Richard Rogers has reportedly claimed that developers are still asking Prince Charles to approve their choice of architects ‘to check who would be acceptable’
According to the Times, Rogers said he knew of five developers who routinely submit lists of firms to the prince and that one had recently told him that consulting with Charles was ‘one way we can minimise risk’.
Rogers’ latest claims continue his feud with the prince over his influence on Britain’s built environment. The spat dates as far back as 1984 when the prince made a speech at the RIBA Royal Gold Medal presentation. He unexpectedly described Ahrends Burton Koralek’s plans for the National Gallery as a ‘monstrous carbuncle on the face of a much-loved and elegant friend’, helping secure the scheme’s demise.
Rogers’ feud with Charles reached its nadir in 2009 when the architect was famously thrown off the job to overhaul the redundant Chelsea Barracks site following an intervention by the prince.
Talking to the newspaper, one property insider said: ‘The degree to which architects and developers have to genuflect or listen to him has gone down [recently] but who knows when he will start some campaign again?’
In his new memoir, A Place for All People, Rogers described Charles as ‘architecturally ignorant’, adding that his views deny ‘the very possibility of buildings from different periods co-existing and harmonising with each other as they do in all the greatest historical cities’.
Meanwhile, one anonymous source told the newspaper that the royal’s ‘meddling’ was cyclical. Another described the Prince’s architectural interest as ‘more like subterfuge’ adding: ‘You will find that architectural advisers connected with his various trusts will turn up at planning meetings with sustainability concerns, or they will speak to Historic England.
‘They will appear on panels of architecture competitions. They come out of leftfield.’
He added that the royal had a set of ‘tame’ architects who liked because they matched his favoured ‘pastiche type of architecture’.
A spokesperson for Clarence House told the Times: ‘The prince regularly receives letters from members of the public complaining about a variety of developments and planning decisions. This is why his interest in the built environment goes beyond individual developments and architectural styles to encouraging a sense of community and improving the quality of people’s lives overall.’