Britain's Prince Charles is said to be remaining “politically neutral”, despite having reportedly branded the UK government’s policy to send migrants to Rwanda “appalling”.
The Prince of Wales expressed opposition to the policy several times in private, and said he was “more than disappointed” by it, newspapers in the UK reported.
The comments came after a High Court ruling paved the way for the first flight to the east African country to go ahead on Tuesday.
A spokesman said: “We would not comment on supposed anonymous private conversations with the Prince of Wales, except to restate that he remains politically neutral. Matters of policy are decisions for government.”
As head of state, Prince Charles’s mother, Queen Elizabeth II, has to remain strictly neutral with respect to political matters and does not vote or stand for election, the royal family’s official website says.
Traditionally, royals do not become involved in political matters.
However Prince Charles, a future king, has been outspoken in the past and faced criticism over his involvement in public and political issues.
In 2015, the prince had to defend his decision to write a series of letters to government ministers, some of which are known as the “black spider” memos, so-called because of his use of black ink.
At the time, his royal office Clarence House said the correspondence — on issues including a lack of resources for armed forces fighting in Iraq, the benefits of complementary medicine, and the need for affordable rural homes — showed “the range of the Prince of Wales’s concerns and interests for this country and the wider world”.
In the same year there was controversy when it emerged Prince Charles had been routinely receiving copies of confidential Cabinet papers for more than 20 years.
As well as the Queen, it included the Prince of Wales, although it was not suggested he had requested access. Heirs to the throne were believed to have been included in the group since the 1930s.
In a BBC documentary to mark his 70th birthday in 2018, Prince Charles said he would stop speaking out on issues when he became king, saying he was “not that stupid” to continue what some had termed “meddling”.
The prince acknowledged he would not be “able to do the same things I’ve done as heir”, and as monarch would have to operate within “constitutional parameters”.
In 2020, Buckingham Palace appeared to distance itself from comments made by Prince Charles’s son, Prince Harry, urging people in the US to “reject hate speech” and vote in the presidential elections.
Prince Harry faced a backlash amid claims of political interference and suggestions he was telling people to vote against Donald Trump.
Although UK law does not ban royalty from voting, it is considered unconstitutional for them to do so.
Buckingham Palace said Harry was no longer a working royal, and his remarks were made in a “personal capacity”.