The role of King of the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth is a tricky one. As monarch, Charles is both head of state and not a member of the political landscape. It is understood that the King or Queen cannot interfere with political decisions or influence debate.
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However, the monarch has weekly meetings with the Prime Minister and must be kept up to date with what is happening in the country. Indeed, the government is led in the monarch’s name.
In this tricky position, it appears that both Queen Elizabeth and King Charles share the same trait. They like to know things…
A royal love for gossip
According to this insider:
King Charles loves political gossip and wants to be kept informed of what goes on behind the scenes.
This is something that has been known about King Charles for a very long time. Indeed, as Prince of Wales, his work for the environment was inherently political and demanded that he kept up with the news.
However, very recently it was revealed by Nicola Sturgeon that Queen Elizabeth was the same. According to Scotland’s former Prime Minister, the late Queen was adamant that she needed the ‘real story’ and not what the newspaper or reports were saying.
She liked a bit of gossip, she liked to hear what was happening in the political world.
She would ask me about things she had read in the papers and what was the real story here.
King Charles’ political interference
While the late Queen was careful not to influence the political landscape, King Charles has not always followed the same rule of thumb.
Indeed, after a ten year legal battle, in 2015, The Guardian was finally able to access documents showing that between 2004 and 2005, Charles had sent letters which showed his ‘lobbying at the highest level of politics.’
In the 27 memos, known as the ‘black spider’ memos, King Charles wrote to Prime Minister Tony Blair and other members of Blair’s Labour government demanding ‘ urgent action to improve equipment for troops fighting in Iraq to the availability of alternative herbal medicines in the UK.’ These were not the only demands the Prince of Wales made.
However, a year after his accession to the throne, King Charles III seems very far away from his days of political interference. But not taking a public stance doesn’t mean that King Charles cannot be the most well-informed man in the country…
Gala: Charles III fan de potins politiques : ces révélations étonnantes
Express: King Charles 'loves political gossip' and demands to be informed of behind the scenes news
The Guardian: Prince Charles's 'black spider memos' show lobbying at highest political level