Prince Charles quits heritage society in censorship row
The Prince of Wales has resigned as a patron of the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings (SPAB)
The falling-out centres on a foreword Charles wrote for a handbook on the restoration of old houses. The heir to the throne used the opportunity to express his belief that buildings should always be restored in their original style. The society, which frequently uses modern architecture and design, asked Charles to amend his conservative views. The Prince refused and subsequently resigned from the Society.
Philip Venning, secretary of SPAB, said: ‘We agree with so much of what he says, but on the issue of new design there are occasions when we disagree, and we don’t disguise the fact. We were pleased he was our patron.’
Charles was asked to write the foreword to The Old House Handbook by its authors, Roger Hunt and Marianne Suhr. After his work was rejected, Philip Venning provided the introduction himself.
The SPAB, founded by socialist architect and writer William Morris, is the world’s oldest environmental campaigning group. It is understood that Charles resigned from the Society several months ago when his five-year term as patron ended - before his very public row with Richard Rogers over the Chelsea Barracks development.
SPAB has yet to appoint a new patron.