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In George Bernard Shaw’s prophetic comedy “The Apple Cart,” a fictional King Magnus fights an attempt by Prime Minister Proteus to deprive him of the right to influence public opinion through the press. He wants a cipher for a sovereign. The King threatens to abdicate and stand for election himself — in the knowledge that the British monarchy is more popular than any dreary or opportunist politician.

Back in the real world, the royals are supposed to “never complain, never explain.” The Queen is famous for her discretion and dutifully dull pronouncements. Yet her heir, Prince Charles has been taking a leaf out of King Magnus’s book. He has been telling “friends” that the government’s controversial policy of deporting to Rwanda asylum seekers and migrants who have been smuggled illegally into Britain is “appalling,” according to a piece in The Times of London.

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