The car in which the Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall were riding was attacked by protesting students yesterday evening as it made its way down Regent Street on its way to the Royal Variety Performance. In a glaring breach of security, the car was pelted with paint, students kicked at the car and screamed "Off with their heads!" The horrified Duchess crouched down in the well of the car for safety after she had been prodded in the ribs with a stick through an open window and the window on the Prince's side was smashed. The students ran alongside the car rocking it and shouting until it was able to break away.
The students were again protesting the huge tuition hikes that are to be enacted in the UK (from £3000 a year to £9000) which will make once more affordable education into education only for the elite. Students have rallied round their cause but unfortunately a lot of the damage and destruction from what was to be a "peaceful" protest has been marred with the violence of random anarchists who join in with the throng.
The irony is that the Prince has been one of the greatest supporters of students and young entrepreneurs through his Prince's Trust and has no real voice in the government or what the government chooses to do in any issue. When he has spoken against the "uglification" of England through myriad architecture that mars the historical landscapes of the country, he is criticized by the media who remind him that he has no rights to say a thing. His views make a lot of sense to me.( But then, again, I talk to my plants and eat organic, too.) Being American and not used to living in a dwindling constitutional monarchy...I find it ridiculous that he should keep quiet about the things he cares about. He is, after all, living here. But I digress...
What was evident was that the students were simply registering their disgust with the "haves" and the "have nots". While they are attempting to find a way to fund an education, the symbol of excess (he has a staff of 147) sails by in a vintage Phantom Rolls Royce.
What is mystifying to me is that security knew that there were protests going on in that certain street and the car was allowed to enter the mob-filled avenue.