King Charles 'would have done more' to stop Iraq war than the Queen

Danielle Stacey
Royal Correspondent

Watch the full episode 12 of Yahoo UK’s The Royal Box here from Friday 23 November.

Prince Charles would have tried to stop former Prime Minister Tony Blair going to war in Iraq if he’d been king at the time.

Charles’ level of political ‘meddling’ has been the subject of widespread debate ahead of him becoming king when the Queen dies. Last week, he took the step of assuring the public he would be a hands-off monarch.

And royal biographer Robert Jobson, the author of Charles at Seventy, tells Yahoo UK‘s The Royal Box the prince would have made it more difficult for Mr Blair than the Queen.

“I don’t believe that had he been king when Blair took us to war in Iraq, that it would have been such an easy ride,” he said.

“The prince was very, very critical of Blair over it at the time and used to refer to him as ‘our magnificent leader’ in a mocking tone and actually said to his closest people, ‘how on earth did Mr Blair take us to war knowing what he knew?’”

The Chilcot report found that the decision to join the US-led invasion was taken before all other options had been exhausted and on the basis of false intelligence.

Former Labour leader Blair faced particular criticism after pledging to support President George W. Bush in the run-up to the wear “whatever” happened and failing to ensure “there was a flexible, realistic and fully resourced plan.”

The Prince of Wales and Tony Blair (PA)

More than 151,000 Iraqis had died and 179 British soldiers were killed by the time most British troops had withdrawn in 2009.

Charles recently revealed in the BBC programme Prince, Son & Heir, to mark his milestone birthday, that he won’t speak out on issues he feels strongly about when he becomes king. 

Acknowledging that some people have accused him of meddling in the past, for his views on topics such as the environment or architecture, he said: “But I always wonder what meddling is, I mean I always thought it was motivating but I’ve always been intrigued, if it’s meddling to worry about the inner cities as I did 40 years ago and what was happening or not happening there.

“The conditions in which people were living. If that’s meddling I’m very proud of it.”

When asked whether Charles will be a good monarch, Jobson says: “I think he will be somebody that will definitely in his role as king keep ministers and prime ministers on their toes.”