Prince Charles Criticized Over Views on U.K. Sending Migrants to Rwanda

Prince Charles has been both praised and censured for comments he is reported to have made critical of the U.K.'s controversial new policy towards migrants who enter the country illegally.

The Prince of Wales has privately described the government's plan to send migrants to Rwanda as "appalling" according to a Times report.

The reported comments by Queen Elizabeth II's eldest son, and heir to the British throne, have caused waves in Britain because the monarchy is meant to stay out of politics and be strictly impartial.

Home Secretary Priti Patel struck a deal with Rwanda that means migrants who arrive in Britain illegally face being deported to the country more than 4,000 miles away. The first flight to deport migrants is expected to go ahead next Tuesday after opponents failed in a legal bid to block the move.

"He (Charles) said he was more than disappointed at the policy," a source told The Times.

"He said he thinks the government's whole approach is appalling. It was clear he was not impressed with the government's direction of travel."

The story led right-wing British commentators to sharply criticize Prince Charles on Twitter.

"Unless Prince Charles wants to destroy the monarchy he had better shut up fast," former Brexit Party leader Nigel Farage wrote as he tweeted a story on Prince Charles.

"Prince Charles is entitled to his own opinions. But he is not entitled to allow those opinions to be known if he wants to be king," Talkradio host Julia Hartley-Brewer tweeted.

"That's the deal. Both he and Prince William have already crossed into political territory with their climate preaching. This is a step too far."

Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government came up with the new policy in response to migrants crossing the Channel from France in flimsy boats and applying for asylum in the U.K. More than 28,000 people crossed the Channel in boats in 2021 and more than 10,000 so far this year, according to the BBC.

Despite the strong criticism, some praised the prince for his stance.

Labour Member of Parliament Diane Abbott tweeted a picture of the Prince of Wales and added: "Prince Charles is quite right to call Boris Johnson's policy of dumping asylum seekers in Rwanda 'appalling'."

"Of course deporting people to Rwanda is appalling," LBC radio host and journalist James O'Brien tweeted.

"Everybody agrees with Prince Charles about that. The point is that some people really, really *want* refugees to be treated appallingly and that character defect is almost impossible to fix from the outside."

Despite the praise and condemnation, a spokesman for Clarence House, Charles' London residence, told The Times that Prince Charles remained politically neutral.

"We would not comment on supposed anonymous private conversation with the Prince of Wales, except to restate that he remains politically neutral. Matters of policy are decisions for government," the spokesman said.

Charles has often rebelled against the ban on political intervention by the British royals, making his opinions known on a range of topics as he waits to be crowned king.

"Unlike the Queen, whose opinions remain secret, Prince Charles has already expressed his views in public," Glynis Barber, narrator of a Channel 5 documentary, Secrets of the Royals, said, as quoted by the Express.

"He has done this from topics ranging from the environment to architecture."

Royal commentator Georgina Lawton added: "Charles, I know is itching to get involved in government and politics.

"He is itching to get involved in lobbying at that level but of course it is not allowed. It is going to be very interesting to see whether or not he can hold back."

Newsweek has contacted Clarence House and the prime minister's office for comment.

Prince Charles
Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, at the Big Jubilee Lunch At The Oval on June 05, 2022 in London, England. Prince Charles was criticized over his reported views on the U.K. sending migrants to Rwanda Samir Hussein/Getty