Controversial comments have called into question whether Prince George will ever reach the throne – and what the future holds for the royal family.
It’s not often that the crème de la crème of the literary world intersects with all that is royal; after all, the Windsor House is a famous and proudly anti-intellectual group.
This is not a bunch of people who read Goethe in the original High German or who have thoughts on Keynesian economic theory. (Prince Charles was the first senior member of the Royal Family to go to college and somehow managed to get into the ultra-prestigious Cambridge University although he didn’t obtained a B in history and a C in French in his final exams.)
But in 2013, Booker Prize-winning novelist Dame Hilary Mantel made headlines around the world after deciding to share her caustic take on Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge, at a talk at the British Museum. . His assessment? A scathing excoriation of the women who would be queen, calling her a “plastic princess” who was “an articulated doll on which are hung certain rags”, and that “Kate seems to have been chosen for her role of princess because she was flawless. : as painfully thin as one can wish, without quirks, without quirks, without risk of emergence of character.
This week, Mantel was back on the Royal Commentary Wagon during an interview with the Times. (She’s got a bit of skin in the crown game with her most famous novel series centered on Thomas Cromwell, the man behind the throne of King Henry VIII.) Asked about the future of the monarchy, the wife of The 69-year-old didn’t fire any punches, offering a “back of the envelope” calculation on how long he could survive. His assessment? The royal family had two more generations, meaning Charles and William would reach the throne before the golden edifice collapsed.
“I think that’s a fair prediction, but let’s say I wouldn’t put any money on it. It’s very difficult to understand the thinking behind the monarchy in the modern world when people are just seen as celebrities, ”Mantel said.
It would be easy to overlook the award-winning author here, given that she is used to targeting everything British and is currently considering moving to Ireland. (She recently said that England “runs on the memory of power, but that resource is running out.”) With that in mind, a royal bait spot fits her annoying, prickly persona perfectly.
But, like it or not, (despite the chuckle of the Memorial Dish Towel Squad), Mantel’s prediction deserves serious consideration given recent events.
Today, the monarchy is taking water, quickly and on several fronts.
For the Queen, the person charged with ensuring the survival of the Crown, there is no respite from this current dismal state of affairs in sight.
At fault: Three princes whose behavior and choices sparked a series of crises unlike any the royal family has ever seen before.
The first preliminary hearing in the civil sexual assault case against Prince Andrew was held on Monday. When news of the trial by Virginia Giuffre (formerly Roberts) broke in August, it was the first time in history that a member of the Royal Household had been publicly accused of such a wrongdoing. (She alleges that she was forced to have sex with the Duke three times when she was 17. The Duke of York has repeatedly and vigorously denied Giuffre’s claims and said that he had “no recollection” of ever having met her.)
Andrew now faces years of potential legal maneuvering in a US court (not to mention rising legal bills on both sides of the pond) with the possibility that Giuffre’s legal team could assign timelines, agendas and logbooks and that the depositions of witnesses, including that of Andrew, be taken. under oath, the Telegraph reported.
It seems eminently likely that things will only get muddled on this front as we move forward.
The next prince currently at the waist in a sordid scandal involves the future king, Prince Charles. The Times This month, allegations of a money-to-access scandal were raised, alleging fixers in the royal’s inner circle traded him access in exchange for six- and seven-figure charitable donations.
Since then, Charles’ longtime aide Michael Fawcett has resigned as CEO of his foundation and the president of the Prince’s Foundation has stepped down. Charles and Fawcett have both been reported to police about the allegations, with authorities currently assessing the complaints.
This “rent-a-royal” scandal has not generated the level of public anger it should. That the next Defender of the Faith was leading an outfit so perhaps slimy should be the cause of more than a royal soul-searching, however, instead, Clarence House issued a statement that was drier than a parched Sao, denying that the prince had some “knowledge” of what would have happened.
Finally, we come to the third prince whose antics have caused endless heartache in the palace this year. Entering the stage left Prince Harry and his list of reproaches with which he and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, have faced the press. Although we are in the midst of a blessed lull in their campaign, don’t be fooled into thinking that they wave some sort of white flag and move on to a new life of fulfilling themselves and wooing the bigwigs. from Netlfix.
At some point next year, Harry’s autobiography will hit shelves, making him the first senior member of the royal household to write a revealer since Sarah, the Duchess of York published the imaginative name. My story in 1997. (Surely, whenever a person finds themselves following in the footsteps of the former blunder prone HRH and looking for salary, it should give them a break for some soul-searching …)
Rumor has it that he has secured a $ 27 million advance for the title (which he has said will go to his charity Sentebale), suggesting that the sixth in line to the throne has pledged the publisher Penguin Random House that he’s willing to offer more than whether the Queen is some sort of jam or cream girl.
What unites Andrew, Charles and Harry’s entanglements if it has eroded and will continue to erode trust and respect in the monarchy.
The crown is meant to represent something proud and worthy. Sure, the shenanigans of the ’80s and’ 90s were embarrassing, but this current crop of crises is set in a whole different stratosphere.
The situation in which the palace finds itself today is incomparable in those years. We are now talking about allegations of sexual assault, institutional racism and dirty money.
The moral character of some central figures in the royal drama has been called into question in the most painfully public way. At this point in the game, it seems like the unknown amount isn’t whether they’ll run out, but by how much?
The problem with these different crises is that the more the royal family makes the headlines for the wrong reasons, the more it forces the ill-washed greats to think about the very fact that they are still ruled by an unelected head of state. , and it’s a precarious place to be.
According to a YouGov poll from April this year, only 63% of Britons think the UK should continue to have a monarchy, barely a proud and resounding endorsement, while that figure drops to a paltry 34% when you watch 18- Demographics of 24 years old. (It seems that the divine right of kings doesn’t really hold up in the TikTok era.)
So what sort of monarchy could George inherit in his 50s? An institution in tatters and under siege after barely scratching generations of scandals and crises?
A public whose benevolent acquiescence to the notion of monarchy has painfully eroded?
And a handful of Windsors with little desire to sacrifice their lives for the sake of a throne that no one particularly wants?
The image is not pretty.
Still, the British crown dates back over 1,200 years, so it might be a bit too early to put your Royal Wedding Teaspoon Set on eBay and be done with the bundle. They are survivors through and through and have a sort of crafty instinct in their DNA that has seen them cling to power. After all, this is far from the first time the palace has faced catastrophic predictions of their future demise.
But how many times can they pull that particular bunny trick out of the hat? How many times will the British public and the Commonwealth forgive the sins of the Windsors and continue to support, even in the most apathetic way, an institution that has no real bearing on our lives or our political destinies?
Undoubtedly, a lot will change in the years to come as the Queen’s reign ends and Charles’s begins. When that sad day comes, we may not only say goodbye to a truly iconic figure, but bid farewell to the last and last Queen of the United Kingdom. It will be his son, his grandson and his great-grandson what will come next; they will fight for nothing less than their survival.
Daniela Elser is a royal expert and writer with over 15 years of experience working with a number of major Australian media titles.