Under a deal struck by Home Secretary Priti Patel in April, migrants who arrive in Britain illegally face being deported 4,000 miles away to Rwanda. Future King Charles, 73, is said to have described the approach as “appalling” while speaking in private, and expressed his opposition to it several times. But Tory cabinet ministers are reportedly not happy with the Prince taking on their policy, arguing that he needs to emulate the “Queen’s genius” in not sharing what he thinks.
A royal source told the Times: “He said he was more than disappointed at the policy.
“He said he thinks the Government’s whole approach is appalling. It was clear he was not impressed with the Government’s direction of travel.”
A senior cabinet minister later told the publication: “Prince Charles is an adornment to our public life, but that will cease to be charming if he attempts to behave the same way when he is King. That will present serious constitutional issues.
“A lot of his views on architecture and horticulture are interesting, and I would always be willing to listen to them privately.
“But that’s very different from him making public interventions as monarch.
“The Queen’s genius is that most of us have no idea what she thinks.”
Another added that Charles has “misunderstood the role” of a Royal, and that the trouble with him is “he thinks he needs to be interesting”.
In a BBC documentary marking his 70th birthday in 2018, Charles said he would not make public interventions on such subjects once he was king, declaring: “I’m not that stupid.”
Nigel Farage had earlier blasted the Prince for his reported comments, tweeting: “Unless Prince Charles wants to destroy the monarchy he had better shut up fast.”
A spokesman said: “We would not comment on supposed anonymous private conversations with the Prince of Wales, except to restate that he remains politically neutral. Matters of policy are decisions for Government.”
As Prince rather than ruling monarch, Charles is not bound by the same rules as the Queen, and unlike Her Majesty is not required to act on the advice of ministers.
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He is therefore within his rights to offer personal views on public policy in private.
Charles’ comments come just as the first plane to transport migrants to Rwanda is set to leave on Tuesday after the High Court denied a bid to stop it.
The Prince himself is set to visit Rwanda for the Commonwealth heads of government conference (CHOGM).
Royal commentator Jennie Bond praised the future King for speaking out, telling GB News: “He’s not the monarch — he is the Prince of Wales — and I for one woke up this morning and saw those headlines and thought, ‘Good for you, Charles. That’s just great. You’ve come out and you’ve said what you think.’”
In 2015, the Prince defended his decision to write several letters to ministers, often known as the “black spider” memos for his distinctive handwriting, in which he discussed matters including a lack of resources for British armed forces in Iraq, the benefits of complementary medicine and the need for affordable rural homes.
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Clarence House said at the time that the letters showed “the range of the Prince of Wales’s concerns and interests for this country and the wider world”.
The Government has argued its Rwanda policy is crucial to deter Channel crossings after more than 10,000 migrants crossed this year.
However, it has faced continued legal challenges and questions over its ethics, with the UN’s refugee agency UNHCR backing calls to halt the flight on the grounds it breached Britain’s international legal obligations.
A Government spokesman said: “Our world-leading partnership with Rwanda will see those making dangerous, unnecessary and illegal journeys to the UK relocated there to have their claims considered and rebuild their lives.
“Rwanda is a fundamentally safe and secure country with a track record of supporting asylum seekers and we are confident the agreement is fully compliant with all national and international law.”