Page last updated at 20:55 GMT, Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Prince hopes to pass on charities

Prince Charles
The prince said he enjoyed "bits" of his public role

Prince Charles says he hopes his sons William and Harry will carry on his charity work when he becomes king.

In a major BBC documentary, the Prince of Wales spoke about the causes he has championed, like the environment and opportunities for young people.

He said he hoped one day people would realise "that some of the things I've been trying to do aren't all that mad".

He also said he felt his current role was "to help as many other people as I possibly can, and this country".

The 90-minute documentary charts a year in Prince Charles's life and is being screened ahead of his 60th birthday on Friday.

Prince's Trust

The prince is president of 20 charities - 18 of which he established - which cover issues such as health, the Arts and the built environment. Together, they raise more than 119m each year.

His flagship charity is the Prince's Trust, set up in 1976, and aimed at providing education, training and financial support to disadvantaged young people.

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Asked what would happen to these charities when he becomes King, Prince Charles replied that the question was a hypothetical one, then said: "I've no idea, I really don't - these things have to be dealt [with], you know, when they have to be dealt with.

"Obviously, it would be nice if some things were taken on by my sons, but I don't know - it all depends on their interests."

The prince has championed a number of causes, some of them controversial, including hunting and complementary medicine. He is also very outspoken on the need for businesses and governments to do more to tackle climate change.

Princes Harry and William

Asked if he could carry on spreading these sorts of messages as king, he said: "I don't know, I don't know - probably not the same way.

"But I like to think, perhaps, that after all this, eventually people might realise that some of the things I've been trying to do aren't all that mad and that I might still have some convening power that could be put to use."

When asked whether he enjoyed his "job" as prince, he said: "Well, there's bits of it, but I mean, as I say, it's something I feel I must do to help as many other people as I possibly can, and this country."

During the programme, filmed in 2007 and 2008, the prince is seen on official duties and also privately at Highgrove in Gloucestershire.

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