This Newsweek cover is probably a bad sign, don’t you think? It shows that the American media market – not just that, the mainstream American news – is paying attention to the chaos within the British monarchy and the impending doom of the Queen’s poor health. Newsweek mostly quotes from Penny Junor, who seems to be all over American news outlets these days (she was quoted in a recent NY Times story too). The crux of the cover story is that the Queen isn’t going to live forever, and there are already cracks and fissures in the “institution,” mostly because William and Charles are so horrible. Some highlights:
There’s so much speculation about the Queen’s health: “There’s something we’re not being told about the Queen’s health,” the commentator Piers Morgan tweeted. “It’s clearly a more serious situation than the Palace is saying.” The Palace staff, an insider told Newsweek, is still “hopeful” that Elizabeth will continue to pursue her “light duties,” including video meetings. But on this increasingly frail elderly woman, a widow since the death of Prince Philip in April, rests the fate of a monarchy that over the course of 10 centuries has survived innumerable wars, scandals, rebellions and a cataclysmic abdication, but now faces a future in which its strongest assets—tradition, pomp and pageantry—count for less and less in a world dominated by the finger-flicking power of social media.
Andrew Morton on the future of the monarchy: “Everyone focuses on Meghan and Harry but they’re looking in the wrong direction. They should be focusing on Prince Charles because he has got a mountain to climb. Prince Charles, our future head of state, future king in the very near future, is only polling in the low 30s and low 40s. For me it causes alarm. Harry and Meghan were ancillary members of the Royal Family even when they were part of the Royal Family.”
Penny Junor on the Queen’s long view: Elizabeth “takes a very long view on things. Young people tend to get excited by a sudden sense of injustice if someone has said something and people are believing them, like in the Oprah interview, you want to jump in there and immediately correct it and put it all right. I don’t think that’s the way the Queen operates, she’s seen everything come and go and knows that things do blow over. Sometimes it’s best to let them blow over without getting involved in it. Because, by getting entangled, you do give oxygen to it.”
William & Charles: But one day Charles will be king, and William, who will turn 40 next June, will be heir apparent, a situation Junor thinks is fraught with the potential for more family turmoil. People recently ran a cover story by royal biographer Robert Lacey suggesting that the future of the monarchy is in Prince William’s hands, not his father’s. The theory gained credibility when William soon afterward gave an interview to the magazine, which he would not have done had the previous coverage offended him. “I think it’s always going to be a little bit difficult,” Junor told Newsweek. “They [Charles and William] are two people doing a very similar job. With all fathers and sons I think there’s an element of competition, the older man not really wanting to step over just yet and let the younger take his crown. I think that’s always going to be a slight issue. I think they’re closer than they were, and they’re both pulling very much in the same direction.”
Charles will never be popular: Charles also has to live with the aftermath of his bitter divorce and Diana’s account of how his coldness and infidelity left her despondent. “I think that is something that will haunt him indefinitely, unhappily,” Junor said. “The problem is that at every anniversary she will be brought up again and the facts or a version of the facts will be trotted out. There will always be people who choose to believe everything they see and hear and watch. Things like The Crown I think are incredibly damaging and are giving a false impression of Charles to the world.”
LOL. Just… all of it is hilarious to me. “How dare everyone pay so much attention to Harry & Meghan, even though we’re the ones who cannot shut up about them, who did this??” That’s basically what it is. Everyone on Isla de Saltines knows there is a massive enthusiasm gap when it comes to Charles and William, and William’s childish PR games and temperamental rages aren’t helping matters at all. It feels like Junor – long a Charles ally – was sent out specifically to say something about William’s big dumb People Magazine cover. This is Charles sending a message to William, in the American media: back up, it’s not your time yet, don’t get messy.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instagram.
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