Prince proud to be 'enemy of Enlightenment'

The Prince of Wales says he is proud to be an "enemy of the Enlightenment", the 18th century philosophical movement that emphasised rationalism and reason in human affairs.

He also spoke of facing "unbelievable abuse" every time he voices his views.

Heir to the throne Charles made the remarks to delegates at the annual conference of The Prince's Foundation for the Built Environment at St James's Palace in London.

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The Age of Enlightenment, sometimes called the Age of Reason, ushered in a a new era of science and politics that challenged the authority of aristocracies by questioning traditional ideas about society.

Charles remarked: "I was accused once of being the enemy of the Enlightenment. I felt rather proud. I thought hang on a moment, the Enlightenment started over 200 years ago.

"It might be time to think again and review it and question whether it is really effective in today's conditions, faced as we are with huge challenges all over the world.

"It must be apparent to people deep down that...we cannot go on like this, just imagining that the principles of Enlightenment laid down in the 18th century still apply.

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"I do not think that they do but if you challenge people who hold the Enlightenment as the ultimate answer to everything you really upset them."

Charles also proclaimed that he battled hard on issues despite facing "unbelievable abuse".

This comment came as he talked about his recommendations that bird boxes be built on Foundation properties.

"Swallows and swifts cannot nest on metal walls. They cannot nest unless there are eaves. I think it is wrong, it is immoral not to consider those other species who share this planet with us. If the swallows and swifts stop coming here and nesting in the buildings I love there is no point to life, literally...."

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The Prince warned that nature should not be "suppressed and humiliated" after hearing delegates' discussions at the Building: A New Green Economy forum.

It aimed to promote greener housebuilding and claimed it could revitalise local economies.

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