Skip to main content


We could use a meddling king

Engaging deeply with a tree, and why not. Chris Jackson/Getty

I’m not so sure King Charles should give up the campaigning he did as Prince of Wales, says Andrew Marr in The New Statesman. The government is full of ministers with a record of hostility to “green crap”. Like most of the rest of us, the King feels differently: he was one of the first to recognise the climate crisis as the “central question facing mankind”. Not being an elected politician, he can afford to think in “centuries rather than electoral cycles”. And when he “gets his teeth into something”, friends of his tell me, he doesn’t let go. An “injection of long-termism” by the King into our politics could be a powerful argument for monarchy.

Charles and his family can’t do much to help mend Britain’s broken public services and “stuttering, too-low-growth economy”. But “in gentle ways”, they can indicate what side they are on in terms of social issues – think of Prince William going out to sell the Big Issue. Britain is “nowhere near a republican moment”, but poll numbers have steadily moved against monarchy over the past decade, especially among the young. That means that “the King must keep making the case for himself. He must be eloquently relevant.” Rather than clamming up, he should focus “the final act of his life” on fighting for the climate and other issues he and his subjects share a passion for. It might be just what we all need.