Poor Nigel Farage must be devastated. After years of waiting to meet Prince Charles, when the great moment finally came he could only sulk and sit on his hands while others gave the Prince a standing ovation. Leaping on the opportunity to embarrass Nige, Labour leader in Europe, Gary Titley, accused Nige of “anti-Royalism” and disrespectful behaviour towards the Prince.
The Prince, of course, was giving a speech on the role of the EU in tackling climate change during which he told MEPs that “determined and principled leadership has never been more needed. Surely this is just the moment in history for which the European Union was created.” It stands to reason that environmental protection is one of those issues where collective action by the EU 27 is more effective than 27 different approaches.
However, this was a real double whammy for Nige. Not only was the Prince being pro-EU but he was also talking about the fight on climate change (U-kippers, lest we forget, refuse to acknowledge that man-made global warming is a problem). So, he claimed that the Prince’s speech was a “government-approved” plot to influence UK public opinion about the Lisbon Treaty.
Either way, a bit of a fuss about nothing, you might think – most people wouldn’t be too upset at being labelled “anti-Royalist”? But not for UKIP who were mortified that their devotion to the Windsor family was being questioned. The UKIP press officer offers this stiff defence of his leader on his blog -
“UKIP members are probably as a group the most passionate pro-monarchy types in the Kingdoms. They do not see the monarchy as most do, as an attractive aesthetic constitutional bauble plonked on top of the country, there to please the tabloids and foreigners. No as ardent royalist they actually believe in the institution. As such they have done strange things like read the Coronation oath, and what is more believe that it is not just some arcane form of words to be breathed but not lived. They believe that their loyalty to the Monarchy must be reciprocated by the Monarch's loyalty to them.”
So that’s that problem solved – looks like the campaign for an elected head of state will have to wait a bit longer for Nige’s support.