Tina Brown on Harry & Meghan, Queen Camilla, and the Monarchy
Tina Brown, journalist and renowned royal watcher, gives some insight into King Charles III’s likely future as a monarch.
Brown’s latest book, The Palace PapersThe curtain is drawn back on the inner workings the royal family.
How would you rate King Charles III’s response to his ascension to the throne, and his mother’s death?
His royal training has completely kicked in—both his naval training as an officer, and his years and decades of attending big royal ceremonial occasions, has just schooled him in this impeccable conduct. His speeches have been powerful, but also very human. In the past few days, Charles was greeted with great affection and love by the British nation. This is in a way the first time Charles was able to do that.
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Given his climate advocacy and history of intervening in politics, is King Charles III at risk?
Charles understands that speaking up on such matters is no longer an option. He actually said in an interview, “I’m not that stupid.” And I don’t think he will. He doesn’t need to. We know his views on climate change. Charles will also be very fortunate to become King during a time when our Prime Minister is very divisive and inexperienced [Liz Truss], who hasn’t done this job before and who has not been elected by the whole country. He will therefore appear more statemanlike.
The King’s response to Prince Harry, Meghan Markle and the Duchess and Duke of Sussex withdrawing from the royal family is a matter for debate.
Charles will be reaching out to Harry often. That rift is something he really wants to repair. The Duchess’ desire to be reunited with her family will determine whether the rift can or cannot be repaired.
Is Camilla now able to rehabilitate her image as queen consort?
Yes, I do believe so. She’s now been married to Charles longer than Diana was and is enormously supportive of him. I think she has an air of somebody who’s a little dazed by the enormity of what she’s now in. However, she is full of natural charm. She’s going to be a queen mother figure to the nation who now regard her with some affection.
The two women in Charles’s life who are going to be the most important are Camilla and his sister Anne who he’s very close to and who will play a role like Valerie Biden plays to Joe —a backstage consigliere to Charles.
We just passed the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death. What do you think of Charles’s accession in this anniversary context?
The country’s always going to love Diana and her memory. You’re going to see more and more memorializing of Diana during the reign of William, for instance, when he takes over. However, time passed. [Diana’s death]This was 25 Jahre ago. Camilla was accepted. This is a human family, and what family hasn’t been riven by divorce in today’s age? Few.
Some nations are already considering cutting ties with their monarchies. How will this affect the crown?
Charles is fully expecting that. He’s actually quite accepting of it. It’s something he knows by the time he gets to [new heir to the throne]The sovereign realms of Prince William will soon be extinct. One of Charles’ thorniest challenges is to address the lasting damage of colonialism, for which there is rising vocal demand.
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Are there any chances that the British monarchy will be abolished within the next few years?
In the near future, no. It’s been 1,200 years and going strong. You can see the queen in her state at the 5 mile line. The monarchy is above all partisan politics. It’s a symbol of unity that unites the country at moments of grief and moments of joy.
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