Prince Andrew's devastating interview, the mediated conflict between Duchesses Kate and Megan, the rift between the William and Harry brothers and the embarrassing accident of Philip • 2019 marks one of the worst years in the history of the British royal house
Even in her age, she is still a very active family leader. Queen Elizabeth
The third season of "The Crown" surfaced on Netflix two weeks ago, with Olivia Coleman as the queen facing the challenges of the 1960s, but the real royal drama has been happening on UK news channels in recent weeks.
For just over a month, two dramatic interviews shocked the royal family, raising concerns about the future of the monarchy and raising the question of an identity responsible, if any, for one of the UK's most important institutions.
In October, it was Prince Harry and his wife Megan Markle, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who sparked a media storm in an interview with Tom Bradby on ITV Channel. The prince spoke of his great dislike of the media, which entered his life, and confirmed the rumors of cracks between him and his brother. Megan talked about the stress of the ongoing life under the spotlight, and in a comment that was interpreted as a sting against the Buckingham Palace apparatus, she thanked the interviewer as he asked for peace: "Not many people asked if I was okay."
More about the British royal family:
• On ISIS's intention: the royal family
• In front of the Queen: Meghan Merkel's paddock
• UK: Plans to evict the royal house in the event of a London riot
Many in the Royal House felt that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were wrong when they agreed to an interview, and were mistaken in launching legal action against newspapers for violating their privacy and allegedly hacking the phone. But on these issues, the horror of Prince Andrew's devastating interview with Emily Maitlis of the BBC Newsnight show on BBC "Not exactly a private car accident, but more a semitrailer accident," said former royal family spokesman Dickie Arbiter.
Buckingham Palace's explanatory line held that Prince Andrew's interview stemmed from his personal decision, though Queen Elizabeth approved it. Former assistant to the royal family said: "The Queen responds to Andrew. He has always been her favorite son, and the affection remains."
The Queen, 93, remains the head of the family very actively. It deals with a series of state affairs every day, and according to a senior official, "nothing happens without her knowledge and approval." However, her age is an influential factor, as was the case with her husband Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, who was "the family's main discipline ruler," but at 98 can no longer do so.
The function of the royal house today is increasingly dependent on Prince Charles, his chief secretary Clive Elderton (formerly the British ambassador to Morocco), and the Queen's personal secretary, Edward Young. Those who previously served as senior aide at the palace say "the Queen's private office could have stopped the interview if they really wanted to." Their decision to let the interview take place, in the sense of some of the parties, indicates a lack of grip on the "firm" center.
• • •
We talked to people who worked for decades with the royal family or inside the palace. Some believe that the recent crises can be met, and that the situation is not at all as severe as 1992's "Enos horribilis" (the horrible year), which included the separation of the queen's two sons from their wives (Prince Charles of Princess Diana, Prince Andrew Sarah Ferguson) and the fire At Windsor Castle.
Others are anxious about the state of affairs in recent years under Elizabeth's rule and link the loss of control of what is happening to the departure of Lord Gaidet, the previous personal secretary of the Queen, in 2017. Lord Guidet was "released from office" after failing to make the royal court structure more centralized - reducing the autonomy of Clarence House (Prince Charles's residence) and Kensington Palace (Prince William's residence) and strengthening Buckingham Palace.
For all the articles, columns and sections of Sitting
"It was a smart idea that would never work," says one of Prince Charles's supporters. "If the future of the monarchy is to be shaped, it should be done by the Prince of Wales, as the future king, and not by Buckingham Palace. Consider that three major royalty - Charles and his two sons - wanted a greater degree of independence. Remember that this is a family and royal court, not a corporation. "
The Gaidt program's failure left a system that, according to one of the aides, operates on a collegial basis and, according to another, was described as federalist. A former official was more blatant: "Every house works completely alone."
One of the factors in the incident says that "the attempt to merge the houses was a serious failure: the attempt to dictate and force change led to a strong counter-reaction. Now the change is taking place gradually and organically. The royal staff's finances and human resources are merging, and everything continues to function well."
