Should they be afraid? The royals with the most to lose from Meghan’s interview

That Oprah interview put the entire British royal family in the crosshairs – but some are likely quaking more than others. So should they be afraid? Linda Burgess reviews the evidence.

The King

George the something? Edward? Google it. He stammered. Colin Firth fixed him. Or Colin Firth was him. Something like that. Should they be afraid? No!! Long dead. Utterly olden days.

The Queen Mother

A sherry before lunch, a little glass of champagne with the smoked salmon, a dessert wine, just a tiny glass, gin or perhaps today a Dubonnet at 5, a Chablis with the fish, a claret with her steak, a Drambuie for afters, a hot toddy to help one sleep, doesn’t sound much until you add it all up. She lived till she was 101. If she hadn’t been such a boozer just think how long she might have lasted! The other interesting thing about her is that she wore the same coat and hat and pair of shoes for her entire life.  And she had cousins or was it siblings locked away in an attic somewhere. STBA? Hmmm. If around now, with, in spite of a cuddly sweetie face, that heart with a splinter of ice, possibly yes. Yes.

The Queen

A rare display of empathy when in mid teens she talked on the wireless to all the little English children who’d had the hell bombed out of them by her cousins. She wore kilts and ankle socks till she got married. She met her handsome husband when she was just a girl. His kindly, playful interest in very young women was genetically passed on to one of their sons. She can still drive a landrover. She came to New Zealand and she didn’t kiss her little boy when she got home months later. She has drawers full of headscarves with horseshoes on them. She’s respected, god bless her. She’s not the one who wondered aloud what colour her great grandson would be, not that we needed to be told that. She’s remained tactfully silent about the toddler’s latest words being “Drive safe”, and “Hydrate”. She’ll always love etc etc. She’s not known for knocking it back like her mother did, so she could well make it to 120. Friends with David Attenborough. She looks like Helen Mirren. STBA? Nah. Bless. Meghan and Harry give her big thumbs up. Well she answers their calls.

The Duke of Edinburgh

If he’d been a media personality – commercial radio, breakfast TV –  which would have been his natural calling, he’d have stormed out and been sacked decades ago. To everyone’s amazement, it reportedly wasn’t him speculating about his great grandchild either. He and his wife have always had separate bedrooms. The advantage of a palace. STBA? No. On his way out. Too nutty to matter. And he’d probably agree with Meghan’s dad: It’s just a dumb question.

Princess Margaret

Oh God. The Spare. Apparently it’s awful being the spare, until you’re not, which happened to her father. If you can’t be queen you may as well be a bad lot, marrying a commoner when they stopped her marrying a divorcee, hanging out with the likes of the Rolling Stones and Peter Sellers and lounging about on warm white sand with men half her age. At the age of 37 she drove through Paris, in a sportscar, with the warm wind in her hair. She inherited the booze gene from her mother and the smoking gene from her father. A toxic combination that saw her shuffle off the mortal coil quite young. STBA? NO!! She’d have shaken a martini and raised it to them.

Prince Charles

Always in the wrong. Side part a little too low, giving the impression of a comb-over even when he had plenty of hair. Hand in pocket. Oh for goodness sake not his trouser pocket, we’re not accusing him of that. Cruel to his child bride, uses a servant to warm his lavatory seat – look I’m not making this up, I read it somewhere – I only remember it because I assumed that like normal people he’d feel a bit queasy about a warm seat – anyway, supercilious to his manservant, jealous, only vaguely interested in his sons. A drip. A philosophy based on Just get over it. He’s useful journalistically because whatever he does, he’s wrong. It must be him who said it about the unborn Archie. It’s the sort of thing he’d say. It just is. Come to think of it, perhaps I read he takes his own lavatory seat with him when he travels. As the Palace have rightly pointed out, recollections of details differ. Given his genes he’ll live till say 104. He’ll have been king for say seven years. My advice: Drink. Smoke. Inhale. Don’t wear a condom. Climb ladders. Drive without your seatbelt. STBA? It’s pretty much on his watch. So yes. Pissing himself.

Princess Anne

Always in the right. She has a sitting room that looks like a set from a sitcom starring Richard Briers. She was married first to someone whose nickname in the army or wherever he served was Fog because he was thick and wet. Don’t ask me how I know this stuff, I just do. She’s married to someone else now. She works hard and invisibly and no one has ever asked her the name of her hairdresser. She’s the only other person whose royal prerogative allows her to wear scarves decorated with horseshoes. STBA? God no. She couldn’t give a stuff and possibly has no idea who Meghan even is.

Prince Andrew

The spare for a few years. God, imagine… Anyway, currently extremely grateful that the world has got Meghan and Harry to gawk at. What follows is only a rumour but it has legs. That ill-judged walk through Central Park with recently-released-from-jail Epstein, you know that matey meander when Andrew was being too honourable. That chummy stroll has been linked – gosh some people are so cruel – with Epstein perhaps having helped relieve some of the horrendous financial burdens suffered by Andrew’s famously spendthrift ex-wife. Look, it’s a fair swap! Payback time! Totally understandable! That’s not his hand! STBA? Only if the press stops hammering on about his nephew. I live in hope.

Prince Edward

Sorry. Who? STBA? Sorry. Who?

Prince William

Dressed by Barkers. He must wear Vaseline on his teeth, all that smiling. Another time, another place, he’d be Hamilton’s most honest mortgage broker, a real estate agent selling rural lifestyle blocks, the owner of a mid-range furniture shop. Life sentence. Life means life. STBA? Probably yes. How bloody humiliating to have your little brother point out that you’re…pointless. A prisoner. In the olden days he’d have sent Harry to The Tower. Goodbye, good luck god bless you and keep you. Axe or sword?

We finish with Prince Harry. And what is there to say that hasn’t been said already. A bit peevish about his wife not even bothering to google him when they first met. Actually, just one thing. He is looking awfully like the Duke, his granddad. The eyes don’t stray far from the bridge of the nose in both cases. Surely that should put the rumours to rest.

Though if you think about it, the royal decision not to call his son a prince… STBA? Only of that wife. I didn’t use to be, and though I’m still cautious, I’m sort of impressed, though of course she could be acting. Who’d know? Those eyelashes! But the main thing is, he’s right: what were they thinking of, not using all of the advantages she brought with her? What were they thinking of?




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