by RAY FLEMING “INCORRIGIBLE” seems to be the mot juste for Prince Charles. “Not able to be corrected or reformed” says my OED. Exactly. The compiler of the dictionary must have had Prince Charles in mind when he formulated that succinct definition. The latest evidence of interference by the Heir to the Throne in architectural proposals that have passed through all the required planning procedures shows that he has learnt nothing from the protests his previous incursions have caused. The latest case, brought into the daylight by The Guardian, reveals Prince Charles trying to delay or stop or alter a building being put up near St Paul's Cathedral in the City of London. It also reveals the underhand way in which Prince Charles works - using other people to represent his views and if that fails relying on his Royal status to get his way. In one case he threatened to resign as patron of an organisation if he was not listened to.

The Prince is entitled to his views on architecture and to put them into practice in places that he owns - the incredibly boring Poundbury, for instance -but he is not entitled to interfere in the normal working of the process of choosing and commissioning an architect and seeking approval of the proposals from the appropriate planning authority. A particularly unsatisfactory aspect of the Prince's involvement is his habit of suggesting the names of his preferred architects to developers who have their own list of the architects they like.

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