THE press images emerging out of Prince Charles and Camilla’s royal tour Down Under have helped promote the couple in a warm light. Shots of koalas being hugged, an egg and spoon race, visits to farmers markets and a laugh shared at the Melbourne Cup — a happy couple enjoying the sights.
It also helps present a human face to a historical institution traditionally seen as removed from the people it serves. An approach the British monarchy appear to be embracing with a recent addition to the Royal Family’s new website: a FAQ section that seeks to debunk popular myths that have surrounded Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwell.
Amongst fairly mundane questions such as “What religion do The Prince and The Duchess practice?” (Church of England) and “Does The Prince of Wales pay tax?” (Yes), are a number of other questions you’ve always wanted answered, but never thought to ask.
One might well wonder, does the Prince dislike all modern architecture?
Apparently, the answer is a forceful “No”. The Prince is a Patron of several contemporary architects, and provides training through his charity to young architects.
However, the Prince does believe “buildings should be designed on a human scale and be sustainable, should respect the character of local surroundings, and should be able to cope with a variety of uses over their lifetime”.
The website also lets readers know the Duchess is no longer a smoker, the Prince does not advocate untested and dangerous alternative medical therapies and the Prince definitely does not require seven boiled eggs to be cooked for him at breakfast time in order that he may choose one of optimum consistency.
This curious fact relates to a claim BBC presenter Jeremy Paxman once made in his book “On Monarchy”. In it he alleged the Prince required seven eggs to be cooked for his breakfast and lined up in order of firmness in order for the Prince to finally decide on one for his morning meal.
The Prince’s environmental credentials are also brought under consideration, with readers informed that the Prince’s Jaguars, Audi and Range Rover have been converted to run on 100% biodiesel made from used cooking oil. His Aston Martin on the other hand runs on bioethanol made from waste wine and a cheese by-product.
Ever thought of joining the 161 member staff of the Prince’s energy efficient Household? Well, if so, the website tells us that personal staff are employed to work on the farm and estate, or in the garden, at Highgrove, or to ensure the smooth running of the Royal Household. Interested readers are directed to the recruitment section on the website which is updated on a regular basis.
Perhaps a FAQ for Prince Harry is next on the cards? It could kick off with “Is Mahiki or Bunga Bunga Prince Harry’s favourite Saturday night hangout.” I know that’s a question I’d like answered.