Belfast Telegraph

So the Prince of Hypocrites is going on tour. Lucky I’m away

By Julie Burchill

As if the idea of a summer ‘staycation’ in Blighty hasn't been discredited enough by the soggy old weather, those of our countrymen unwise enough to linger anywhere in the vicinity of these sceptered isles in early September are going to get a nasty shock.

For they run the risk of running into Prince Charles in full-on, emerald-green hypocritical flight. Though he won't actually be flying this time — not like he did in 2007 to the US, first class, with an entourage of 20 people, to collect an environmental award.

No, this time he'll be riding the Royal train, which runs on sustainable biofuel — and hot air — hosting a five-day series of meetings and receptions along the way.

You know, that shag-palace-on-sidings where back in the day this man of principle used to sleep with the wife of a brother officer while engaged to a virgin he chose like a broodmare. Happy days of our glorious heritage.

In the words of the age old Monkees’ theme, ‘so you better get ready’, he might be coming to a town near you. The residents of Glasgow, Edinburgh, Carmarthen, Bristol, Newcastle, Todmorden, Manchester or Birmingham may well be treated to the Prince's thoughts on sustainable living, including “a major scheme to encourage people in Wales to help sustain tropical rainforests,” according to the BBC.

I wonder what they'll talk about, the Prince and his people, on this whistle-stop tour of modern Britain.

Maybe they can rejoice together that the price of food has gone up so much in the past three years, according to the price comparison website mySupermarket.co.uk, that shoppers are paying 58% more for those oh-so-yummy rice and pulses, 30% more for a keep-calm-and-carry-on cuppa and 18% more for life's little luxuries, such as bread and eggs.

You might think this would mean that Prince Charles will have to pull in his belt like the rest of us and cease his habit of having up to half-a-dozen boiled eggs served to him at breakfast until he finds, in the manner of Goldilocks, one which is cooked to his liking.

Happily, he is the proud owner of his own flock of more than a dozen hens who live in a £10,000 hen house modelled on a Saxon steeple and made of environment-friendly green oak.

Still, I hope the recession-hit Brit won't be looking for sympathy from the farmer Prince, as cheap food has always been one of his pet hates.

As he pronounced back in 2002: “The consumer needs to be made more aware that the seemingly endless desire for convenience and the lowest price has a direct impact, like it or not, on the producer. There is a real cost involved in cheap food to the countryside, to those who live and work there and to animal welfare. So let us not sacrifice long-term security for short-term convenience.”

Don't you love it when a princely plan comes together? And you'll have even more chances to pay more for basket basics over the coming months, as the price of bread and pasta seems set to rise even further after Russia

announced a ban on the export |of wheat in order to protect itself from shortages — another thing the Prince will approve of, seeming as he does in his crazed green way to believe that every country should be completely self-sufficient.

Personally, I'll be whooping it up in the flesh-pots of Tenerife when the clown prince spreads the word amongst us planet-polluting proles, but if I were to meet him, I'd have two words for him — yes, apart from those — and those two words would be ‘Marie Antoinette’.

I've said it before but it bears repeating: green is the first socio-political movement in which every single leader and spokesperson is filthy rich — with PC himself at the top of the pile.

Let them eat Duchy Originals cake, eh Charles? But try to hold back with the Duchy Originals Cornish Pasty — which boasts more calories on a gram-for-gram basis than a Big Mac.

Toodle pip!

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