Britain's Independent newspaper criticises Prince Charles 'draconian' interview conditions

Britain's Prince Charles attends the opening of the UN conference on climate change in Paris on Nov 30.
Britain's Prince Charles attends the opening of the UN conference on climate change in Paris on Nov 30.PHOTO: AFP

LONDON (AFP) - Britain's Independent daily on Wednesday criticised what it called "draconian" conditions set by Prince Charles's media team for interviews, including the right to oversee editing and block broadcast.

The newspaper said it had obtained a 15-page contract of the type that broadcast media have to sign before they can interview the 67-year-old heir to the throne.

"Someone tell Charles we're no longer an absolute monarchy," the paper said in an editorial, adding: "An absurdly draconian set of demands made upon media organisations should disqualify the prince from the off."

"Charles should think again. If he does not the media should break royal protocol and dare to report on him properly," it said.

The paper published a detailed list of the conditions in the contract including the right to "intervene and halt filming" in case any question is put to Prince Charles that has not been pre-approved.

The Independent said that the "degree of censorship" required by royal officials meant that Channel 4 cancelled an interview scheduled to be held on the eve of the official start of the UN climate summit.

Charles gave a keynote speech at the summit.

A spokesman for Clarence House contacted by AFP said such contracts were "standard practice".

"The contracts are put in place to ensure factual accuracy and protect the broadcaster as well as the interview subject," she said.

Charles's mother Queen Elizabeth II has never granted an interview and stays out of the political fray.

Some of the prince's comments and his extensive correspondence with government ministers have proved highly controversial, however.

His support for the Dalai Lama has not been appreciated by China and last year Russia demanded an official explanation when the prince compared Vladimir Putin to Adolf Hitler.