Prince Charles’ dance of shame

Charles dressing for a 'sword dance'
Prince Charles joined Saudi Arabia’s autocratic rulers in a ceremonial sword dance. Saudi Arabia executed more than 70 people last year, mostly by public decapitation with a sword. Image: AFP/Getty

This week Prince Charles flew to Saudi Arabia and danced for its autocratic rulers. The next day Saudi Arabia and arms company BAE Systems announced they had finalised their latest multi-billion pound weapons deal.

Charles was in Saudi Arabia at the request of the UK government’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office. BAE’s share price was set to fall this week unless agreement could be reached on its latest sales of Eurofighter Typhoon fighter jets to Saudi Arabia, so the UK government sent in the royals to seal the deal. As a Buckingham Palace spokesperson has said “Middle East potentates like meeting princes.”

Human rights organisations had highlighted Saudi Arabia’s appalling record on human rights and urged Charles to use his visit to promote reform. Instead he has sent a clear signal of support for repression.

 Please sign CAAT’s petition to challenge the Royal Family’s complicity in arms dealing.

This is just the latest instalment in a shameful record of UK governments pulling out all the stops to help secure BAE’s weapons deals ‐ and of the royal family helping.

Prince Charles last visited Saudi Arabia only 11 months ago: the trip was explicitly requested by the UK government to help ‘enhance military links’. Just last month, Prince Andrew was promoting BAE’s jets to Saudi ally Bahrain – despite its own ongoing crackdown.

The royal family claim to be apolitical – but these are not apolitical actions. They are political actions which put the interests of private weapons companies before human rights – and they are a shameful international representation of the UK.

Please add your voice to our petition to the Foreign Office and Buckingham Palace to say that the royal family should not be promoting arms sales.

The media are reporting Charles’ ‘sword dance’ with glee, but very few outlets are focusing on the wider message he is sending.  This morning, campaigners were threatened with arrest for unveiling a banner at Buckingham Palace to expose the royal family’s support for arms sales and human rights abuse. This message shouldn’t be hushed up. Please help to expose it!


Banner at buckingham palace: Royals stop pushing arms sales to dictators
Campaigners were threatened with arrest for exposing the royal family’s complicity in arms dealing


7 Replies to “Prince Charles’ dance of shame”

  1. Shameful Charles. Ba Systems, the most powerful
    lobby in Westminster could make all sorts of
    things to sell to other countries but only make
    death machines and weapons of mass destruction.

  2. He doesn’t care about his own people, having driven them off his land in parts of Wales thirty odd years ago, so why would he care about a couple of Saudis loosing their heads. The history of the royals is awash in blood, so why would anyone think they could change now. Those who believe that good will prevail, have really lost the script, as the only ones who do so, are those immersed in the blood of the innocent.

  3. It is wrong to sell arms to countries with human rights abuses and the royal family should consider public opinion and not support it.

  4. I support this cause, I really do, and you have some real and strong points, but anyone with any Photoshop knowledge can tell you that this image of Charles is not real. The shadowing around his head is wrong, the hood he is wearing is crooked (which is actually offensive in that culture) the neckline looks false, and the hands have been artificially whitened. If you want my opinion, I would say it a photo of a random middle east official that has had Charles’ head superimposed upon.

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