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Erno Goldfinger's iconic Trellick Tower in West London

Prince Charles’ planned contribution to a debate at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)  has a caused a predictable stir this week. A number of the institute’s prominent members are planning to boycott the event in protest at the Prince’s ‘undemocratic’ meddling in the progress of British architecture.

The battlelines are well established in this dispute: on one side the vast majority of architects , schooled to varying degrees in the aesthetics of…

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