Prince Charles, the heir to the classiest throne left, is widely known not to share the discretion of his mother, Elizabeth II. But now, voices are starting to warn that what was tolerable from a long-serving Prince of Wales will not fly for a monarch. As Nick Cohen writes in The Guardian:
The future Charles III expects to be heeded, not scrutinised, and above all he expects to intervene in politics with a regularity and partisanship his mother never dared imitate or, as far as we know, ever wanted to imitate either.[…] Prince Charles has every reason to carry on behaving with his usual neurotic vanity. But then Edward VIII seemed as secure when he became king in January 1936 and he was gone within the year. History suggests that Britain may be a slavishly monarchical country, but if the monarch goes too far then the monarch goes. Don’t be too surprised if the indulgence and protection vanishes as swiftly for Charles III as it did for his great uncle.
Cohen would like to see the monarchy ended, but as he point out, the friends of the monarchy should take heed of these warnings more than anyone. George III’s mother is supposed to have advised her son to “rule, not just reign;” that advice cost George thirteen prime colonies and the idea that the personal views of the monarch should make a difference in how Britain should be governed is a recipe for even more trouble today.While the British monarchy is more than 1,000 years old, quite a few monarchs have been turfed out or killed. Charles III won’t have to worry about the latter fate, but unless he makes up his mind to keep his opinions to himself, he could well share the fate of Edward VIII. Britain is run by professional politicians these days and while Queen Elizabeth has wide and deep popularity, the ice beneath her eldest son, surrounded as he is by hired staffers who may not be eager to share inconvenient truths with their august boss, may be much thinner than he understands.