The Government has revealed that Prince of Wales “was secretly given a say over dozens of new laws,” reports Telegraph online. Among the legislations which were “consulted” to prince included those to ban hunting and to introduce the Government’s green deal.
Over the past decade, it was been revealed that the Prince was consulted “on an average of three laws every year.” All in all, he “was consulted on 33 laws… than previously disclosed.”
The Constitution allows the sovereign and the heir to the throne to have their say on legislation that could affect their private interests. For the prince’s part, Whitehall will have to seek the prince’s opinion if any legislation will have a considerable impact on his Duchy of Cornwall, a land totalling 209 square miles, worth hundreds of millions of pounds and is engaged in handling the Prince of Wales’ financial interests.
The House of Commons’ Erskine May clearly puts that the Prince or the Queen’s consent should be solicited with regards to legislations that could affect “the hereditary revenues, personal property or interests of the Crown, the Duchy of Lancaster or Duchy of Cornwall.”
A lot of times the Prince’s opinions have been more than welcomed on the laws during the third reading stage. However, Labour MPs have aired their concern, saying that the prince “had been intervening in the affairs of Parliament on so many occasions,” which could risk the Crown’s neutrality and position if he were to try to “intervene politically when he succeeds to the throne.”
However, an spokesperson from Clarence House said: “The Prince’s Consent is a matter of standard parliamentary procedure and every instance of The Prince’s consent having been sought and given to legislation is a matter of public record.
“In modern times, The Prince of Wales has never refused consent to any bill affecting Duchy of Cornwall interests. If it were to ever happen, he would only do so at the advice of Ministers.”