No, we don't really know what Prince Charles thinks about the announcementtoday from Buckingham Palace that Queen Elizabeth set up a committee to findways to reform the monarchy in the scandalous aftermath of the breakup of hertwo sons' marriages.
In fact, the heir aberrant is part of the panel, along with his mother andfather. The palace won't say exactly what steps the group may recommend, butthe British press speculates that they could include some of the following:
--Eliminate the $13.5 million annual subsidy from the government to theroyals and make the family self-supporting.
--"Streamline" the royal family by removing its many distant cousins, who alsoqualify for public support.
--Revamp the 900-year-old rules which give primacy to males over females inthe line of succession to the throne.
--Remove the ban on marrying Catholics. Originally instituted to limit papalinfluence in Britain, it is now seen as arbitrary discrimination, becauseroyals can marry into any other religion.
The Queen already has begun paying income tax for the first time on herpersonal fortune, estimated at $244 million.
"One of the reasons the monarchy has lasted for over 1,000 years is that itis able to adapt and change as necessary, whilst retaining the enduring publicsupport it enjoys," a palace spokeswoman said.