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Enthroned Charles 'won't keep mum'

The Prince of Wales will break with tradition and make "heartfelt interventions" in national life when he becomes king, it was reported.

The Guardian newspaper said sources close to the heir claimed Charles would not follow his mother's discretion on public affairs, but instead speak his mind on issues such as the environment.

One source told the newspaper: " Rather than a complete reinvention to become a monarch in the mould of his mother, the strategy will be to try and continue with his heartfelt interventions, albeit checking each for tone and content to ensure it does not damage the monarchy.

"Speeches will have to pass the following test: would it seem odd because the Queen wouldn't have said it, or would it seem dangerous?

The heir to the throne has regularly aired his opinions fully and freely over a variety of issues - from genetically modified crops to architecture, and g overnment ministers are said to regularly moan about the number of letters they receive from the crusading Prince.

The notes, mostly hand-written, are known to recipients as the "black spider" memos in which Charles enthusiastically details his beliefs on particular political topics, using lots of underlining and exclamation marks.

The letters are currently the subject of a legal battle over whether the contents should be made public.

A Clarence House spokesman said: " Speculation about The Prince of Wales's future role as king has been around for decades but it is not something we have commented on and nor will we do so now.

"The Prince of Wales cares deeply about this country and has devoted most of his working life to helping individuals and organisations to make a difference for the better - and not for his personal gain.

"He takes an active interest in the issues and challenges facing the UK and around the world through his own work and that of his charities. Over the past 40 years in his role as heir to the throne, the Prince of Wales has visited countless places and met numerous people from every walk of life.

"He carries out over 600 engagements a year. This gives him a unique perspective which has often led to him identifying issues before others which might otherwise be overlooked.

"He is often described as being ahead of his time and the evidence for this has been well documented and includes leading the work on corporate social responsibility, from as early as the 1980s, demonstrating the benefits of organic farming, as well as finding ways to help young people who are not in employment, education or training through his Prince's Trust."

Earlier, and in a demonstration of his passion on certain topics, the Prince spoke of his heartbreak at the "soul destroying tragedy" facing Christians in the Middle East.

Charles described the faith as "quite literally, grotesquely and barbarously assaulted" while addressing the congregation of the St Yeghiche Armenian Church in South Kensington, London.

He said: "We must all as Christians seek to do. For some time now I have been troubled by the appalling atrocities faced by Christians suffering in the Middle East ... It is the most soul destroying tragedy."

Charles added that Armenian Christians had long lived peacefully with their neighbours.

The community have suffered as a target of Syria's civil war and from the violent unrest in the wider region.

The Prince said: "It is heartbreaking to learn of the attacks on Christians and on Churches where they gather, such as the Church in Deir el Zour (Syria) earlier this year."

The Prince finished his address by expressing his sympathies to the congregation for the ongoing attacks, saying: "They seem so hopelessly inadequate but please, please just know truly heartfelt they are."

Charles has existing ties with the Armenian community and has shown an interest in encouraging inter-faith dialogue over the years.

He visited Armenia in May 2013 and spoke with some of the country's leading Christian figures.

In December last year Charles expressed concern about the challenges facing Christians in some Middle-Eastern nations in a visit to the Coptic Orthodox Church Centre in Stevenage and the Syrian Orthodox Church in Acton.

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