Prince of Wales welcomed the prospect of “a Northern Ireland Prime (sic) Cymru!”

So Northern Ireland had a look-in in the Prince of Wales” black spider” letters. This in a bread and butter letter to the then secretary of state Paul Murphy.

We discussed the issue of an Action-Learning Pilot Scheme which has remained in abeyance since last year, but which, if implemented, could help perhaps break the mould of housing “ghettoes” in Northern Ireland. You may remember that both Paul Murrain, from my Foundation, and John Thompson are ready to help with this whenever you give the word!

But what’s this?

 I was delighted to hear that good progress was being made in establishing a Northern Ireland version of Prime Cymru and that Julia Evans, the Chief Executive, was going to come over to talk to your officials. Hopefully, by the time of my next visit to the Province — and if I am still alive by then — I will be able to see heartening signs of progress in all these issues we discussed

What on earth is  a “Northern Ireland version of Prime ( sic) Cymru” and why have we never heard of it? Perhaps it drew back from entering a crowded field. Or perhaps he misunderstood what the Welsh minister was telling him about the SDLP?  Did nobody check for typos?

We know that he has a keen interest in conservation in Northern Ireland. For instance  the Prince’s  Trust  helped fund the restoration of the old Georgian houses in Magazine St in Derry . As I recalled a few years ago, Charles was roped into that by Paddy Bogside (Doherty) who played quite a part in the Battle of the Bogside in 1969. Paddy went on to head the Inner City Trust that helped restore the city centre after all the destruction that ensued.

In ten day’s time  Charles will also visit the North when he makes his no doubt emotional pilgrimage to the harbour  at  Mullaghmore  co Sligo where is great uncle Lord Mountbatten was  murdered  in 1979. He’ll also attend a service at Drumcliffe parish church where Yeats is buried.

Cast a cold Eye

On Life, On Death.

Horseman Pass by !

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  • chrisjones2
  • Kevin Breslin

    Is this what he means?

  • P.J McErlean

    Brian Walker, i think you should google Prime Cymru.

  • Turgon

    As a unionist and just about a monarchist I am pretty unhappy about these letters.

    The monarch has no direct relevance in politics and should not interfere. It seems the Queen has for years nay decades successfully avoided political interference as far as anyone can tell.

    Charles’s interests could be presented as an eclectic bunch of non specific pretty unimportant issues.

    However, he Charles is championing alternative medical therapies and suggesting the NHS purchases them (and opposing their regulation) despite extensive evidence they achieve nothing and can even be dangerous. He has a further conflict of interest in that he has a pecuniary interest in the sales of some herbal remedies. From a politician this would be an unacceptable conflict of interests.

    Furthermore there is the murky business of the case of Professor Edzard Ernst from Exeter, whose career which analysed alternative medicines, seemed to end after he dissociated himself from a report from one of Prince Charles’s think thanks which claimed the utility of alternative medicine.

    Issues like the badger cull were and remain highly controversial in many rural areas and for Charles to take a partisan position on the subject is unacceptable.

    If Charles wanted to be an eccentric member of the aristocracy with odd views that would be fine. However, he is not that: he is the future sovereign and as such his views for good or ill should be kept to himself and not sent to misters who clearly sycophantically ran to try to placate him.

  • Mike the First

    Wow, what a shoddy post.

    Two things Brian:

    1 – It’s blindingly obvious from the text that Charles isn’t referring to a political party. Look at the subject matter of the first quote, for goodness’ sake.

    2 – have you never heard of Google? (Other search engines are available) Did you not maybe consider typing “Prime Cymru” into it if you wanted to find out “what on earth” it was?

  • dodrade99

    For all we know the Queen is just as forthright with her Prime Ministers in their weekly meetings. Of course as there are no minutes taken we will never know. We do know though she was not in favour of devolution in the 70’s and opposed to Thatcher’s handling of South Africa and the Commonwealth in the 80’s.

    I do not accept the premise that Prince Charles is not entitled to private opinions (which is what these letters were intended to be) like any other citizen by virtue of his position, and entitled to go against the grain of mainstream opinion if he wishes. I disagree with Badger culling but the fact that someone with a farming background like Charles was in favour is hardly shocking.

  • kensei

    I do not accept the premise that his private opinions should get urgent attention from ministers. Letter him get a civil servant responding like anyone else.

    And Turgy, if you are a monarchist, suck it up.

  • Mirrorballman

    I wonder if he ever wrote a letter to a British Minister expressing his concern at British troops being used to murder his future “Subjects”…..Doubt it.

  • SeaanUiNeill

    As I understand the matter, the legal position actually is that it is only “conventional” for the Queen, or for any future monarch, to remain impartial and never make any public comment about politics, let alone refuse assent to bills. There is no written statute or law binding her to act in this self-denying manner.

    This is not the first time this issue has come up in modern history. It was on this very issue, the declared intent to challenge this “convention”, that Edward VIII was compelled to abdicate. This was as unacceptable to the establishment of his day as Charles’s opinions and possible activism are today. That he was intending to make full use of a powerful position owed to neither patronage nor a vote, presented a serious challenge to the lazy political classes of his day, especially as he was intending to use his position to help the poor and dispossessed of the 1930s: “something must be done.”