themselves. Natural science flourished. Understanding of the natural world increased. The hegemony of religion slowly declined. Eventually real universities were created and real democracy developed. The modern world was born. People like Francis Bacon, Voltaire and Isaac Newton changed the world for the better. Well, that’s what most people think. But not Charles, Prince of Wales and Duke of Cornwall. In 2010 he said: ‘I was accused once of being the enemy of the Enlightenment,’ he told a conference at St James’s Palace. ‘I felt proud of that.’ Then he added:

Seven things we learnt about Prince Charles from his ‘black spider’ letters

Prince Charles’s ‘black spider’ letters have just been released. Here are seven things we learnt about the future monarch from the correspondence: 1) He wants consumers to buy British (from a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair from 2004): 2) He is worried about defence spending (from a letter to Prime Minister Tony Blair from 2004): 3) He is interested in protecting architectural heritage (from a response to a letter from 2004 inviting the Secretary of State for Culture to a conference): 4) He is concerned about the ‘poor old’ albatross and the Patagonian Toothfish (from a letter to the Minister for the Environment from 2004): 5) He wants to cull badgers and thinks


Kristina Kyriacou rescues Prince Charles

Although the palace has played down concerns regarding the publication of Prince Charles’s ‘black spider’ memos to Government departments, given that they have spent nearly a decade fighting against their publication it can be presumed that the prince is not happy about the situation. Not that the Prince of Wales wishes to let his feelings be known. When he was stopped by Channel 4’s Michael Crick, who attempted to ask him about the letters, Charles’s press adviser Kristina Kyriacou, who has previously worked for Cheryl Cole, was on hand to bat Crick away: Mr S will keep you updated if Prince Charles does decide to comment later today.

Damian Thompson

Charles’s ‘spider letters’: The Guardian falls for the pseudoscience of graphology

The Prince of Wales’s ‘spider letters’ are out today – his letters to government ministers written or annotated in his distinctive spidery hand (see above) have been released under the Freedom of Information Act. Hat tip to James Snell on Twitter for alerting me to this utter garbage from the Guardian’s liveblog: What can we tell about Charles’ personality from the small amount of handwritten annotations in the black spider memos? Actually, quite a lot, according to the chairman of the British Institute of Graphologists. Charles’ fluid strokes, joined-up words and slight slant to the left reveal interesting things about his personality and how he will approach his kingship. Adam Brand told the Guardian

Princess Charlotte’s middle names will soon seem extraneous

Beatrice Elizabeth Mary. Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise. Elizabeth Alexandra Mary. These are the full baptismal names of Princesses Beatrice, Princess Anne and the Queen respectively. And what use are any of them other than the first one in each case? Today the papers have worked themselves up into a state of mild hysteria over the Cambridges’ choice of name for their daughter. Charlotte: fine, one for Prince Charles. But the Elizabeth and especially the Diana bit really got them going – the child’s third name merited an entire front page in the Mail. Diana won’t be forgotten, says her ‘closest friend’, Rosa Monckton. Well, fine. But what are the chances that anyone will remember

The rudeness of John Eliot Gardiner

Sir John Eliot Gardiner is talented almost beyond measure. His Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and stupidly named Orchestre Révolutionnaire et Romantique have notched up one triumph after another over the decades: benchmark recordings of the Monteverdi Vespers and Bach B minor Mass, the finest period-instrument Beethoven symphony cycle and a cantata pilgrimage of live performances of all the Bach sacred cantatas. His recordings of Mozart operas are dazzling. At 72, Gardiner is at his artistic peak. His live re-recordings of the Beethoven Fifth, Seventh and Missa Solemnis eclipse their predecessors and in its second account of the Bach motets the Monteverdi Choir sings with such eerie precision, infused with

Palace Notebook

The day of my investiture at Buckingham Palace dawned bringing freezing rain and fierce winds, which lashed at the windows as I regarded the outfit I had painstakingly planned — a lightweight, cream wool suit. A little damp didn’t bother me, so I didn’t care if I’d be shivering as Prince Charles pinned the medal on to my cape. No — it was the fate of the hat that worried me most. Designed by milliner Philip Treacy, it was a frothy creation of white grosgrain, chiffon flowers and delicate veiling, and I was concerned about the wind whipping it off. My best friend Judy Bryer said soothingly, ‘Philip has put so much

Max Hastings reveals the contents of a Prince Charles letter about homeopathy

Last month the Supreme Court ruled that Prince Charles’s ‘black spider memos’ to government ministers should be made public. The decision comes following a ten year legal battle between Buckingham Palace and the Guardian, after Clarence House argued that the contents of the letters were private. With the release now impending, Max Hastings has offered a taste of what could be to come in this week’s issue of the Spectator. The former editor of the Daily Telegraph says that he has a letter the Prince wrote ‘lobbying for some NHS funds to be diverted from conventional medicine to homeopathy’: ‘I have beside me a copy of a letter allegedly written by him some years ago

Max Hastings’s diary: The joys of middle age, and Prince Charles’s strange letters

I am living in rustic seclusion while writing a book. Our only cultural outing of the week was to Newbury cinema to see, transmitted from the National Theatre, Arthur Miller’s A View From the Bridge, object of rave reviews. We respected the piece but did not enjoy it. Granted, appreciation of all major works of art requires an effort by the viewer, listener, reader. But a pleasure of getting older is to be unafraid of waving the white flag. We resist modern-dress Shakespeare or worse, opera. We will cross continents to avoid the music of Harrison Birtwistle or the art of Damien Hirst. We are ardent Trollopeians, incorrigibly middlebrow. John

