The Cabinet Office has finally released letters that the Prince of Wales’ wrote to various figures in Tony Blair’s government (the full set can be seen here). All in all, they are a fairly anodyne read. Not surprisingly, they deal with issues such as agriculture, the environment, complementary medicine, and the preservation of historic buildings, which are all issues of longstanding interest to the Prince.
Whatever the merits of his views, Prince Charles makes constructive arguments, and he does not presume to command the Government. It’s clear that Ministers felt no obligation to accede to his requests. For example, Ruth Kelly (then Education Secretary) politely declined a request to fund professional development and initial teacher training provided by the Prince of Wales Education Summer Schools.
When Ministers did act in accordance with Prince Charles’ wishes, it’s far from clear that his influence was the deciding factor. Although he wrote to Tessa Jowell (then Culture Secretary) to…
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