Charles may be ‘overwhelmed with scandal’ as controversies anticipated
King Charles and Camilla prepare for state banquet
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King Charles III is nearing the end of his third month as monarch and, according to polls, has gained in popularity since ascending the throne. An exclusive poll for Express.co.uk, conducted last week by Techne UK, revealed more than a third of people of all ages and social categories felt more positively about the King since September 8. In contrast, just one in five (21 percent) felt more negatively about the king while 34 percent were unchanged in their view. It suggests the King has managed to survive possible criticism of his more difficult years, namely the Nineties which saw the breakdown of his marriage to Diana, Princess of Wales and the confession of his infidelity. However, while polls suggest that the monarch is escaping controversy, his biographer has claimed there could be more scandal to come.
Christopher Anderson, author of the upcoming book ‘The King: Life of Charles III’, was a guest on an episode of Podcast Royal earlier this month.
He said: “I think one mistake people make is to assume he [Charles] is going to be a placeholder for William — that he’s going to keep the throne warm as it were.
“He’s going to be an activist and he’s going to leave his mark on history. He has waited so long for this moment. Edward VII waited 59 years, but Charles has waited 70 years.
“I think he is going to take the bull by the horns in terms of streamlining the monarchy; he’s already talked about rethinking how the monarchy is funded if he can. I’m sure he is going to express his opinions in private to the Prime Minister every week.
“But unfortunately, he may be overwhelmed by scandal. The key to his reign is winning the affection of his people, but that’s hard to do when you’ve got a rebel prince in Montecito constantly making headlines and embarrassing revelations.”
Mr Anderson refers to Prince Harry, Charles’ younger son, who stepped down from his royal duties and moved overseas with his wife Meghan Markle.
Since their shock exit, the couple have spoken openly — and often negatively — about the Royal Family and their experience of life within the Firm.
And while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex united with the family to mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, it is understood that tension still remains between the Sussexes and the UK-based royals.
According to Mr Anderson, Charles’ relationship with the pair is particularly vulnerable to further harm. “I think he feels very betrayed by the situation, that he’s receiving all this criticism from the Sussexes,” he explained.
Perhaps Harry and Meghan’s most infamous attack on the institution came in March 2021 when they sat down for a bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey.
The Royal Family faced global criticism following the two-hour-long programme which saw the Sussexes claim their mental health needs were neglected as working royals and make accusations of racism within the Firm.
Mr Anderson claimed Charles felt particularly betrayed by the explosive interview, which gave a rare insight into the British monarchy. “I think there’s a strong sense of betrayal,” he said. “It really plays to Charles’ sense of being a victim: why are they doing this? Why is he doing this to me?”
The biographer went on to note the King’s relationship with the Sussexes prior to their departure: “When you look at how Charles and the Royal Family embraced Megan Markle, Charles in particular, as he walked her down the aisle when she got married to Harry, and he befriended Doria Ragland, Meghan’s mum…Then all of a sudden, they jump ship and are making these accusations about racism within the family.”
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He continued: “Harry remains this ticking time bomb. And Charles did extend some [olive] branches over the past year or so. But I would say right now his relationship with them is at an all-time low.”
Charles’ greatest concern is the prospect of Harry’s memoir, due for release January 10, the contents of which are unknown. It has previously been reported that the King, and the rest of the Royal Family, are bracing for bombshells.
More recently, royal author Tom Bower told the Daily Mirror the monarch would consider stripping Harry, Meghan and their children of their royal titles if the memoir — and the Sussexes’ Netflix show — is too damaging to the monarchy.
The biographer said: “He has made various threats to Meghan and Harry and warned that them if they go ahead they will find themselves ostracised in a way they cannot believe. And so they are worried.
“First of all, I do not think their children will get titles if they go ahead and slander the Royal Family. But they have also got to consider their own titles, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, could be taken away by Charles if they misbehave.”
But Mr Anderson has claimed Harry and Meghan are not the only threat to Charles’ reign. He expressed concerns about “the reaction to Camilla,” arguing the Queen Consort “is still a very controversial figure”.
He added: “It will be some time until the British people really warm up to her in the way that Charles would like.”
Camilla’s popularity has seen a gradual increase since she first emerged on the royal scene as the ‘other woman’. Her favourability among the British public saw a boost following Queen Elizabeth II’s Accession Day statement in February, which saw the late monarch declare her support for her daughter-in-law as future Queen Consort.
Similarly, her popularity has seen a slight upsurge since Charles inherited the throne. At the beginning of this month, an Express poll found that 44 percent of the public believe both Charles and Camilla are doing a good job, with only 11 percent opposed. A further 45 percent think it is too early to say.
Mr Anderson claimed the King is wasting no time in making his mark on the monarchy. Asked about what’s next for Charles, the biographer said: “We’ll have to wait and see,” before adding: “I don’t think we’ll have to wait long though — Charles is already making waves.”
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