Charles and Boris like toddlers told to play nicely – What happened at Rwanda meeting?

Prince Charles using 'moral compass' to comment on UK policy

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Prince Charles’ opinion of Boris Johnson has faced significant scrutiny in recent weeks after reports suggested the heir to the throne had privately labelled the Government’s policy of sending migrants to Rwanda “appalling”. But today (June 24) the Prime Minister and future King were all smiles in front of the assembled press and cameras as they met for a brief meeting in between engagements at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM) in Kigali, Rwanda.

The Prince and Mr Johnson’s meeting was dubbed a “cup of tea and a catch up” and, at least on the surface, the pair appeared happy in each other’s company for their photo-op.

The Prime Minister jokingly asked gathered spectators “who are you?”, earning a small chuckle from Charles. But what went on behind closed doors remains unclear. After snaps were taken, the two men were left alone for a private talk that lasted 15 minutes.

It was expected that Mr Johnson would address Charles’ views on his Government’s new migrant policy during the chat. On Thursday, the Prime Minister said “critics need to keep an open mind” over the controversial policy.

He added: “A lot of people can see its obvious merits. So yeah, of course, if I am seeing the Prince tomorrow, I am going to be making that point.” However, Mr Johnson reportedly decided against asking Charles about the issue today.

According to body language expert Judi James, the Prime Minister was keen to “project superior strength” during the meeting. She explained to the Mirror: “These two high-ranking males stand side by side together here like toddlers told to play nicely, with their arms down at their sides and a matching pair of awkward part-grins on their faces.

“The way Boris has buttoned his jacket and then apparently sucked in his stomach to puff out his chest could suggest a desire to project superior strength or even a state of aggressive arousal.”

Despite the apparent tenseness of the meeting, the Prime Minister remained deferential to Charles as heir apparent to the throne. Ms James added: “During the handshake though it is Boris lowering his head in a gesture of submission.

“The distance between the two men and the way Charles’s arm is exaggeratedly stretched suggests a desire by the heir to the throne to keep his PM at as much of a distance as possible. Boris’s eye engage might be a silent plea for a truce.”

After Mr Johnson left the meeting, Clive Alderton, Charles and Camilla’s principal private secretary; Chris Fitzgerald, deputy private secretary to the Prince for foreign, Commonwealth and development affairs; and the Queen’s private secretary Sir Edward Young, entered the room for what was likely a debrief.

The Government’s plan to send migrants to Rwanda has drawn significant criticism in recent weeks, and the first planned flight to Rwanda was halted earlier this month by European judges on human rights grounds.

The Times reported that Charles was “more than disappointed” by the policy. The source added that he thought the Government’s “whole approach is appalling”.

Clarence House said it would not comment on Charles’ “supposed anonymous private conversations” and reiterated that he remains “politically neutral”. It added: “Matters of policy are decisions for Government.”

The reported comments threatened to overshadow the future King’s attendance at CHOGM this week, where he is representing the Queen as the next head of the Commonwealth.

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