• • •
If the office departments run smoothly, those at the forefront of the royal family's relationship with the media have experienced a fiery year. After a period largely characterized by positive stories of royal weddings and births, 2019 began with Prince Philip's car accident and his apology, which came too late. This case soon overshadowed the public split between William and Harry.
No longer the "Fab Four". Kate, William, Harry and Megan // Photo: GettyImages
Harry and Megan promoted raising awareness of the effects of climate change, but were severely criticized after taking private flights for vacation with Sir Elton John. William and Kate, on the other hand, caught a cheap flight to Scotland to visit the Queen at Balmoral Castle, and were photographed as a "normal family" as they helped their children up the stairs of the plane. Harry and Megan didn't make it to Belmoral, a decision interpreted by some officials as an insult, especially after Megan flew to New York to watch her girlfriend Serena Williams in the U.S. Tennis Championship final.
Harry's comment that he decided to bring "two children, max" for the benefit of the planet (so far he and Megan have one child - Archie, seven months old) stood out in the face of the fact that William and Kate are already raising three children (George is 6, 4-year-old Charlotte, and one-and-a-half-year-old Louis). Harry and Megan left their roles at the William & Kate Charitable Foundation to set up their own foundation.
The relationship between the two princes of communication also has a big difference. While Harry and Megan frequently confront the media, William and Kate adopted a friendly approach. When their flight was diverted from orbit during a tour of Pakistan last month following a lightning storm, William rose from his seat to check that journalists on the plane were safe and sound. Sources in the palace say that William understands much more than his brothers that despite the difficulties, relations with the media are essential to advancing the goals of the royal family.
In February 2019 the two couples were still called the "Fab Four" ("the wonderful quartet"), and declared themselves connected. However, officials at the Royal House say they advised the brothers not to spend too much time together, and that they were not surprised by the crisis in the relationship.
In contrast, a friend and family advisor claims that "what is happening is perfectly normal. Brothers are getting married, they have their own children, their lives are progressing in different paths. The spotlight is on them now, because they used to be a cute duo.
"They love each other, but they have a very different character. William is very cautious, like his grandmother, Queen; he is a conformist by nature. Harry is more like their mother, the late Princess Diana, and their father, Prince Charles: he is more sentimental, more sociable And because he is not likely to be a king (he is the sixth in line to inherit, after his father, his older brother and his brother's three children), he has a lot more leeway. "
One of the aides resembles Harry's condition to that of Andrew when he was younger and sought a role in life, as the second son, who will never be king. "Like Andrew, Harry doesn't like advice either."
• • •
A former aide in the royal court believes that Prince Andrew's friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein is an example of a common phenomenon in Secondary royalty: "They are prey to the generosity of rich friends."
Andrew also rejects the advice of the palace's communication apparatus. Instead, he is assisted by his private secretary, the "super faithful" Amanda Thirsk, and remains very close to his ex-wife (and the mother of his two daughters), Sarah Ferguson. Another person who advises him on communications is James Henderson, former chief executive of public relations firm Bell Pottinger, who has been centered on scandals and bankrupt. Henderson, a friend of Sarah Ferguson, insists he did not play a role in Prince's interview on Newsnight.
The blast waves from Andrew's interview are expected to bolster Prince Charles and his advisers in their plans for the day Charles (71) will be crowned king, which includes significant cuts to the palace budget. According to the Loving Republic, the royal family costs British taxpayers £ 345m a year. Charles's vision includes focusing on the direct succession chain: he, his son William and grandson, Prince George, and limiting the role and budget of the rest of the family.
William is increasingly involved in his father's work and decisions, and knows that his reign will be much shorter than his grandmother's, who came to power at the age of 25. As for his siblings, uncle and others in the family, the future is less clear. Restricting their role in a limited-budget monarchy is a financially logical step, but as the interview with Andrew showed, semi-detached kings could do immense damage.
