PRINCE CHARLES SAYS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART OF HIS JOB
IS BEING RELEVANT, AND HE WORRIES THAT PEOPLE DISMISS WHAT HE SAYS -- "60 MINUTES" SUNDAY ON CBS
Heir to the British Throne Appears in His First U.S. Television Interview in Over a Decade
It's not easy being Prince Charles, the heir to the British throne tells Steve Kroft in his first American television interview in over a decade. The most difficult thing about it is being relevant, the Prince says, when his words can be dismissed because of the ivory-tower perception people can have of him. The interview with the Prince of Wales was conducted in Poundbury, England, last month and offers a rare and personal look into the life of a royal. It will be broadcast on 60 MINUTES, Sunday Oct. 30 (7:00-8:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network.
Asked by Kroft what the most difficult part of his job is, the Prince replies, "The most important thing is to be relevant�.It isn't easy, as you can imagine," he says, "because if you say anything, people will say, 'It's all right for you to say that.' It's very easy to just dismiss anything I say�It's difficult."
Relevancy for Prince Charles means backing up his stated wishes with real projects and efforts that can fulfill them. To bring to life his desire for harmony among the social classes and respect for the environment, for example, he has developed a village dedicated to accomplishing those goals. "What I've tried to do is to put my money where my mouth is as much as I can�by actually creating models on the ground," he says, gesturing to the buildings of Poundbury, a village he has developed that is built of native or recycled materials where people of all income levels live side by side.
Poundbury is just one project of dozens the Prince oversees in his many functions that also include being a philanthropist, ambassador, advocate for minorities and the underprivileged, as well as a spokesman, indeed, a symbol, of tradition. It all comes with the territory, says Prince Charles, a duty to his country that he describes for Kroft: "I would list it as worrying about this country and its inhabitants � that's my particular duty. And I find myself born into this particular position. I am determined to make the most of it," he tells Kroft.
Prince Charles uses his influence to raise $200 million a year for 16 charitable organizations, 14 of which he founded himself. The largest of them, The Prince's Trust, provides job training for young people. Another project he began helps older, downsized workers start their own businesses. He believes endeavors like these would never have come to be without his efforts. He hopes he's making a difference and that people notice. "I try [to make a difference], " he tells Kroft. "I only hope that, when I'm dead and gone, they might appreciate it a little bit more," he adds with a chuckle.