In November, Prince William went to Singapore. During his trip he attended the Earthshot Prize which is a ‘week-long celebration of innovation and impact’ about climate. Climate change is something that royals are passionate about; King Charles especially has championed the topic for a very long time.
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However, since he became monarch King Charles cannot be as involved as he used to be. That task falls solely on Prince William who also seems passionate about the topic. In 2020 he launched the Earthshot Prize with David Attenborough which rewards five winners each year for their work for the environment.
But Prince William recently revealed that he wants to do much more. There’s one issue with that…
Prince Charles’ jealousy
This trait of King Charles appears to be well-documented. Indeed, Princess Diana herself mentioned it in her now famous 1995 BBC interview. In it she mentioned how, then Prince Charles, was struggling to cope with the attention and the love she was receiving when they were together.
We'd be going round Australia, for instance, and all you could hear was, oh, she's on the other side.
Now, if you're a man, like my husband a proud man, you mind about that if you hear it every day for four weeks. And you feel low about it, instead of feeling happy and sharing it.
Then, when asked if she was happy about the attention she was receiving, the Princess answered:
No, not particularly, because with the media attention came a lot of jealousy, a great deal of complicated situations arose because of that.
Now while this was several decades ago, one could assume that, now monarch, jealousy would be a thing of the past. Unfortunately, one 'royal friend' indicates otherwise.
Prince William warned
At the end of his Singapore trip Prince William gave an interview in which he explained that he intended to do more than any other royal before him. He showed his desire to maybe tackle less but to get more involved. He said:
I care about so many things, and previously the family have been very much spotlighting brilliantly and going round and highlighting lots
I want to go a step further – I want to actually bring change and I want to bring people to the table who can do the change if I can't do it.
He also added that he will not be satisfied ‘just being a patron’. Prince William wants to do more than be a face for the causes he supports, he wants to be given the time and space to actually do the work.
Though this is very commendable of him, Daily Beast writer Tom Sykes issued a warning to the Prince of Wales. In the publication’s weekly royal newsletter he quotes a ‘royal friend’ who says:
William is entitled to make these comments, which, frankly, are pretty unremarkable, but part of the reason the marriage with Camilla has worked so well is that she understands that Charles is the star. William has to be careful not to wake the green-eyed monster.
Though this is quite a good narrative for the press to latch on, The Daily Beast article doesn’t just stop there. It also gives the perspective of one of the King’s friends who believes that Prince William’s comments will have the opposite effect. The anonymous friend explains:
His mother allowed Charles the freedom to do what he wanted as Prince of Wales and, especially in the last years of her life, he was king in all but name.
That model worked very well as it ensured continuity between the reigns. People will no doubt want to suggest he is jealous of William, but that’s just media rubbish.
He wants nothing more than for William to start thinking about what his reign is going to look like. What matters more than anything to Charles now is the strength of the institution.
Both perspectives are interesting and it is difficult to know whether or not Prince William’s comments have stirred any jealous feelings in King Charles. But one thing is for sure, just the possibility of it has made a lot of ink spill (ours included).
PBS archive - Princess Diana 1995 BBC interview
The Daily Beast: Don’t Make Charles Jealous, King’s Friends Warn Prince William
Hello!: Prince William wants to 'go a step further' than royal family to support his causes