MONARCH-ITECTURE

Prince Charles Tries to Prevent Modern Building

Prince Charles has always cared about architecture, but has he extended the reaches of his power a little too far? The Prince of Wales tried to block plans for a modern architect, Jean Nouvel, to design a shopping complex directly next to Christopher Wren’s St. Paul’s Cathedral. Though Nouvel, who is a winner of the prestigious Pritzker Prize, was selected from an international competition, the Prince tried to intervene. He penned a letter in 2005 complaining about the effect the building would have on London’s skyline. According to Sunand Prasad, president of the Royal Institute of British Architects, the Prince has to “step back.” “This is a dangerous course to go down,” Prasad told The Guardian. “There was an open competition for this building and then along comes somebody with special powers seeking to influence the outcome in a blatant intervention.” The patron in charge of the selection reportedly responded to the Prince, declining HRH’s offer.