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Warring brothers won’t unite for Diana
The acrimonious state of relations between Prince William and Prince Harry is unhappily and amply illustrated by the news that they will not issue any kind of joint statement to mark the 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death on Wednesday.
The Telegraph reports that the boys, once so close that they could finish each other’s sentences and planned a lifelong, joint charitable foundation, will mark the anniversary “privately and separately.”
The brothers did participate extensively in the 20th anniversary of her death, giving interviews to TV documentaries and commissioning the statue of her which now stands in Kensington Gardens.
However, by the time the statue was unveiled, the brothers’ relationship had deteriorated to the point that the awkward photo call they undertook for its unveiling came to symbolize all that had gone wrong with the once close fraternal bond.
William said at the time, speaking for both of them, that they would not engage in public commemoration of their mother again.
It could therefore be argued that if both brothers adhere to that informal pledge, and do not make any statement, they will be keeping their word. However, the rise of social media in general in the past five years, and the rise of the royal use of it in particular, means that radio silence on social networks, which will likely be flooded with Diana content, will be noticeable and odd.
Earlier this week, Harry, speaking at a fundraiser for his charity Sentebale, said of the anniversary: “I want it to be a day filled with memories of her incredible work and love for the way she did it. I want it to be a day to share the spirit of my mum with my family, with my children, who I wish could have met her. Every day, I hope to do her proud.”
William was 15 and Harry was 12 when Diana was killed in a car crash on Aug. 31, 1997.
The Telegraph said that spokespeople for each brother had separately confirmed that this year’s anniversary on Wednesday would be spent privately.
Give dad a job, Beatrice and Eugenie ask Charles
Prince Charles reportedly gave Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie a blunt response when they went to ask him directly to give their dad Prince Andrew some royal duties to do.
“There’s no chance,” Charles told the two princesses, according to the Sun on Sunday.
Charles is said to be “resolute,” according to the paper, when it comes to sticking to Andrew being stripped of all his titles and duties, in the wake of his scandalous association with Jeffrey Epstein and payment in the millions to Virginia Roberts Giuffre who accused Andrew of sexually assaulting her three times when she was underage and being trafficked by Epstein. Andrew denies the accusations.
Charles hosted Beatrice and Eugenie at his own Scottish estate, Birkhall, serving tea and biscuits alongside the harsh home truths. Andrew himself met with Charles for a “business meeting,” the paper says. But the pleas of father and daughters “fell on deaf ears,” a source said.
The meetings with Charles comes as it was also reported last week that Andrew had had “intense talks” about his future with the queen herself.
A source told the Sun on Sunday: “Andrew desperately wants and needs something to do with his life. The past few years since he stepped down after the Epstein interview have taken their toll and losing his royal roles has left him with next to nothing. His family are close so it’s natural Beatrice and Eugenie want to get involved. They were only looking out for their father and this latest development shows just how intense everything is getting. But there will be no return to public royal duty for Prince Andrew.”
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Queen ‘resting’ more after a ‘change’ in mobility levels
The queen may not attend the Braemar Games next weekend following a “change” in her mobility levels, the Mail on Sunday reports.
The traditional Highland Games, which feature Celtic sports such as caber-tossing and tug-of-war is a traditional highlight of the queen’s summer schedule, but there is increasing gloominess about her wider health and her ability to attend.
A source told the paper that there had been “a change in the past few weeks” in her mobility and she was “resting” a lot more.
Health concerns are also being stoked by reports that Prince Charles is making “highly unusual” daily visits to see the queen as her health problems continue, the Sun on Sunday reports.
Charles is a very thoughtful person—and who else can she rely on now Prince Philip has gone?
Ingrid Seward, of Majesty Magazine, told the Sun: “It’s highly unusual for Prince Charles to make these kinds of impromptu visits to see his mother. But Charles is a very thoughtful person—and who else can she rely on now Prince Philip has gone? Everyone thinks they normally see each other all the time, but they don’t. They often blame it on the geography because everyone is scattered all around the country.”
News of the visits came after it emerged that the queen’s health meant she would likely appoint Britain’s next prime minister at Balmoral, not Buckingham Palace, as the Sun reported.
A source said: “The queen has now been advised not to travel. But obviously no one tells the queen what to do and ultimately it is her decision, and as we saw when she made a third appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony at the Jubilee she likes surprises. There are some parts of her role that Prince Charles can do on her behalf but the queen is adamant that she appoints the prime minister. It may not be the best choice to make the queen travel 1,000 miles there and back for a 48-hour visit when the prime ministers can easily get to Balmoral instead.”
Security for William and Kate’s kids upsets parents
Parents at Lambrook School in Berkshire are already upset at the new security measures being set up to ensure the safety of William and Kate’s kids—George, 9, Charlotte, 7, and Louis, 4—when they begin there the week after next.
The Sunday Mirror quotes one parent: “A lot of parents are pissed off. They’re worried the feel and atmosphere of the school will change with all the security. Many of us worry things like the carol service will now become more formal and won’t be the sweet, laid-back affair they usually are.”
The unnamed mom added: “Parents are picturing armed police in trees and in the corridors—they don’t want their kids witnessing it. There are no electric gates, but that may change with the royal kids coming. It’ll no longer be so easy to come and go. It’s certainly not the same school and vibe we signed the kids up for, and most parents I’ve spoken to feel the same.”
Diana on Camilla
Andrew Morton’s astonishing 1992 book Diana: Her True Story, was, as astute readers of the royalist will be aware, based on tapes recorded by her and passed to Morton. On the 25th anniversary of her death, the tapes are back in the news again, and today’s Mail on Sunday has published the transcript of one of them.
Reading Diana’s words on Camilla is a salutary reminder of what she had to deal with.
“By that time, I’d realized there was somebody else around. I’d been staying… with the Parker Bowleses an awful lot, and I couldn’t understand why she kept saying to me: ‘Don’t push him into doing this, don’t do that.’
“She knew so much about what he was doing privately and about what we were doing privately… I couldn’t understand it. Eventually, I worked it all out and found the proof of the pudding.”
Charles finds his Voice
Royal guest editorships of magazines over the years have seemed to involve a disproportionately high number of editions of Country Life, so good for Prince Charles for guest editing the 40th anniversary of Black British newspaper The Voice.
Charles’ issue features an interview with Idris Elba and Booker Prize-winning author Bernardine Evaristo.
Charles said: “Over the last four decades, with all the enormous changes that they have witnessed, Britain’s only surviving Black newspaper has become an institution and a crucial part of the fabric of our society. This is why I was so touched to be invited to edit this special edition.”
Lester Holloway, The Voice’s editor, told the BBC: “Our readers may be surprised at the parallels between the issues which The Voice has campaigned on for four decades and the work the Prince of Wales has been involved in over the same period, often behind the scenes. In past decades these causes were once scorned and ridiculed, but today they are widely acknowledged.”
This week in royal history
The 25th anniversary of Princess Diana’s death falls on Wednesday, as people’s minds and the media more generally turn back in time to that tumultuous time—and the car crash in Paris that killed her.
How will the royal family mark, or ignore, Diana’s death anniversary? Silence from the queen and Charles? Moving tributes from William and Harry? And how will Diana’s family remember her, particularly Earl Spencer, her brother, who delivered that famously powerful address at her funeral? We shall see.
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