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"As heir to the throne, Prince Charles enjoys privileged access to government ministers...The attorney general Dominic Grieve recently blocked the release of "particularly frank" letters from Charles to ministers, saying that their disclosure would "potentially have undermined his position of political neutrality", "damage the Prince of Wales's ability to perform his duties when he becomes king" and "would be seriously damaging to his role as a future monarch". But the attorney general won't have to take that decision again in the future. The royal family now enjoys a total exemption from the freedom of information act – an exemption introduced primarily to prevent the true extent of Charles's lobbying coming to light...Some of Charles's supporters have claimed that he will give up his political interference when he becomes king. But Charles himself has made clear that he intends to redefine the monarch's role to allow him to "speak out on matters of national and international importance in ways that at the moment would be unthinkable". And with politicians seemingly unwilling and unable to stand up to him, who's to stop him?
[Some] key examples of Charles's political interference:
- In 2006 Charles used a speech at the World Health Assembly in Geneva to call on governments to fund complementary medicines such as homeopathy – at a time when the issues was the subject of intense political and professional debate.
- In 2007 Charles personally lobbied the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) to include complementary and alternative medicines within its remit, despite opposition from scientists. Shortly after, the MHRA relaxed its rules of herbal medicines.
- In October 2009 Charles met with Andy Burnham, then health secretary, at Clarence House to lobby for complementary and alternative medicines to be available on the NHS. The pair met at Clarence House.
- In March 2010 Republic reported the Prince's Foundation for Integrated Health to the charity commission, accusing the foundation's staff of pursuing a public vendetta against Edzard Ernst, a professor of complementary medicine.
- Draft NHS guidance warning that there is no evidence that homeopathy works was suppressed following lobbying by the Foundation for Integrated Health, Charles's alternative medicine charity.
First published by Republic during November 2013.