The prince and the sex offender
Prince Andrew's exit to the media came back to him like a boomerang, and in a mad rush. Four days after he vehemently denied the accusations against him in an BBC Newsnight show, he was already suspended from any public activity on behalf of the royal house. It's been barely two weeks since then and his condition seems to be getting worse.
Approved the interview? Queen Elizabeth and Prince Andrew // AFP
The interview in question revolved around the relationship of Prince (59), Queen Elizabeth's third son, with Jeffrey Epstein, a US billionaire convicted in 2008 for soliciting a 17-year-old prostitute, and being severely punished for receiving immunity. Last July, he was arrested on charges of trafficking minors, and a month later committed suicide in the Manhattan Detention Center.
In an interview with him, Andrew found it difficult to explain why he met with the convicted sex offender in his New York apartment. The prince claimed that he had come there to end his friendship with Epstein face-to-face, but that did not end the affair. This week she was interviewed by BBC's Virginia Panorama program, 35, who claimed that Epstein and Giseline Maxwell (daughter of tycoon Robert Maxwell, and who was dubbed "Epstein's Madame") pimped her to a prince when she was 17.
She claims that one evening in March 2001, she spent the night with the Prince at a nightclub, and from there the two went to Maxwell's apartment in central London. As proof, she has a photo of her embraced, with the date printed on it. Roberts also said the Prince was sweating throughout the encounter. "Giseline told me I should do to Andrew what I do with Geoffrey, and it sickened me. He got up, thankfully, came out of the room and left me sitting there on the bed. I felt scared, ashamed and dirty. The next day Giseline patted me on the back and said ' You made him very happy. A royal son took advantage of me. "
Andrew insists that that evening he even went out to eat pizza with his daughter, Princess Beatrice. He claims the photo in question is false, and Roberts' testimony about his sweating is false, simply because he suffered a medical problem at the time, which caused his body to produce no sweat. But the story is not over yet. Andrew will probably have to testify in court soon, after at least five women claimed to have witnessed several incidents that occurred at Epstein's home over the years.
The shame of Philip
While the 93-year-old still plays her role as head of the monarchy, 98-year-old husband Philip has lived a calm retirement life of a pensioner at Sandringham, a pastoral estate of the Norfolk County royal family.
Every day he talks to the Queen on the phone, but has not met her since leaving Balmoral Castle, the estate in Scotland where she spends summer days.
Isolated in Scotland. Prince Philip // Photo: Reuters
For Philip, this is not a simple situation. Still, this is a scion of a glorious German dynasty, a son of the princes of Greece and Denmark whose grandmother was the granddaughter of Victoria, Queen of the United Kingdom. But his remarkable age has pushed him away from any influence in the palace in the last decade.
It began in 2012 when his health caused him to be absent from the London Olympics and the 60th Anniversary of Elizabeth's coronation. A year later, he was hospitalized for about two weeks and underwent surgery due to "findings" revealed in his stomach. About two years ago, Philip was hospitalized for treatment and supervision at the hospital because of an infection.
Earlier this year he was rescued from a car accident when the Land Rover jeep overturned at the edge of the road after crashing into a minivan in which two women and a baby were traveling. One of the women suffered a wrist fracture and the other cut her leg. The prince and the baby were not harmed.
Two days after the accident, Philip was seen driving a new Landrover car again without a seat belt - which only heightened public anger toward him, and the debate over his age is still unfit to drive. Following the criticism, Buckingham Palace announced that Philip had volunteered to give up his driver's license, although he may have been forced to close the story without opening a police investigation.
Prince Philip retired from public life in August 2017, giving up all his powers and significantly reducing his public appearances. From 1952 to the present, he has been present at 22,219 pledges and events as an official representative of the Royal House. So it only makes sense that giving up driving is a real blow to the prince, who for years has been trying to maintain some independence within the tough system.
The duchess battle
The recent scandals have pushed aside the feuding clash between Kate Middleton and Meghan Merkel, but it is probably too early to eulogize him.
