‘What is wrong with people nowadays? Why do they all seem to think they are qualified to do things far above their capabilities? This is all to do with the learning culture in schools. It is a consequence of a child-centered education system which tells people they can become pop stars, high court judges or brilliant TV presenters or infinitely more competent heads of state without ever putting the necessary work or having the natural ability. It is a result of social utopianism which believes humanity can be genetically engineered to contradict the lessons of history. What on earth am I to say to Elaine? She is so PC it frightens me rigid.’
A handwritten 2002 memo by the Prince of Wales to an unnamed member of his staff. He was reacting to a memo by a staff member named Elaine Day which suggested that secretaries and personal assistants with university degrees should have the opportunity to train as private secretaries or senior advisers.
A statue of the Pharaoh Akhenaten from Karnak, Photograph by Gérard Ducher