What Are 'Prison Shades' Anyway?

Palace Denies Telegraph Claim That Charles Sees Kingship As Prison-like

is Charles afraid of Kingship - or death? The Royalist investigates

10.25.13 11:33 AM ET

I read with some confusion the Telegraph's pick-up of the Prince Charles Time story this morning, in which the paper claimed that Chaz felt kingship would be like a prison because he wouldn't be able to spend so much time with his charities.

One member of his household told Time that the Prince was worried he would not achieve enough with his various interests before “the prison shades” close, but I  got the imprression this expression referred  more to the vague death-fear that haunts all of us to some degree (excuse me getting a bit deep and meaningful, not usually the tenor on here; as regular readers know we aim instead for frothy levity most of the time).

Anyway, the Royalist has been in touch with the Prince's people and a courtier said that while my interpretation was valid (if a little gloomy) the main point is not the he is dreading becoming King. But nor, as they and the piece points out, is he so anxious to become King that he is planning his mother's funeral or anything like that.

It's definitely complicated when you have to wait for your mother to die to get your job.

Catherine Mayer, who wrote the article for Time magazine, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that "part of a quote" had been "taken out of context" by news organisations.

"The thing that I find funny about that is, of course, one of the reasons I wanted to profile the prince is that I thought there was an extraordinary gap between who he was and what he did and how he was portrayed... in the British press.

"So, to see some of what I hoped was sort of balanced and carefully calibrated somewhat sexed up doesn't surprise me at all."

A Clarence House Spokesperson said:

"This is not The Prince of Wales's view and should not be attributed to him as he did not say these words.

"The Prince has dutifully supported The Queen all his life and his official duties and charitable work have always run in parallel."