Charles may have 'spread himself too thin', royal expert says

Prince William could have ‘chosen his words better’ when he vowed to ‘go further’ than other members of the Royal Family on climate change, royal experts tell PALACE CONFIDENTIAL

  • Richard Kay told Palace Confidential what Prince of Wales’s remarks mean for the monarchy 
  • READ MORE: William makes his sales pitch for King

King Charles may have ‘spread himself too thin’ in his time as Prince of Wales, a royal expert had said – but his son could have ‘chosen his words better’ when vowing to ‘go a step further’ than his family.

Speaking to this week’s Palace Confidential, the Daily Mail’s editor-at-large explained what William’s vow to bring real change to the causes he supports signals for the monarchy.

The father-of-three, 41, recently praised the work of other Royal Family members ‘spotlighting’ important causes, but insisted he wanted to do more than ‘just being’ a patron.

‘William is really entering into territory we’ve never known a royal explore before,’ Richard told Jo Elvin, Richard Eden and Rebecca English.

‘And he wants to do things, he doesn’t want to just be – in his father’s words – a convener, bringing the people together who can do the things that Charles would like to see.

The father-of-three, 41 (pictured in Singapore earlier this week) recently praised the work of other Royal Family members ‘spotlighting’ important causes, but insisted he wanted to do more than ‘just being’ a patron 

‘William actually, physically wants to do them.’

Richard used the example of the Prince of Wales wanting to build houses in his bid to end homelessness. 

‘Here we have a young prince talking about actually building the properties which would  help solve the crisis,’ he remarked.

‘And as a very large landlord with the Duchy of Cornwall at his disposal, he of course can build many thousands of homes should he wish.’

The expert observed that it’s a ‘very different approach to that of his father, who’s in many ways spread himself too thinly as Prince of Wales’.

‘William is going to concentrate on a few key issues, it seems to me,’ Richard added. ‘And if he is going to do this – well good for him, let’s see.’

However, Rebecca English, the Daily Mail’s Royal Editor, explained how the royal’s tone risked painting the work of others in his family as ‘a bit ineffectual’ even though she ‘doesn’t think that’s the case’.

‘I think he maybe could’ve chosen his words better,’ she told the programme. ‘Because he suggests all they’ve been doing is shining a spotlight.

Speaking to Palace Confidential, the Daily Mail’s Editor At Large Richard Kay (pictured) explained what William’s vow to bring real change to the causes he supports signals for the monarchy

The expert observed that it’s a ‘very different approach to that of his father, who’s in many ways spread himself too thinly as Prince of Wales’. Charles pictured earlier this week

‘He was trying to make the point that over the years, historically, royals have been patrons of hundreds of organisations and he and Catherine want to focus on a smaller number and get more involved with them.

‘But I think he sometimes forgets when he says this… what his father’s achieved over the years.’

Rebecca praised Charles’s work with the Prince’s Trust in particular. 

‘He probably has delved into too many issues at once over the years,’ she agreed. ‘But it doesn’t mean he’s not been effectual.’

Diary editor Richard Eden also remarked that William’s comments are ‘radical’ and paint a ‘different view of the monarchy and the future’.

He expressed his worries for charities who may be left without a royal patron – which helps many with ‘getting work done’. 

‘Future king William – will he pleased for others to become patrons, other members of his family?’ Richard questioned.

‘It would seem not. If he’s just going to be concentrating on a few causes where does that leave the other members of his family?’

William’s remarks as his Singapore trip came to a close will likely raise eyebrows at Buckingham Palace as he continues to set out a vision for the monarchy’s future.

One cause he wants to focus on is homelessness, saying he wanted to help build homes and deliver mental health support, education and employment opportunities.

It comes as the Prince and his wife Kate Middleton continue to step up their public appearances and William sets out his agenda for what type of King he wants to be.

Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said the comments were ‘highly significant’, adding that ‘criticism aimed at the monarchy is to question what the royals actually achieve’.

