15 March 2006

Charles's great uncle in military coup plots

A BBC documentary reveals that Harold Wilson not only believed that the secret services were plotting to discredit him, but that they intended to stage a military coup backed by the Royal Family.

Prince Charles's great uncle Lord Louis Mountbatten, who he was very close to, was to be installed as interim Prime Minister following the coup.

While some may dismiss this as paranoia on behalf of Wilson, various other information seems to corroborate his beliefs. New witnesses interviewed for the programme talk about these military coups and Mountbatten's role in them. Journalist Barrie Penrose, who secretly recorded meetings with Wilson, says they confirm such plotting "wasn't in the fevered imagination of an embittered ex-PM".

Penrose concludes his Radio Times article: "You may ask, at the end of the programme, how much of it can be believed. My view now, as it was then, is that Wilson was right in his fears.... in answer to the question 'how close did we come to a military government' I can only say - closer than we'd ever be content to think."

So much for the Royal Family and the monarchy as guarantors of freedom and democracy.

More information
BBC News - Wilson 'plot': The secret tapes