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Prince Charles' Diamond Jubilee speech: Is he 'cool' now?

Posted By Kate Stanton, UPI.com   |   June 5, 2012 at 12:18 PM   |   Comments

June 5 (UPI) -- Flanked by the likes of Sir Elton John and Kylie Minogue, Prince Charles left perhaps the biggest impression at Queen Elizabeth's Diamond Jubilee concert Monday with a jovial, poignant speech that praised his mother's 60 years of service for the Crown.

"Your Majesty, mummy,” the prince of Wales began, at which Queen Elizabeth looked visibly moved.

Prince Charles thanked the concert's organizers and performers, as well as its comedians for making “jolly good jokes.” He also called on the crowd to shout loud enough so that his father Prince Philip, in the hospital for a bladder infection, could hear the speech.

"If I may say so, Your Majesty, thank God the weather turned out fine," Charles added in a reference to his much-publicized turn as a BBC weatherman.

The crowd roared when Charles thanked his mother “for making us proud to be British” and joined in as he led them in “three resounding cheers for Her Majesty, the Queen.”

Prince Charles' Jubilee speech is not the only sign of warmth coming from a family that for decades has been criticized for a closed-off approach to the media and the public.

According to royal watchers, Prince Charles and his PR team at Clarence House are working hard to make the next king, and the royal family in general, more lovable.

“If you read newspapers for a living,” The Telegraph's Tanya Gold said, “You will notice that the Royal family has clawed back its mojo and accepted that they can never rely on discretion from the media beast again.”

A media blitz ahead of the Jubilee, for example, had former troublemaker Prince Harry dancing in Brazil and Prince William hanging out with celebrities in Los Angeles. And last year's royal wedding did wonders to lift public sentiment about the royal family.

Two decades ago, it was a much different story. Infidelity, divorce and the death of Princess Diana dominated any discussion of the royal family in the headlines. In particular, stories of Prince Charles’ affair with Camilla and his treatment of Princess Diana eroded at his public image.

Though the prince is known for occasionally making callous remarks--he has suggested that deer eating flowers at William Wordsworth’s home be shot--he and his team have been working hard to soften his personality.

At a May photo op in Canada, Prince Charlies met with young DJs at a youth center in Toronto, donning headphones for a turntable lesson.

"The days of disco are long gone," he joked, his fingers on vinyl.

In one viral video circulated in May, Charles stepped in to do the weather for BBC Scotland.

He's even had a go at shooting hoops with the Swedish prime minister.

Are Clarence House’s new tactics working? With a recent poll showing that most Britons want Prince William to be the next king, rather than Charles, they may have an uphill battle ahead of them.

But the press has noticed a marked shift in the royal family's approach to openness with the media and public. The Guardian recently ran a piece on “How the Royals became cool” and The Telegraph's Tanya Gold called Clarence House PR reps "clever, charming men who even return calls to unfriendly journalists.

Take That frontman and Jubilee concert organizer Gary Barlow is sold. “He's such good company," Barlow said of Prince Charles. "

"He has a fantastic sense of humour. He's a cool guy."

Follow @KateStan and @UPI on Twitter.
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