To Play a Prince

Editor's Note: The Prince of Wales recently gave an interview to BBC Radio Four, during the course of which he made the hyperbolic and grandiloquent claim that the rise of populist government risks repeating the “horrors” of the Holocaust. The Prince, widely regarded as an intellectual mediocrity, remarked: “We are now seeing the rise of many populist groups across the world that are increasingly aggressive to those who adhere to a minority faith. All of this has deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days of the 1930s…My parents’ generation fought and died in a battle against intolerance, monstrous extremism and inhuman attempts to exterminate the Jewish population of Europe.” While Prince Charles did not mention Donald Trump by name, his address is almost certainly a veiled reference to the President-elect.

As well as dog-whistling to the metropolitan elite on Trump, Charles’s interview was also a grandiose panegyric to the ‘refugees’ currently swamping Europe. Oozing disapproval at increasingly hostile attitudes to migrants in the UK, Charles gasped: “That nearly 70 years later we should still be seeing such evil persecution is to me beyond all belief…We owe it to those who suffered and died so horribly not to repeat the horrors of the past.” He concluded his interview by urging his Christian listeners to remember “how the story of the Nativity unfolds with the fleeing of the holy family to escape violent persecution.”

These comments are a veritable compendium of the buzzwords and psychological traps of the hostile elite. Narratives of Jewish suffering, dizzying references to “right-wing extremism,” and simplified narratives of innocents fleeing “persecution” are all familiar features of what Jonathan Bowden described as the “European grammar of self-intolerance.” Their parroting by one of the most senior members of the British Royal Family is not insignificant. By way of response, Sam Dickson has issued the following perspicacious statement, which is so insightful and concise that it deserves wider coverage:

A problem with monarchy is that members of the Royal Family live in bubbles, and are not exposed to the real world. Prince Charles never experiences the race issue as we do. He’s never mugged by a Black. He doesn’t have to sit next to malodorous third world people on a subway in London. His family have never been ethnically cleansed out of their neighborhood.

He knows only what he has learned in the highly detached and theoretical world of “education,” really “catechization.” On the rare occasion that he meets a non-White he is surrounded by bodyguards and the non-White is in a subordinate, supplicating position, handing him flowers when he opens a hospital or christens a ship. Members of the Royal Family are not permitted to make statements on their own. I have been surprised that Prince Charles got away with criticizing modern architecture. Jews feel a paternal, proprietary connection to modern architecture and are immediately, by instinct, suspicious of someone who expresses dislike toward it. He was criticized for ‘anti-Semitism’ explicitly because he opposed it.

Members of the Royal Family are not permitted to make statements on their own. In general, the Royal Family can only read aloud texts that are given to them by the incumbent government. But in Prince Charles’s case, I’m sure he really believes what he has said. It’s what he has heard all his life, and he has no frame of reference within which to evaluate it.