Over the last few days, a court in Britain has been dealing with the issue of the right of publication of the diaries of the Prince of Wales. Yours truly, being fairly ignorant of British law in general and of royal prerogatives in particular, does not intend to weigh in on the particulars of the case itself. Ditto on the politically delicate issue of what a member of the royal family is supposed to say (and not say) about the affairs of state in a constitutional monarchy. Where I do want to attention to be brought is what the case, and the diary around which it is centered, tells us about Prince Charles himself, the man who would be Britain's Charles III.
Nearly seven years ago, the Prince of Wales caused a stir by refusing to show at a state dinner where the guest of honor was then-Communist leader Jiang Zemin. During the ensuing row (as I believe the term is used in Britain), a good many people were surprised and pleased to see Prince Charles' political sympathies; most believed it was driven largely by his oft-professed admiration for the Dalai Lama.
In fact, the diary ("The Handover of Hong Kong or The Great Chinese Takeaway") reveals a far deeper and more well-rounded antipathy for the murderous regime that is the Chinese Communist Party. From his immediate concern over the fate of Martin Lee to his more perceptive notice of "the sneaking worry about creeping corruption and the gradual undermining of Hong Kong's greatest asset - the rule of law" (cited by the BBC), Prince Charles showed his instincts on the Communists were far better than more than most in high office - elected or otherwise - then or now.
I honestly don't know how the Prince of Wales is perceived on his home island or in Canada, but I am fairly certain he is better received there than here in the U.S., where memories of his late wife still run deep. Not to say those memories don't run deep in Britain and Canada as well, but the Prince has the added disadvantage of American suspicion of royalty that's been largely hardwired into the collective consciousness for the last two centuries.
Still, those of us who have tracked the brutality of the Communist regime should take a moment to offer thanks to His Royal Highness. However, the case turns out, the anti-Communist community needs all the friends it can get these days, particularly those as intelligent as Prince Charles has shown himself to be.
As I understand British royal custom, Prince Charles will not be able to speak as freely on this and other subjects when he becomes King Charles. As such, the longer he is free to comment on the "appalling old waxworks" (sixth item) in Zhongnanhai, the better it will be for all of us.
Therefore, it is without reservation that this American says: God Save the Queen, and the Prince of Wales.
Cross-posted to the Shotgun