News / Europe

    Prince Charles Says He's in No Hurry to Become King

    Britain's Prince Charles (R) speaks to Clare Curran and her daughter Jessie, 6, during a visit to mark National Police Memorial Day at St David's Hall in Cardiff, Wales, Sep. 29, 2013.
    Britain's Prince Charles (R) speaks to Clare Curran and her daughter Jessie, 6, during a visit to mark National Police Memorial Day at St David's Hall in Cardiff, Wales, Sep. 29, 2013.
    Reuters
    Prince Charles' passion in life is his charitable work and he wants to get as much done as he can before becoming king when, in the words of an aide, “the prison shades” close, according to Catherine Mayer, editor-at-large of the U.S. magazine Time.
     
    After months of research involving rare access to the Prince of Wales, 64, and to several of his residences, as well as interviews with more than 50 aides, friends and critics, Mayer has written a long profile of the heir-to-the-throne in the magazine.
     
    In an accompanying essay giving Mayer's personal point of view on the prince, available free on the Time website, she seeks to dispel the perception sometimes reflected in media coverage that Charles is impatient to become monarch.
     
    “I found a man not, as caricatured, itching to ascend the throne, but impatient to get as much done as possible before, in the words of one member of his household, 'the prison shades' close,” Mayer writes in the online essay.
     
    The aide's quote was seized on by numerous British newspapers but Mayer told the BBC they had “sexed up” her article and Charles himself had not used the word “prison”.
     
    “Prince Charles' passion lies with the charitable empire he has built up, and all of his initiatives,” she said.
     
    In his own comments to Mayer, Charles seeks to convey that passion to a sometimes skeptical public.
     
    “We're busily wrecking the chances for future generations at a rapid rate of knots by not recognizing the damage we're doing to the natural environment, bearing in mind that this is the only planet that we know has any life on it,” he says.
     
    Charles hints at a degree of frustration at not always being understood or trusted by the public, saying that he takes joy in his wife Camilla and his new grandson Prince George, “which is what this is all about”.
     
    He then adds: “It's everybody else's grandchildren I've been bothering about, but the trouble is if you take that long a view people don't always know what you're on about.”
     
    Mayer writes that since 87-year-old Queen Elizabeth has started easing up on her official duties and Prince Charles has been picking up the slack, he accepts these additional duties “joylessly”.
     
    The profile says he believes in the monarchy as a force for good but accepts that people might question its relevance.
     
    “He prefers not to focus on his accession, which, after all, means losing his mother. And far from itching to assume the crown, he is already feeling its weight and worrying about its impact on the job he has long been doing,” the profile says.
     
    In the nuanced and broadly positive article, Mayer points out that Charles has founded more than 50 charities, that he raised 224 million pounds for them in the 12 months to March 2013, and that his flagship Prince's Trust charity has helped 650,000 young people across Britain over the years.
     
    The profile also reveals colorful snippets of the prince's life including that he scrunches his toes inside his shoes to stay awake during boring speeches and that some of his aides refer to the rich donors he cultivates as his “Bond villains”.
     
    It also includes a light-hearted quote from actress Emma Thompson, an old friend, who jokes that dancing with Charles is “better than sex.”

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.