There is an air of unreality to Prince Charles’ spin-squad attempting this week to prove that the future British Head of State’s comparison of Putin to Hitler, while surrounded by journalists on a royal tour, was said in a ‘private conversation’.
It is not just that his views show how out of touch he and his PR team are with the nation and the real world, but Charles’ flippant remarks draw unwelcome attention to his own and his family’s close connections to Nazis, and related war-mongering.
His father Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh was educated for a time in Nazi Germany and his four sisters married black-uniformed SS officers (three of them, Sophie, Cecile and Margarita, joining the Nazi party). Philip admitted to then having 'inhibitions about the Jews' to an American academic and feeling 'jealousy of their success.' Charles’ great uncle, the abdicated ex-King Edward VIII, was such a swastika-waver that MI6 had to banish him to Bermuda for the duration of World War Two, thwarting his and his Nazi wife Mrs Simpson’s attempts to join Hitler by crossing into occupied Europe.
Charles himself has come quite close to publicly endorsing Hitler’s slippery chief Architect and Armaments Minister Albert Speer by hiring Speer’s greatest devotee, Léon Krier, as his own chief architect for his Duchy of Cornwall’s extensive building projects. Writer and broadcaster Jonathan Meades in his 1994 documentary, ‘Jerry Building’ nails Krier as the ‘Speer-carrier’ and ‘Keeper of the Toxic Flame’, pointing out that every one of Speer’s creations, which include the Nuremberg rally stadium, is inseparable from the inhuman experimentation and forced concentration camp labor used to construct them.
Charles’ great grandfather George V was one of the three ‘great’ architects of World War One, the so-called ‘Cousins’ War’, four years of mindless slaughter that began exactly a century ago. With two more Saxe-Coburg Gotha cousins, George’s hapless subjects slugged it out in trench warfare with Germany’s Wilhelm II and Russia’s Nicholas II's unfortunates leaving, by 1918, a total of some ten million dead for no discernible purpose.
When in 1917 ill-mannered soldiers began pointing out that German Gotha bombers from another branch of the King’s family business were killing them, George V blithely announced that his surname was changing from ‘Saxe-Coburg Gotha’ to the more English-sounding ‘Windsor’.
Even masterpieces like Richard Attenborough’s 1969 feature film 'Oh! What A Lovely War', the BBC’s controversial 1986 drama ‘The Monocled Mutineer’ and the poetry of Geoffrey Studdert-Kennedy, Worcester army padre known affectionately as 'Woodbine Willie', do not quite reflect the futility of the war and the bitterness it stirred up amongst ordinary people.
Today, despite standing against the Nazis in World War Two, Her Majesty’s government and armed forces, who all swear allegiance to the Queen, are backing most of the dictators and despots around the world. From President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Sri Lanka with the blood of 40,000 innocent Tamil civilians on his hands, to King Abdullah's brutal Saudi regime which still practices public beheadings. Charles’ tongue always speaks for the world leaders Amnesty International tells us are the bad guys, but he is looking to make money with them, whether through real estate or arms.
It started thirty six years after the bloodthirsty Knights Templar warrior-bankers were disgraced and dissolved, a new order of 26 ‘knights’ were initiated in 1348 that have dominated the British crown ever since. The Order of the Garter consists of two conjoined cells, each of thirteen knights that advise and ‘protect’ the monarch and heir apparent.
Because of their obsessive secrecy and lack of transparency over the centuries those appointed to these knights have become the very antithesis of Medieval chivalry, a lethal mixture of yes-men, and devious chancers who would sell their own mother to get a seat, and a cut of the rent, at the top table.
Nothing could illustrate more clearly the British monarchy’s distain for their poor subjects than Henry VIII’s asset seizure and eviction in the 1530s of around ten thousand monks from Britain’s monasteries. Since the days of Alfred the Great these holy orders had been providing a backbone of education and healthcare to the nation, but to Henry they represented a kind of Vatican fifth column, daring to question the wisdom of his break from Rome to form his independent Church of England.
In 1638, with special pleadings from Archbishop Laud, Charles I addressed the privatization of land, enclosure, by fining rich merchants and parliamentarians who had evicted villagers from collectively managed open fields. Only ‘freemen’ owning land worth over 40 shillings a year could vote so the merchants had effectively been voting themselves growing land the poor needed to feed themselves.
Charles I, perhaps bravely, perhaps foolishly, tried to buck the trend of the creeping privatization of land, but the merchants secretly organised against him, launched the English Civil War and he lost his head in 1649. The merchant classes were now firmly in power and ready to bring their new-fangled capitalism to the world.
