Prince Charles: The Man Who Would Be King
By Carol Crenna
Prince Charles’ enlightened approach to saving the planet
Although Canadians seldom hear more about the Prince of Wales than his personal life, there is another story that must be told.
I was able to speak to Prince Charles briefly when I met him in Vancouver at InspireHealth, but I was not able to interview him, so I spoke with his official biographer and friend, David Lorimer, to understand the Prince and his message. (David Lorimer’s book Radical Prince outlines Prince Charles’ principles but it is not available in Canada or the US.)
Lorimer says that Prince Charles has a passionate commitment to organic agriculture, developing communities in underprivileged countries, complementary medicine, and even raising the consciousness of humanity. And in an age when leaders have forgotten how to lead, his example is inspiring.
Here is PART 2 of our interview (PART 1 precedes this blog):
CAROL: Prince Charles admitted when he was in Vancouver that if he wasn’t born into royalty he would have liked to be a healer.
He has often angered the medical-pharmaceutical establishment in Britain because of his views on integrative medicine.
DAVID LORIMER: His role in promoting complementary medicine in the UK began in the early 1980s as President of the Royal Society of Medicine when an extremely controversial plan was drafted to change medical practices to incorporate homeopathy and other natural medicine.
Though he was continually attacked, he made dramatic progress. After two decades of confrontation by the medical community, in 2004, in cooperation with the Department of Health, the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health was able to push through his plans, making osteopathy, acupuncture, aromatherapy and homeopathy covered under the patients’ government health plan.
In defending his beliefs to the United Nations, he said, “I believe that the proper mix of proven complementary, traditional and modern remedies, which emphasize the active participation of the patient, can help to create a powerful healing force for our world.”
CAROL: In December 2009, Prince Charles was most critically attacked after calling for supplements and herbal medicine to be regulated. This was to enable the public to continue buying and using them and to protect herbalists and naturopathic doctors under threat from new EU rules. These EU rules dramatically limit product availability, and are similar to what Health Canada is trying to pass now to limit our access to natural health products, based on lobbying from the pharmaceutical industry.
“Coincidentally” soon after the controversy, allegations of fraud in early 2010 forced Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health to close after 25 years.
CAROL: He is criticized for his views on farming, too.
DAVID LORIMER: He is often accused of being anti-science because he criticizes GMO foods. Those who ridicule are molecular biologists from the universities who think in terms of molecules and particles, not of the greater picture, so don’t understand the problem.
The GMO companies have such close ties with the universities here that they put pressure on them with funding.
The Prince never rests on his laurels, though, and is actually quite restless — always trying to find the next thing to do, and more ways that he can help.
CAROL: I read that he insisted on serving organic food at his wedding to Camilla to send a clear message.
DAVID LORIMER: He made his estate at Highgrove in Gloucestershire into a famous organic garden, where the public tour and buy organic produce.
He converted the Duchy of Cornwall home farm to organic production, and began selling ecologically raised beef there, too. He started the market about eight years ago after converting his estate to organic farming in 1986.
CAROL: Unfortunately, Prince Charles was forced to close his organic vegetable store The Veg Shed recently because of “falling trade and rising prices,” according to Reuters.
CAROL: Does he live what he “sells”?
DAVID LORIMER: He lives a very healthy lifestyle, is very fit and trim, and only eats organic food.
CAROL: What does he feel is a key to changing our world view?
DAVID LORIMER: He feels that the core of society’s emptiness and disconnection with each other, and their increasing materialism, can be rectified simply by reconnecting with nature and with spiritual principals.
We are entering a post-secular stage with two distinct movements – one is regressing to religious fundamentalism while the other is an evolving consciousness within a rebirth of grassroots religion; Gnostic wisdom of the heart.
This is a form of knowing that is not rational or well organized, but is powerful and widespread.
CAROL: How does he stay so balanced and able to keep his vision clear?
DAVID LORIMER: He spends a lot of time in quiet reflection. He built a special sanctuary in his Hygrove garden and also regularly visits a retreat in Mount Ethos, Greece (he is half Greek).
He goes to Balmoral Estate in Scotland, which is a very isolated forest. As such a public figure, his privacy becomes very important. He also paints watercolours.
CAROL: Prince Charles officially assumed new Royal Duties recently to prepare him for the throne. Queen Elizabeth II, who is 87, will not be abdicating (and all rumours that Prince Andrew will be the next King are false), but she stated officially that she feels it is time he took a greater role. (Charles has been the longest time heir to the throne in British history.)