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I’m not that stupid – Charles won’t ‘meddle’ when he is king

The Prince of Wales says in a new documentary about his 70th birthday that he will have to operate within ‘constitutional parameters’.

The Prince of Wales has suggested he will not speak out on issues when he becomes king as he recognises being heir to the throne and head of state are two different roles.

Charles has been criticised in the past for his views on topics such as the environment or architecture, dubbed as meddling by critics.

Interviewed for a BBC documentary about his 70th birthday, the prince acknowledged he would not be “able to do the same things I’ve done as heir” and as monarch would have to operate within “constitutional parameters”.

In the hour-long film, the Duke of Cambridge said he would like his father to spend more time with his grandchildren – Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis.

He said “when he’s there, he’s brilliant” but “we need him there as much as possible”.

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(PA Graphics)

The Duchess of Cornwall also paid tribute to Charles’s role as a grandfather, saying her five grandchildren “absolutely adore” the prince, who reads the Harry Potter books while doing the voices of the characters.

Speaking in detail about his future role as head of state the prince said: “You know, I’ve tried to make sure whatever I’ve done has been non-party political, and I think it’s vital to remember there’s only room for one sovereign at a time, not two.

“So, you can’t be the same as the sovereign if you’re the Prince of Wales or the heir.

“But the idea somehow that I’m going to go on in exactly the same way, if I have to succeed, is complete nonsense because the two – the two situations – are completely different.”

You have to make of it what you feel is right Charles on being Prince of Wales

Asked whether his public campaigning will go on, he added: “No, it won’t. I’m not that stupid. I do realise that it is a separate exercise being sovereign. So of course I understand entirely how that should operate.”

When questioned about what some have termed his “meddling”, Charles defends his actions, which include establishing the Prince’s Trust in 1976 to help disadvantaged young people.

He said: “But I always wonder what meddling is, I mean I always thought it was motivating but I’ve always been intrigued, if it’s meddling to worry about the inner cities as I did 40 years ago and what was happening or not happening there.

“The conditions in which people were living. If that’s meddling I’m very proud of it.”

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The Prince of Wales looks at the Great Barrier Reef during a trip at Lady Elliot’s Island in Australia (Steve Parsons/PA)

The documentary captures the future king in private and public, from feeding vegetable scraps to his chickens and collecting their eggs at his Highgrove home in Gloucestershire, to visiting Australia’s Great Barrier reef to highlight climate change, and Caribbean islands recently devastated by a hurricane.

In the film, Prince, Son and Heir: Charles at 70, the royal says about his role as Prince of Wales: “You have to make of it what you feel is right.

“So, there’s nothing laid down, that’s what makes it so interesting, challenging and of course complicated.”

The Duchess of Cornwall described in the documentary how Charles was driven by the need to help others, saying: “He feels everything inside, that’s why he gets things done.

“He’s pretty impatient, he wants things done by yesterday as I think everybody who works for him will tell you. But that’s how he gets things done, he’s driven by this, this passion inside him to really help.”

She added: “He would like to save the world.”

Prince, Son And Heir: Charles At 70 will be screened on Thursday at 9pm on BBC One.

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