Whether Charles’ meddling in politics today is for good or ill in Britain we can only guess because he spends hundreds of thousands of pounds, even more than he spends on PR, on confidentiality lawyers to stop the British public finding out. Not only has he been shown to be secretly vetoing legislation passed by parliament which he doesn’t like but sending regular hand-written ‘black spider’ directives to Secretaries of State.
Charles’ lawyers have fought a four year battle against Guardian journalist Rob Evans to keep these communications secret, arguing that as a private citizen he is not covered by the Freedom of Information Act. So far he has succeeded in keeping these directives, which professor of constitutional law at Manchester University Rodney Brazier modestly described as a 'constitutional innovation', secret.
How the nation is to deal with Charles' secret stretching of what is expressly a non-political office, in a way that his mother Queen Elizabeth rarely appears to have done, hangs in the air like a constitutional bad smell. If his mother’s rare missive to the Labour Home Secretary demanding the arrest of radical Muslim cleric Abu-Hamza are anything to go by Charles’ letters would be revealing indeed.
Visitors to Charles’ country estate, Highgrove House in Gloucestershire, are disappointed to find all traces of Princess Diana are notable by their absence, even from the gift shop where she would no doubt turn a handsome profit. Despite William and Harry doing much of their growing up here their mother’s name, image and memory has been entirely expunged.
This is a pity since Diana and the boys spent many of their happiest times in and around the market town of Tetbury, nestling as it does in the heart of the Cotswolds countryside. On Sunday mornings in the late 1980s and early 1990s Diana could be spotted with young Princes William and Harry slipping into the back rows of St Mary the Virgin and St Mary Magdalen Church after the service had begun to avoid attention, looking for all the world like just any other young mum with her boys. After church they'd cycle back down country lanes back to Highgrove, a couple of miles south of the town.
Locals say the threesome made a sport of evading royal protection squad police officers who were supposed to be following them at all times but whom the princess saw as ‘claustrophobic’, putting up a barrier between them and passers-by. Diana insisted on bringing the boys up ‘to see themselves as the same as everyone else.’ Teaching them to talk in a down-to-earth, relaxed way with the public.
But after the adultery with Camilla and subsequent divorce, Diana was now a ‘problem' for Charles and the Queen. According to Australian investigative journalist John Morgan they set up what they called the ‘Way Ahead Group’ (WAG) to manage the three fold ‘Diana problem’.
Firstly her anti-land mines campaign was threatening arms company profits both in France and Britain, then she was using the British press to successfully assert herself as a national figure and finally WAG meetings became more urgent because Diana was about to announce her engagement to Dodi Al Fayed, meaning William and Harry might be about to get a Muslim stepfather.
In Morgan’s 2012 book 'Paris-London Connection, The Assassination of Princess Diana', John Morgan says evidence revealed in the two police enquiries and inquest suggested the Queen and Prince Charles tipped the wink to Britain’s Foreign Intelligence Service MI6, that if Diana were to have an ‘accident’ nobody at the palace would mind.
Keith Allen's 2011 documentary 'Unlawful Killing' which examines the decade late Diana inquest, proves beyond doubt that her death was no accident. But the film has not been shown on TV and been suppressed online and in the cinemas by the deep-pocketed royal lawyers. It may never now be shown in Britain.
Charles is of course responsible for none of his royal predecessors' turbulent history but like anyone else he can and should choose his own way. The path of secrecy and the PR wall he has attempted to construct around himself simply will not wash in today’s connected world, serving only to alienate him from most of his 65 million subjects.
However the Putin Nazi lie has gained unhappy momentum because Britain's three party leaders have shown contempt both for the constitution and public by backing the prince against the facts and the national interest.
What they have shown by weighing in to support Charles' slur against Russia is that Britain's ruling elite, including the arms manufacturers, can be dictators deciding in private meetings amongst themselves what foreign policy to pursue. Even in election week our so-called top politicians don't have the backbone to stand up to the establishment, however brazen the lies.
Outside his charmed circle, Charles’ ungracious remarks will persuade very few here in Britain. They demonstrate both a perverse underplaying of the 25 million Soviet dead of World War Two and a further move toward nuclear war today in Europe. The party leaders have also refused to recognize Charles' own government and armed forces’ backing for the post-coup Ukrainian government, key ‘Right Sector’ elements of which proudly sport pictures of Nazis such as war criminal Stepan Bandera on their Kiev walls.
Charles does not understand, as his mother appears to have done, that he cannot have it both ways as Head of State and as a politician. Charles’ devil-may-care remarks have invited disdain for him at home and for Britain abroad. Ironically, for the man who is proud of his Transylvanian ‘Dracula’ ancestry, being descended from the fifteenth century despot Vlad the Impaler, they represent one more nail in the coffin of the British monarchy.
The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.