What is known so far: there is a memoir, it has apparently been finished, and previous reports have Harry wanting to rewrite sections of it, and possibly delay publication, in light of Queen Elizabeth’s death.
But at the Palace, angst reigns over “damaging revelations” the book may contain—over King Charles’ parenting or other matters it is unknown.
A friend of the King told the Mail on Sunday: “The question inside the Palace is: ‘Can the book be stopped?’ It may be that even Harry can’t stop it at this stage but the feeling at the very top is that there’s no good that can come of airing grievances in public.”
“Lawyers to the Royal Family at the firm Harbottle and Lewis are expected to be on standby to read the book when it comes out,” the paper adds.
What is also unknown is what Harry’s roughly $40 million, three-title deal with publisher Penguin Random House allows him, or doesn’t allow him, to do editorially when it comes to demanding and executing changes.
Meet the new “Fab Four”
No, this is not another Blues Brothers tribute act. The picture shows Queen Consort Camilla, King Charles, Prince William and Kate Middleton the night before Queen Elizabeth’s funeral just before they hosted the leaders of many nations at Buckingham Palace.
📸 Their Majesties The King and The Queen Consort with Their Royal Highnesses The Prince and Princess of Wales.
Taken at Buckingham Palace on 18th September by @ChrisJack_Getty . pic.twitter.com/heUi1C5E15
— The Royal Family (@RoyalFamily) October 1, 2022
The Mail on Sunday christens the grouping the new “Fab Four”—a reference to the royal nickname given to William, Kate, Harry and Meghan Markle when the four of them all got along, and were delivering giggly press conferences about the work they did together.
Buckingham Palace released the picture—which is also the first official picture of King Charles III with his Queen Consort, Camilla—late Saturday night. Behind them is a portrait of King George III, the longest-reigning King in British history. His looming presence means that the picture contains three Princes of Wales.
A palace source told the Mail the picture was intended to record the “historic moment” privately for the family.
But then the picture was released to the wider world. So, obviously, whatever its original intent was, it being made publicly viewable surely underlines who King Charles considers to be the core of the family from now on.
Note who isn’t in the picture—namely everyone else. The event at the palace may have been only for “working royals,” but there is a certain ruthless signposting in making this supposedly private image public about how Charles sees his “slimmed-down” monarchy going forward, and who’s in and who’s out.
King Charles: in search of a purpose
When British prime minister Liz Truss starkly forbid King Charles from attending, and speaking at, the Cop27 climate change summit in Egypt, it highlighted the major new tension in Charles’ life: can he really be the monarch that says nothing about the things he cares so passionately about.
“The decision is likely to fuel tensions between the new prime minister and the new monarch, although a Downing Street source claimed the audience had been cordial and there had ‘not been a row,’” the Sunday Times reports.
A senior royal source told the paper: “It is no mystery that the King was invited to go there. He had to think very carefully about what steps to take for his first overseas tour, and he is not going to be attending Cop.” The decision was made “entirely in the spirit of being ever-mindful as King that he acts on government advice.”
Where does that leave Charles exactly? If the queen famously never publicly expressed views, her son has spent a life—until becoming king—of feeling free to do precisely that. In his first speech to the people as king after his mother’s death, Charles said, “My life will of course change as I take up my new responsibilities. It will no longer be possible for me to give so much of my time and energies to the to the charities and issues for which I care so deeply…”
A Palace source told the Mail on Sunday: “His Majesty will build on the points he has expressed to the nation: now that the period of mourning is over, he will support diversity, promote community spirit and protect the space for those with faith and those without. He is mindful that, as King, his interests and passions will continue but that… some of his previous commitments will now continue in the trusted hands of others.”
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Charles still hasn’t told Harry and Meghan about children’s titles
King Charles has yet to decide whether Archie and Lilibet, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s children, can use their prince and princess titles, “heightening tensions” between the palace and the Sussexes, the Sunday Times reports.
“Harry and Meghan are understood to fear the King may strip Archie and Lilibet of their titles, after his reluctance immediately to recognize their elevated status after the Queen’s death”—the paper pointing out that while Prince William and Kate Middleton’s new titles of Prince and Princess of Wales were promptly updated on the royal family website, Archie and Lilibet remain listed as “Master Archie Mountbatten-Windsor and Miss Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor.”
A royal source told the Times: “For [Buckingham Palace] not to make those changes suggests that something is off. Why not just change everything and do it in that moment?”
A brief discussion that occurred between Harry and Charles after the queen’s death has left the matter unresolved. “Harry is understood to have expressed his desire to let his children decide when they are older, and to have emphasized that would only be possible if they were allowed to retain their titles now. The conversation is understood to have ended unresolved, and to have left the Sussexes dismayed,” the Times reports.
In the couple’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, when Oprah asked Meghan is she felt Archie was being treated differently around issues including his title because of his race, Meghan replied: “In those months when I was pregnant, all around this same time, so we [had] the conversation of he won’t be given security, he’s not going to be given a title. And, also, concerns and conversations about how dark his skin might be when he’s born.”
Two charged over Andrew heckler assault
Two men, both aged 34, have been charged with the assault of a man who heckled Prince Andrew as he walked behind Queen Elizabeth’s coffin in Edinburgh last month, the National reports.
While the 22-year-old heckler was charged with a breach of the peace, the two men have been charged with allegedly assaulting him in the aftermath—video footage of the moment showed the heckler being dragged to the ground as the procession along the Royal Mile continued to St. Giles’ Cathedral.
A Police Scotland spokesperson added: “Two men, both aged 34, have been arrested and charged in connection with assault following an incident on the Royal Mile around 2.50 pm on Monday September 12, 2022. A report will be sent for the consideration of the Procurator Fiscal.”
Security staff so “terrified” of Andrew they let intruder in
Windsor security staff were so scared of Prince Andrew’s temper they allegedly let a woman pretending to be his fiancée into the grounds of Royal Lodge without checking with him, according to the Mirror.
The incident occurred last November; the woman had claimed she had a dinner date with Andrew, and was allowed on to the grounds despite having no ID. She walked around for 40 minutes and even entered Royal Lodge itself before “suspicions were raised” and she was arrested on suspicion of burglary and later sectioned under the Mental Health Act.
Protection expert Philip Grindell told the Mirror that Andrew is a “pain in the a**e and if you have ever worked with him, is an unpleasant character.”
“The security were terrified of asking him ‘Is anyone turning up?’” Grindell told the paper. “And because they did not want to upset him, no one asked and they assumed he must have an appointment and let her in. The security were terrified of asking him.”
This week in royal history
A year ago today, the queen helped to plant a tree with then-Prince Charles, promoting a campaign urging people across the UK to plant a tree ahead of the Platinum Jubilee.
Does Liz Truss ordering King Charles not to attend Cop27—and Charles agreeing to it—mean Charles is absolutely sticking to his previously stated word that, as king, he will be silent on all those causes he once held dear? Or will occasion demand that at some point he says what he thinks?
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