1997 Onwards -
Below is the text of Mr Major’s article on HRH The Prince of Wales, published in The Sunday Times on 16th November 2003.
These have been dire days for the Royal Family. The “revelations” of a former butler have been followed by wholly uncorroborated -
I have known the Prince of Wales for nearly 20 years and believe the allegations to be inconceivable; indeed, they are so outrageous they should never have been aired without evidence -
They derive solely from a sick man known to be an unreliable witness; a man whose previous stories have been proved to be untrue; a man suffering from traumatic stress disorder; a man who has received psychological care; a man evidently in a poor mental and physical state who may not appreciate fully what he is saying and the pain and distress it causes. Poor Mr George Smith, the source of these stories, needs medical care not banner headline publicity and I am astounded that worldly-
Moreover, these allegations have not been confined to our own shores, but have created ever more sensational headlines around the world. As it becomes clear they are groundless, what corrective headlines will there be? Precious little, I imagine: headline material is not re-
I wonder sometimes at the motives of these tale bearers. What is it -
Are we now in a world in which peep-
When The Queen referred to 1992 as an Annus Horribilis neither she, nor anyone else, could have dreamt that members of Her Family would still be under sustained, and unjustified, attack a full decade later. Nor could the Prince of Wales have imagined he would still be a favourite target in the shooting gallery.
The Prince of Wales does not deserve this. Throughout the whole of his adult life, public duty and obligation have been his backbone. Nor is this simply his perception of the role of a Royal: he is a man who cares -
In areas where the Prince is open to criticism, it has been poured upon him in rich measure. No-
Nor is the Prince of Wales the only victim of this on-
I have never written or spoken of the occasional privileged access that I have had to the Royal Family -
I wrote earlier of the “right to know”: and there is much the world does have a right to know about the Prince of Wales. They should know he founded his own charity, The Prince’s Trust, to help the least privileged in our society. They should know this is a consuming interest for him and that, as a result, many thousands of young people are helped annually to overcome hardship and achieve their ambitions. They should know the Prince is a redoubtable defender of our Armed Forces; that he has the courage to speak out for unfashionable causes; and that he speaks passionately in private for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Inside the public Prince is a private man, a sensitive man, a man who hopes for personal tranquillity. Despite a brave outward demeanour, he must have been wounded by recent publicity because -
One day, Prince Charles will be King: the most visible presence of our Monarchy and the symbol of our Country to the world. To pull him down with false testimony is not only profoundly unjust to the Prince of Wales as an individual, it is also a grave injustice to the interests of the institution of Monarchy and our Nation as a whole.