Welcome to this week’s edition of Royalist, The Daily Beast’s newsletter for all things royal and Royal Family. Subscribe here to get it in your inbox every Sunday.
Harry’s very fast Coronation
Prince Harry is planning a whistle-stop trip to Britain to see dad King Charles and stepmother Queen Camilla be crowned, and then plans to be back in time the same day in California for son Archie’s 4th birthday party. The Sun on Sunday reports all the pre-Coronation rumors of Harry’s rushed in-and-out trip are true.
An insider told the paper: “Harry will be in and out of the UK in 24 hours. He will only be doing the Coronation service then leaving.” The 11am (British time) ceremony ends at 1pm so Harry could be in the air by 2-3pm, and back in California early evening local time, given the eight-hour time difference.
Meanwhile, the Sunday Mirror reports that security costs have increased the overall price tag of Charles and Queen Camilla’s coronation this coming Saturday—codenamed Operation Golden Orb—to £250 million (around $315 million). Insiders tell the paper that £150million will be going towards police officers and protection squads, with apparently a particular concern being protests by eco-activists—ironic as Charles himself has been a vocal environmental advocate for many years.
A “well-placed” Home Office insider told the Sunday Mirror: “Security alone will be up to £150million, possibly more. It’s a crazy sum, but this is one of the biggest public events in recent history. Thousands are involved—many working overtime. Just getting dignitaries into the country and to their accommodation is a hell of an operation in itself. They will mostly be taken by police escort from the airfields. That’s one small cog in this gigantic security machine—there is so much more to the operation.”
The rest of the cash is going on “staging the ceremony and three days of celebrations,” the Sunday Mirror says.
The public is not buying ‘Queen Camilla’
Disastrous poll numbers for Camilla Parker Bowles—sorry! Queen Camilla!—were nobly given very little emphasis by the loyal British newspapers this week, but they show that Camilla has an approval rating of just 10 points among the British public, the same as Meghan—about whom the U.K. papers have no problem reminding us of their contempt. Ipsos polled more than 4,000 adults in three samples between March 31 and April 11.
The profoundly sticky unpopularity of Camilla, and the cynical way Charles pretended she wasn’t going to be queen until—whoops!—she was, thanks mummy, may yet cost the monarchy, predicts Princess Diana’s former personal secretary, Patrick Jephson.
Jephson wrote in the Daily Mail this week: “For many loyal monarchists, all this rejoicing—with its tinge of triumphalism—may still feel slightly unsettling. A romance that conquers everything in its path is bound to stir some misgivings. Others may regret, as I do, that our dutiful respect for the highest office in the land is now tainted by the lingering effects of so many half-truths, planted to obscure the king’s real intentions towards Mrs Parker Bowles.”
He adds: “It seems the new reign—like Diana’s marriage—will still be a bit crowded.”
Did Andrew do that interview for his kids?
Former BBC presenter Emily Maitlis has written a reflection on her legendary Newsnight interview with Prince Andrew which took place, wait for it, four years ago. She writes eloquently in The Sunday Times about how the interview changed forever not just Andrew’s life but also hers, and will forever “define” her.
She has done the piece to support a new documentary about him and the original interview, entitled Andrew: The Problem Prince which will begin airing on Monday on British TV station Channel 4.
Maitlis says that while making the new film, she asked herself how badly the film hurt his daughters Beatrice and Eugenie, saying: “There are questions for me too. What is the duty of care you owe to those who trust you with their stories—particularly if they are in no position to answer back? And how could an interview that aimed to provide answers for vulnerable young women not end up hurting other vulnerable young women—his daughters—along the way? These were things I struggled with in the aftermath that still cost me a fair amount of thought today.
“As we were putting together a new documentary on Andrew, I started to wonder if I hadn’t in fact missed the obvious answer to that most asked question [of why he did it]. What if the prince was actually hoping to clear his own name in time for his daughter Beatrice’s wedding? What if he put himself through a rigorous hour of accountability, so his own family could put it behind all of them? I don’t know this, of course—my speculation has no journalistic source, just raw gut instinct. Perhaps I am seeking to make sense of something I still don’t properly understand.”
