PRINCE CHARLES – MUTTON HEAD
“Of the various forms of government which have prevailed in the world, an hereditary monarchy seems to present the fairest scope for ridicule”
[History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (Edward Gibbon)]
OK then, so here we go.
Pick a topic – Buildings and architecture.
To become a qualified Architect in England (as defined by the professional body RIBA) takes five years of academic studies and at least two years of work experience under the training of experienced architects, a total of at least seven years full time effort after leaving senior school. Even at that milestone the Architect is a very junior member of any practice where he may find work, gaining his real experience on projects managed by more senior architects. Large prestigious projects are designed by large teams of experienced architects, engineers, and design professionals.
To gain acceptance into the academic studies the candidate must have minimum school leaving exam passes. In England school leaving exams are called “A levels”. Results within each A level are scored A, B, C, etc . For example you may pass only two A level results, say with a B score in History and a C score in French, as was the case with Charles. To gain admittance to start a degree course that will lead to becoming an architect a candidate will need probably 4 A levels of which at least three are A grade, so the barrier may be stated as AAAB for example. Universities will also want one at least of those to be a mathematics or science subject. So Charles would not have qualified to even approach the starting line in the 7 year training process of becoming an Architect. Charles went on to get a degree in History and never studied architecture.
Fair conclusion? His opinions on architecture are of no more true value than those held by any other adult person in the street.
He has the same right as that person in the street to criticise any architectural works. The problem is that he abuses his position of privilege to kill projects, twist arms of developers in choice of architect, and generally puts his untrained fingers in the pie. No wonder the architectural profession shake their heads in dismay, except for the connivers, courtiers and favour seekers that royalty and patronage attracts.
Charles’s interests in model village developments makes one think of Marie Antionette with her model village, dressing up to be a milkmaid or shepherdess and playing at being a real person. The problem for Charles is that he does not have a real job. He is a dabbler and honorary patron (as in patronage) of over 400 groups, societies but these are figurehead roles.
Marie Antionette's hamlet at Versailles
“What about the Mutton?” you shout
For those who are unable to see the relevance of the headline to the comments on architecture I will continue.
PRINCE CHARLES HEAD OF MUTTON
The Mutton Renaissance campaign aims to repopularise mutton, which is meat from a two year old sheep (ewe). Once widely eaten across the United Kingdom, mutton fell out of favour in past decades with the result that sheep farmers found themselves struggling to get a decent price for their ewes.
“The prince said his interest in mutton was sparked two years ago during a visit to farmers in Upper Teesdale, County Durham, who told him about the poor prices being paid for their ewes.” (2004)
The Prince’s Duchy Home Farm supplies mutton to The Ritz Hotel in London.
A revival of mutton could give a boost to under-pressure sheep farmers and help sustain traditional countryside life, Prince Charles has said. The Prince of Wales was speaking at the Ritz hotel in London at a dinner to launch the Mutton Renaissance Club. The alliance is dedicated to helping farmers, butchers, restaurateurs and suppliers benefit from renewed interest in the meat taken from older sheep.
HE FORGOT TO MENTION WHY MUTTON FELL IN POPULARITY
26 April 1986, reactor number four at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in what was then the Soviet Socialist Republic of Ukraine exploded, sending a plume of radio- active particles – equivalent in toxicity to 400 Hiroshima bombs – more than seven kilometres up into the atmosphere and due east in the breeze. In the days that followed, as a fire raged unchecked inside the twisted, white-hot remains of the reactor, the wind direction reversed and the plume, now a kilometre tall, headed west towards north-western Europe. It wasn’t until workers at a nuclear reactor in Finland detected abnormally high doses of radioactivity on their clothes – up to 100 times normal background levels – that anyone outside the Soviet Union realised the true severity of the accident.
On 2 May 1986, the plume finally passed over parts of the UK and, with fateful timing, so too did a column of cloud carrying heavy rain. The rain fell hardest where it always falls hardest – on the uplands. As the droplets of water fell from the sky, they carried with them the radionuclides – in particular, caesium-137, iodine-131 and strontium-90 – that had been dispersed from Chernobyl. It is estimated that 1% of the radiation released from the reactor fell on the UK. In an effort to prevent these radionuclides entering the food chain once they had settled on the upland soil, the ministry of agriculture, fisheries and food, as it was then known, ordered an immediate restriction on the movement and sale of sheep within the most affected areas – particularly north Wales, south-west Scotland, Northern Ireland and the Lake District, where the landscape is predominantly suited to grazing sheep. In total, almost 9,000 farms, and four million sheep, were placed under restriction.
from 13th century verse
Of the sheep is cast away nothing,
His horns for notches-to ashes goeth his bones,
To Lordes great profit goeth his entire dung,
His tallow also serveth plastres, more than one,
For harp strings his ropes serve everyone,
Of whose head boiled whole and all
There cometh a jelly, and ointment full Royal.
INDEED IT DOES
For poetry lovers you are referred to a closely related post “Fechin eejit”
Next time, Prince Charles Head Cheese