Prince Charles: Cold-blooded and proud of it

Charles 09
Prince Charles and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall accompanied by Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his wife, Laureen, arrive at a church in November 2009 in Cupids, Newfoundland. The royals will be back in Canada May 20-23, with visits to New Brunswick, Regina and Toronto. (CP)

If you sense a certain chill in the air around Prince Charles, it's no accident.

The Prince of Wales likes it that way, even if those around him are left with chattering teeth. Including his wife Camilla.

He will no doubt be counting on a few chilly Canadian nights during his just-announced four-day stay here May 20-23. Charles will be making his 16th trip to Canada -- and his fifth to Toronto -- for his four-day whirlwind tour that will also include New Brunswick and Regina.

“I don’t mind keeping the heating down as long as I can have a hot bath,” the Prince said in interview to be published in the June issue of Good Housekeeping. “Most people think it is too cold. I never hear the end of it. But I am one of those people who has a strange circulation. I think I have inherited it from Queen Victoria who also liked sitting in a draught.”

Charles-camillaWhat comes across in the interview is a Prince whose old-fashioned lifestyle fits in perfectly with his enthusiasm for recyling and protecting the environment.

“I’m like a stopped clock,” he said. “I am only 'with it’ once every 25 years, because it all comes around again.”

So, much like his trademark double-breasted suits, Charles will wait out today's trends and technology. Even the explosion of e-books cannot keep him from adding to his library.

“We have wi-fi and all sorts of modern things at Highgrove (his family home) — I’m not saying you’ve got to go back to medieval days,” he told interviewer Kirstie Allsopp.

“People tend to go berserk over the latest things, but before long the novelty wears off. How sad if you were to chuck away all the books, only to find that eventually it comes around again, because I’m sure people will rediscover the joy of a real book.”

While waiting for the next wave of literature, Charles gleefully plays the role of a royal pack rat.

“I hate throwing things away,” he said. “I am always trying to find ways of reusing things. There are bits of this, bits of that everywhere. For example, we’ve had to take curtains down in my bathroom and I was seeing how we could make cushions out of them.

“[If] you throw things away and they languish somewhere, then you regret the fact that someone is making a vast amount of money out of all the things you’ve chucked out. It is one of the things that has driven me mad all my life. I’ve often stopped people throwing things away; all those wonderful Victorian lavatories, for example.

“I put my bathwater on the garden in the summer -- it all helps.”

Naturally, Charles is aware that his rabid enviornmentalist behaviour might strike some as odd. Even his kids William and Harry, who have taken up many of their father's causes, will raise their eyebrows once in a while when dad gets going.

“They say 'Oh, he’s on again’, you know.  But you never quite know with your children, do you? Because although they may pull your leg all the time, sometimes you find out later they have talked to other people about it.”



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