Rebecca (centre) praised Charles’s work with the Prince’s Trust in particular, as Diary editor Richard (left) also remarked that William’s comments are ‘radical’ 

King Charles may have ‘spread himself too thin’ in his time as Prince of Wales, a royal expert had said – but his son could have ‘chosen his words better’. Both pictured at the Queen’s funeral last year

Mr Fitzwilliams also claimed William’s language shows how he ‘regards it as essential that the monarchy reconnect with the young where its support is currently weak’.

He also pointed out that William has said the ‘challenge of abolishing homelessness will be his life’s work’ and his late mother Diana ‘would undoubtedly have approved’.

Mr Fitzwilliams also said his private views on Home Secretary Suella Braverman’s description of the homeless in tents as a ‘lifestyle choice’ can ‘only be imagined’.

Fellow royal expert Phil Dampier also pointed out that the ‘days of the late Queen and Prince Philip having 1,500 patronages between them have clearly gone’.

And he raised fears that many charities and organisations could now lose their prized royal links given the so-called ‘slimmed-down monarchy’ which now also operates without former senior royals Prince Andrew, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.

Furthermore, Mr Dampier said it will be difficult ‘balancing act’ for William to be ‘careful not to stray into political issues’ during his campaigning, similar to his father. 

Other senior royals have also been very active in recent days – with King Charles III and Queen Camilla visiting Kenya last week before yesterday’s State Opening of Parliament; while Prince Harry did a stand-up comedy video for a charity event in New York on Monday after attending a Katy Perry gig in Las Vegas on Saturday.

William’s interview on the last day of his trip to Singapore came after he worked up a sweat in the jungle and heard how young people have been helping conservation.

The Prince was led around MacRitchie Nature Reserve by the country’s deputy prime minister Lawrence Wong. The pair discussed the environment and nature on show and spoke of Singapore’s vision to be a ‘City in Nature’, sources said. And the prince said he was looking forward to seeing Mr Wong when he next visits the UK.

Speaking to print media, the Prince said: ‘So I think the thing that ties it all together for me is about social leadership. 

‘That’s what I’m trying to find my way in, is I care about so many things, and previously the family have been very much spotlighting brilliantly and going round and highlighting lots – I want to go a step further – I want to actually bring change and I want to bring people to the table who can do the change if I can’t do it.

‘And so it’s all about progressing, helping and advancing particular social causes that need to be given more support.

‘I’ve been in the homelessness sector for a long time now, and so rather than just being patron I want to do more, I want to actually build the homes, I want to provide them with the mental support, all the employment and the education they might need.’

The prince added: ‘So it’s all these wraparound services, it’s kind of going deeper and longer, than it is the case of just having loads of causes that you sort of turn up and keep an eye on.

‘It’s more about: how do I show my intent more? How do we do more for you? And give you a better, better future.

‘But you have to remain focused, if you spread yourself too thin you just can’t manage it and you won’t deliver the impact or the change that you really want to happen.’

Pictured: William and Singapore’s Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong during a TreeTop Walk at Central Catchment Nature Reserve earlier this week 

The Prince of Wales spoke to NPark Rangers and NPark Youth Stewards for Nature during the outing

William was speaking after the third annual Earthshot Prize awards ceremony was held yesterday evening, which recognises solutions to ‘repair’ the planet, and saw five winners handed £1million each to support efforts to scale their innovative climate and environmental solutions.

William said he was ‘still digesting’ after the ceremony and that Earthshot was ‘still on the go, doing loads of meetings’ and added that this year ‘feels bigger than last year, so we’re progressing and we’re building as we go’.

He added: ‘I think that’s the key aim is that every year we’ve got to get bigger and reach more people – the profile is massive so we need to make that bigger and better.

‘And this is the first time we’ve come into Asia, so it’s important the Asian market see us, know what the actual prize is. We’ve predominantly obviously done western with the UK and Boston.

‘So I think it’s all about working out: where do we go next? How do we join the dots?’

He added that the impact investment side is ‘really crucial’ because Earthshot is not ‘just an awards ceremony’.

William said: ‘People think this is philanthropy. They think it’s just a prize ceremony. It’s not, this is so much more.

‘It’s about, how much impact can we achieve by scaling and building up and spotlighting these incredible people with brilliant solutions?

‘We’ve just got to join some more dots between policy regulators, governments’ money, and then you blend it all together and then see the impact from that.’

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