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Is Prince Charles right to weigh in on architecture?
The prince tried to have French architect Jean Nouvel removed from a 500 million pound office and shopping project next to St. Paul’s Cathedral in London, the Guardian said in an investigative report.
The prince is alleged to have written to Land Securities in 2005 when they selected Nouvel to suggest a meeting with his preferred architects, according to the newspaper.
The National Trust was warned that the Prince might withdraw his patronage of the organization unless the design of a new building in Swindon suited his taste, the investigation revealed.
Republic, the campaign for an elected head of state, called for public scrutiny of the prince’s correspondence.
“The public have a right to know the full extent of Charles’s meddling,” spokesman Graham Smith told the Guardian. “We need to know if decisions are being made according to what the public wants and needs or according to what Prince Charles wants.”
Earlier this year, plans for luxury flats on the site of Chelsea Barracks were withdrawn after the prince wrote to the chairman of developers Qatari Diar asking for a re-consideration of the modern design.
Does Prince Charles’ involvement overstep the bounds of propriety given his position of privilege as heir to the throne? Is he right to weigh in on architecture and design?