Wikileaks reveals plan to dump the Royals, Prince Charles
- By BARCLAY CRAWFORD
- From: The Sunday Telegraph
- December 12, 2010 12:00AM
Uncertain role … The Duke of Edinburgh and Queen Elizabeth II, left, with Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall. Source: The Sunday Telegraph
OFFICIALS have held secret talks about dumping the Royal Family as the head of the Commonwealth.
Secret US cables uncovered by website WikiLeaks reveal Prince Charles will not automatically assume the title when the Queen dies.
The top bureaucrat who runs the Commonwealth has told US officials in London that Prince Charles is no cert- ainty because he does not “command the same respect as the Queen”.
Commonwealth secretariat director of political affairs Amitav Banerji secretly told the US that “succession” would have to be addressed by leaders of the Commonwealth nations, including Australia.
“Banerji acknowledged that succession of the Head of the Commonwealth would have to be dealt with when Queen Elizabeth passes, as there is no rule stipulating that the British monarch is the head and no procedure for selecting a new head,” the cable says.
Commonwealth officials believed Prince Charles was not particularly interested and said the Commonwealth was trying quietly to get him to become more involved in Commonwealth affairs.
Mr Banerji said that complicating any move against the Royals was their ownership of the headquarters in London.
“Banerji noted Marlborough House, the Commonwealth Secretariat’s current location, was a royal property, owned and funded by the British Royal Family, and mused that may be a factor in the discussions,” the cable says.
Removing the head of the Royal Family as leader of the “Commonwealth of Nations” would be a major blow to the British monarchy with several nations – including Australia – likely to revisit the republican debate when the Queen dies.
Already 16 of the 54 Commonwealth nations have dumped the monarch as the head of state and removed “British” from its official title.
Another leaked cable revealed Britain’s ambassador to the Vatican feared the Pope’s invitation for disgruntled Anglicans to switch to Catholicism might spark anti-Catholic violence in the United Kingdom.
Ambassador Francis Campbell told US diplomats that “Anglican-Vatican relations were facing their worst crisis in 150 years as a result of the Pope’s decision”, according to the cable dated November 30, 2009. The cable, sent to Washington, added: “The crisis is also worrisome for England’s small, mostly Irish-origin, Catholic minority,” Mr Campbell said.
“There is still latent anti-Catholicism in some parts of England and it may not take much to set it off. The outcome could be discrimination or in isolated cases, even violence, against this minority.”
Mr Campbell was speaking to US deputy chief of mission to the Holy See, Julieta Noyes, after a recent visit to Rome by Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the head of the worldwide Anglican church.
The previous month, Pope Benedict XVI had made it easier for Anglicans disaffected by moves to ordinate women and homosexual clergy to join the Roman Catholic church.