Telegraph – Who, apart from the Prince of Wales, ever speaks up for beauty?<br/> On the subject of the Prince of Wales, Nigel Farndale lacks courage; he cheers inwardly, but hesitates to say anything in print.
The Prince did all he could behind the scenes to scupper the development. Lord Rogers came out fighting, accusing the Prince of abusing his power, and the newspaper concluded that “it takes courage for an architect to stand up to a monarch in waiting”. Actually, the opposite is true. A monarch in waiting cannot answer back. Lord Rogers can be as rude as he likes about him on Radio 4, secure in the knowledge that the Prince isn’t going to ring in and gently point out that he probably knows more about aesthetics than Lord Rogers knows about the constitution.
I was thinking about this because, on the subject of the Prince of Wales, I fear I lack courage. I have often found myself cheering inwardly at his latest intervention on architecture or the environment but have hesitated to say so in print. The trouble is, if you write supportive things about him you look like a sycophant, a royal toady, a candidate for Private Eye’s Order of the Brown Nose.
So this is what I would say, if I weren’t so cowardly. I would point out that the Prince appears to be a genuine aesthete and that this makes a pleasant change. Ugliness, philistinism, and vulgarity have their powerful champions – the Government ministers, the television controllers, the tabloid editors. But who, apart from the Prince, ever speaks up for beauty?
Don’t worry, Charles! I’ll defend you! (“Arise, dame ninme,” etc.) (No, probably not. Never mind.)