Unelected peer attacks unelected Royal. I’m with Prince Charles

Don’t get me wrong, I love the Pompidou centre. But when Lord Rogers attacks Prince Charles for criticising his designs for the redevelopment of Chelsea barracks he’s on thin ice. And perhaps if local people had been listened to, the Chelsea barracks project would not have been shelved. Prince Charles is not breaking some kind of Constitutional covenant as Lord Rogers implied this week. He’s expressing his own views and that of many Chelsea residents, both rich and poor, who do not like the the plans put forward by Lord Rogers and his team.

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8 comments ↓

#1 Brian Hughes on 06.20.09 at 12:40 pm

HRH did a bit more than merely criticising Lord Rogers’s designs. Amongst other machinations, he called in Qatarian royal favours.

But who needs housing anyway, huh?

Local people would have had the opportunity to express their views through the planning process, a process that in Britain, alas, so often seems to pander to the country’s dismal small c conservatism.

And at least the unelected peer got his gong on merit rather than by birth…

#2 Tom on 06.20.09 at 4:17 pm

He wasn’t just ‘expressing his views’, though, was he? Prince Charles took advantage of his position as heir to the throne to speak to the Qatari Royal Family and get it dropped. It’s something he could only do due to his position as heir apparent.

I’m not sure it’s quite as worrying as his frequent spouting off on progress in science, but it’s still a bit dodgy. We have a constitutional monarchy, and the monarch by convention does not express political viewpoints (and I would include planning matters as political, albeit at a small scale). The future monarch should not do so either. I don’t think being asked to keep your trap shut is a particularly big sacrifice in exchange for a life of remarkable privilege and luxury.

I’m no monarchist (can you tell?), but I can only hope Queen Liz lives to a ripe old age and blocks Charles from ever becoming King. It’s clear that her understanding of her role completely outstrips his.

#3 RobT on 06.20.09 at 5:19 pm

Perhaps Prince Charles should revisit Toy Tow…, sorry, Poundbury, near Dorchester, and ask himself if he could have overseen a more pleasant, integrated environment.

#4 James.R.Skinner on 06.21.09 at 9:26 am

Like you say, they are both unelected, so from my perspective, neither has the upper-hand over the other. But i will side with a royal rather than an unelected peer any day.

#5 dreamingspire on 06.21.09 at 10:52 am

Tom, it would help if you produce or reference the evidence about Chelsea residents’ views.
As someone who doesn’t know the area in detail and has only seen the artist’s impression of the development, and then only seen them in flashes on TV or pictures shown with news reports on the web, I certainly didn’t find the Rogers design outstanding or even attractive from those pictures.

#6 martyn on 06.21.09 at 1:52 pm

Charles didn’t interfere with the planning process though, he called the developers and told them he didn’t like – just so happened that he knew the developers.

If someone was planning to build a house that I thought was ugly and I knew the developer I’d do exactly the same.

Charles has it right, the Rogers plans are ugly and bland to say the least. The idea that local residents would have a voice in the planning process is laughable – it’s always about who has the loudest voice/most money in planning cases up and down the country.

#7 Ronnie Boy on 06.21.09 at 8:50 pm

To change the saying… I agree with what Charles has to say I just disagree that he has the right to say it…

#8 Bearded Socialist on 06.22.09 at 3:58 pm

I’ve taken a long time to wade in, but i’m impressed by the numbers who have already pointed out that it was not merely the expression of an opinion, but the letter to those funding the project.
If only people would listen to MY ideas on everything like that…

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