Maitlis keeps her best line for last however, writing: “We went into that interview knowing it was the highest form of journalistic jeopardy. When the royals meet the BBC—traditionally—someone always gets fired. None of us ever thought for one moment it would be the prince.”
Subscribe here to get all the latest royal news and gossip with Tom Sykes and Tim Teeman.
Charles gifts queen’s dresser new home
King Charles has gifted Angela Kelly, the queen’s dresser and close confidante, a new home in Yorkshire. The Mail on Sunday reports that “it is thought that the king has bought the property, which will revert to the Crown on her death.”
A source told the paper: “Angela wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea but nevertheless the King had no wish to see her homeless. I get the impression the King just didn’t want to be living next door to her.” A source close to the Palace added: “The narrative that the King is heartless has all been very wide of the mark. His Majesty has never wanted to see anybody homeless, particularly someone who has been so loyal.”
Could some hasty face-saving and make-nice PR be at work here, as it was only recently reported that the palace had asked Kelly to vacate her grace-and-favor Windsor estate home? The formidable Kelly was nicknamed “AK-47,” thanks to her alleged temper, so the palace could be looking to soothe any tensions, as she may be planning to write another book about dressing the queen. Now no longer under royal employ—and with her much-loved mistress dead—who knows what she may feel moved to say, especially if she feels aggrieved in how she’s been treated?
“Getting ready to say goodbye. I am moving at last to my new home which I will be able to call My Home at last,” Kelly posted on social media in recent days, the paper reported, adding to a friend: “I’m moving to the Peak District just further on than Sheffield so not too far away from the family. My work phone has been disconnected but hopefully you have this one…Looking forward to my New Adventures [with smiling emoji].”
On Instagram Stories, Kelly posted, “I am too old to worry about who likes me and who dislikes me! I have more important things to do! If you love me—I love you! If you support me—I support you! If you hate me—I don’t care!” She added a gif of a child chanting: “I can’t do negative today. Positive vibes, positive vibes!”
Well, it seems Kelly and the palace are at least in agreement about the need for that.
‘Chorus of millions’ will pay homage to new (forever) king
We all know that slightly awkward moment at a wedding when the inclusively-minded priest turns to the congregation after the “I do” bit and says something like, “And do you all pledge to support them all their days of their marriage?” and the crowd has to mumble back, “We do.”
It looks like something similar is being planned for the coronation, with the presiding Archbishop of Canterbury urging TV viewers to pledge allegiance to the new kinging from their sitting rooms. A church spokesperson was quoted by the Telegraph as saying: “For the first time in history, a chorus of millions in this country and around the world will be invited to participate in this solemn and joyful moment.
“Our hope is that people watching at home on their own… will say it out loud—this sense of a great cry around the nation and around the world of support for the king.”
— Church spokesperson
That’s something that we can share in because of technological advances, so not just the people in the Abbey, but people who are online, on television, who are listening, and who are gathered in parks, at big screens and churches. Our hope is that…when the Archbishop invites people to join in, that people wherever they are, if they’re watching at home on their own, watching the telly, will say it out loud—this sense of a great cry around the nation and around the world of support for the king.”
The Sunday Times said that those watching at home will be invited to recite a passage, swearing to “pay true allegiance to Your Majesty, and to your heirs and successors according to law. So help me God.”
After the Archbishop says “God save the King”, they will then be invited to say: “God save King Charles. Long live King Charles. May The King live for ever.”
This week in royal history
Happy birthday Princess Charlotte! She turns 8 on Tuesday May 2.
All Coronation-related, naturellement. How snazzy and extravagant will this ‘slimmed-down” event be? Will anyone care? Will the boredom and shrugging that has been such a feature of the build-up be echoed on the day, or will folks get into the pomp and circumstance of it all? How long will Harry stay? How will the family treat him? And can Charles command a nation and world’s attention as much as his late mother?
Love The Daily Beast’s royal coverage? Sign up here to get Royalist newsletters sent straight to your inbox.