Prince Charles letter: “There is a DIVINE Source which is ultimate TRUTH”

I notice an online howl of anguish from a Kentucky professor of biology who faces demands from local evangelical Christians that creationism should be taught alongside evolution in his classes. This, it seems to me, parallels the Prince of Wales’s successful lobbying for some NHS funds to be diverted from conventional medicine to homeopathy. I have beside me a copy of a letter allegedly written by him some years ago to a cultural institution, asserting the conviction that ‘there is a DIVINE Source which is ultimate TRUTH… that this Truth can be expressed by means of numbers… and that, if followed correctly, these principles can be expressed with infinite variety

The trouble with Kids Company

In 2006, when David Cameron was leader of the opposition, he made an infamous speech that is remembered as an exhortation to hug a hoodie. Feral youth, he said, should be helped rather than demonised. He was reaching towards what he hoped would be a new, ‘compassionate’ conservatism inspired in part by the charismatic social activist Camila Batmanghelidjh. She was the perfect lodestar for the young Tory leader. She began her drop-in centre — the Kids Company — in 1996 and within a few years, was helping thousands of disadvantaged inner-city children. She’s colourful, powerful but also a former Sherborne girl with whom Cameron and other members of the establishment

Spectator letters: The ENO must go on; another expensive typo; and PC and Pamela

A vandalistic proposal Sir: Igor Toronyi-Lalic (Farewell, ENO, 7 February) displays a lack of judgment in advocating ENO’s demise and in suggesting that opera needs no opera houses, companies or subsidy. That its new arts editor should plead for the closure of England’s great repertory opera company is unworthy of The Spectator. Toronyi-Lalic is wrong to think that the hundreds of thousands of English opera-goers will be content with performances by itinerant ensembles only. Small-scale performances presented anywhere can be moving, but the public demand productions of a scale that befits the art form as it has grown over the last four centuries. An orchestrated ‘farewell’ to ENO would be

Spectator letters: Oxfam’s Ebola appeal; what Cumberbatch should have said; and why Prince Charles is right and wrong

In defence of Oxfam Sir: Mary Wakefield rightly praises Médecins sans Frontières but makes many misinformed claims about Oxfam and aid in general (31 January). Contrary to her suggestion, money donated to Oxfam and other charities’ emergency appeals must be spent solely on that crisis. This is stipulated by the Charity Commission and confirmed by our publicly available audited accounts. It is regrettably not possible for our website to provide a running commentary of developments in Liberia, but the British public can rest assured that their generous support is helping to save lives and to put lives back together. Indeed some of our funds in Liberia were spent on the

Model Olivia Inge has a proposition for Prince Charles

Prince Charles has a lot on his plate this week after a new biography claimed that the Queen thinks Britain is not ready for her son’s activism should he become king anytime soon. While his lawyers are set to examine the book closely to check if the author Catherine Mayer used ‘artistic license’ over her access to the Prince, Charles can take some comfort in the fact that he still has one ardent supporter. The model Olivia Inge, who is a descendant of William Gladstone, is keen to go into business with the heir-to-the-throne. She hopes that he will help her open a teepee in Regent’s Park, offering free tea and acupuncture to the public. ‘I plan to pitch the idea to Prince Charles,’

As a republican, I used to look forward to Charles III. Now I’m scared

When republicans meet, we console ourselves with the thought that our apparently doomed cause will revive. The hereditary principle guarantees that eventually a dangerous fool will accede to a position he could never have attained by merit, we chortle. With Charles III, we have just the fool we need. I don’t laugh any more. Britain faces massive difficulties. It can do without an unnecessary crisis brought by a superstitious and vindictive princeling who is too vain to accept the limits of constitutional monarchy. If you want a true measure of the man, buy Edzard Ernst’s memoir A Scientist in Wonderland, which the Imprint Academic press have just released. It would

Those ancient Greeks were bores — but things are looking up

Thick snow is falling hard and heavy, muffling sounds and turning the picturesque village postcard beautiful. I am lying in bed listening to a Mozart version of ‘Ave Maria’, a heavenly soprano almost bringing tears to my eyes with the loveliness of it. This is the civilisation of our ancestors — one that gave us Mozart, Schubert and Beethoven and built cathedrals all over the most wondrous continent in the world. It is now being replaced by a higher one in which distinctions of ethnicity and religion will no longer be tolerated. The human race has a limitless capacity for self-improvement, and it shows where architecture, the arts and music

Truth, Lies, Diana review: it was a cover-up!

Truth, Lies, Diana Charing Cross Theatre, in rep until 14 February John Conway’s sensationalist play, Truth, Lies, Diana, is a forensic re-examination of the circumstances surrounding the princess’s death in 1997. The issue of Prince Harry’s paternity, which earned the play much advance publicity, reaches no conclusions. James Hewitt co-operated with the show and Conway portrays him as a decent twerp ruthlessly smeared by shadowy puppet-masters (‘men in suits,’ Conway calls them), who set out to destroy his credibility. Hewitt admits that his trysts with Diana began at least a year before Harry’s birth. But is the Cad the dad? Hewitt’s keeping mum. Conway’s research into the crash revives various antique rumours: Diana was pregnant;