The two duchies may at first seem like sisters to trouble, but it soon became ridiculous to compare them. They were never friends, did not grow up together, did not know each other before they joined the royal family - and met their prince in completely different stages of their lives.
While Kate, who knew William when she was still a college student, grew up living in the palace, Megan began her affair with Harry as a divorced and sober girl and a prosperous career. "Megan is fully aware that Kate will be the queen; their roles are very clear," explained a source in the palace to Pipple magazine last month.
If there's anything they can still connect with, say perverted commentators or Twitter tweeters, it's the motherhood fraternity. Both raise small children, devoting most of their private time to this. Megan with little seven-month-old Archie and Kate with George (6), Charlotte (4) and one-and-a-half-year-old Louis.
However, while William and Kate try to maintain a royal hue every step of the way, strictly adhering to the strict rules of the crown, Harry and Megan are looking to break their old-fashioned tradition and make their own way through their own, even in the future. Unlike William and Kate, Harry and Megan preferred not to reveal the birth place in question or Archie's godfather identity to this day.
According to rumors in the kingdom, the relationship between the two women also led to a rift between the brothers; Some ego struggles at first, backstage clashes, and finally a breakup between Harry and William, which was reflected in Megan's and Harry's departure from Kensington Palace. The experts are also able to report a complete disconnect between the teams working with the couples, and even disconnect from each speaker's array.
After Megan's moving confession, the ice between her and Kate seemed to thaw. According to reports, Megan's touching monologue changed something about Kate's perception of her, until the senior duke rarely initiated a conversation with Megan and promised to help her and appease everyone.
However, royal court records say, the situation between the two duchies has not changed. They don't talk, don't care about each other's lives, and don't even text each other.
As expected, the acclaim of former American actress and Duchess of Sussex at present Megan Merkel in the royal family has not been smooth, and 38-year-old Megan still bears her scars.
The attitude of the media towards Megan was tough in the first place. Her past has been inundated, being a dark-skinned mother made racist statements about "contaminating" the royal house, and her family ties have been made public - and most of all, the tangled relationship with her father, Thomas Merkel.
Markle Sr. became a district interviewee, and media outlets paid him a lot of money to film him or hear extreme statements about his daughter ("She is ungrateful. It will make it easier if I die"). Shortly before the royal wedding, he had to undergo surgery in his heart and missed the event, which he was eventually invited to after a lengthy media saga.
Megan has abducted all possible criticisms of her 75-year-old father's attitude, and is now embarking on a legal battle against the Daily Mail. According to Harry and Megan, the newspaper published an excerpt from a letter Megan sent to her father over a year ago, stating, "Your actions broke my heart for a million pieces - not only because you caused so much unnecessary pain, but you chose not to tell the truth. Something I will never understand. " The lawsuit also claims that the newspaper published certain parts of a five-page letter, which caused readers to misrepresent.
In October this year, Megan confessed in a documentary about her dire state of mind. She first spoke publicly about the relentless behavior towards the tabloids in the kingdom, as well as the blood-soaked public. When the interviewer asked her good-bye, Megan replied in a strangled voice: "Thank you for asking me, not many people bothered to ask me if I was okay."
Megan's mother-in-law, Duchess Camilla, was shocked by the interview and expressed full support for the Duchess. Relatives of Camilla told Vanity Fair that she was surprised, like everyone else, when she watched the movie, because up until that moment, she didn't realize how much Harry and Megan had been treated. As someone who has been Charles's allotted lover for many years, Camilla is likely to identify with every word.
This week, by the way, the duchess was absent from a royal meeting with Donald Trump, and not by chance. She has not yet forgotten that before his first visit to the kingdom, the US president called her "mean," in response to her public criticism of him.
Megan is expected to celebrate Christmas and the end of the civil year in her small family, with her husband Prince Harry and their toddler son Archie. The two intend to skip the royal holiday customs - a family gathering and a Christmas morning walk with the Queen to the church - and instead will probably go to visit Megan's mother, Doria Legand, in the US. Of all the mess, and with the full approval of the Queen.