Prince Charles 'has a duty to talk with Government'

The Palace have defended claims that Prince Charles has privately met senior ministers 36 times since the general election, saying he has a duty to communicate privately with Government.

His Royal Highness receives ministers and officials from a broad range of Government departments on a regular basis, either in office meetings or through initiatives such as the cross-party Campaign for Youth Social Action, which he will lead, or addressing the issue of illegal trade in wildlife," the statement added.

Official meetings, sometimes instigated by ministers, are important to the Prince in his role as heir to the throne.

The Prince of Wales has a right - indeed it is his duty - to communicate privately with the Government on any matter he chooses, to bring his unique perspective and reflect the many issues people raise with him personally on his extensive engagements around the country.

Given these broad areas of interest, as well as specific events such as the Jubilee and Olympics, it is inevitable that HRH may, at times, see some ministers more than others.

– Clarence House spokesperson