A Right Royal Ruck Up
A ripping yarn of family disagreements, hypocrisy, adultery and deceit
The Coronation weekend has sent the country into a patriotic frenzy with red, white and blue Union Jack bunting adorning shop windows, family homes and everywhere else in between, across the nation. I am proud to be British and have always respected the Royal Family but on reflection, I am beginning to have my doubts about their authenticity.
King Charles III seems like a decent man. I have never met him and never will, but from what I have read about him and seen on TV, he was ahead of his time when it came to climate change, conservation and other eco causes.
Throughout his life, King Charles III has been a champion for environmental issues. He has spent years campaigning for conservation, organic farming and other eco causes. So much so that many have come to see His Majesty as a leading climate advocate, funding charities and campaigns that have global significance.
Yesterday, as part of the Coronation ceremony at Westminster Abbey, when the new sovereign was anointed on his head, hands and heart with holy oil consecrated in Jerusalem, he took the titles of defender of the faith and supreme governor of the Church of England. This is where things become a little blurred in my mind. Here we have a deeply caring, family man whose two young sons were devastated after the premature death of their 36-year-old mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, and even though he was divorced from her at the time, life for him seemed to carry on as normal.
I was working at the King Fahd Armed Forces Hospital in Jeddah when the news broke that fateful day. I was getting ready for work when I heard the CNN newsreader announce that Diana, Princess of Wales had been seriously injured in a car accident in Paris. I was shocked to the core, as were millions of others around the world. By the time I got to the hospital, she had been pronounced dead.
I was a Medical Secretary and every person who came into the office that day offered their condolences: Americans, Saudis, Australians, Lebanese and many more colleagues from around the globe were all as touched and affected by her death as I was, despite the fact that none of us had ever met her. (I did see her up close once when she was on a royal tour after her marriage to Prince Charles) and she was such an elegant and beautiful lady in every sense of the word. My American friends were particularly kind and felt my pain as if she was actually a member of my family; such was the effect that she had had upon us citizens of the world.
Watching her two boys, William and Harry, walking in the line-up behind their mother’s coffin was deeply moving and I’m sure that the way in which she died and her young age had a profound effect upon them both.
I, along with 750 million other people in 74 countries, watched the wedding of Charles and Diana on the 29th of July 1981. I can remember watching their union on the small colour television set at home, where I was still living with my parents the year before I got married, and I drank pink champagne and tried caviar for the very first time, which some very generous and kind-hearted friends had brought along to celebrate the occasion. None of us could ever have imagined the sadness that would cloud the magical, fairy tale wedding and the tragic ending of Diana’s life at such a tender age.
According to some press articles at the time, Charles wore cufflinks with two ‘C’s intertwined, representing Charles and Camilla, which had been a gift from the now Queen Consort, Camilla. Television dramas about the Royal Family have alluded to the fact that Charles was in regular contact with Camilla Parker Bowles, herself a married woman, either by phone or in person with clandestine meetings happening on a fairly regular basis throughout his entire marriage to Diana.
What about the sanctity of marriage? By his own admission during a television interview, Prince Charles admitted to having been unfaithful to his wife which, we are led to believe, was in response to Diana’s interview when she famously said that ‘there are three of us in this marriage’ referring to her husband’s ongoing, long-standing affair with Camilla Parker Bowles.
Harry has clearly struggled with the tragic loss of his mother and, I believe, is still coming to terms with her death. He was clearly side-lined at yesterday’s Coronation Ceremony at Westminster Abbey, being seated two rows behind his brother, Prince William, and afterward immediately leaving to travel back to the States to be with his wife and two children, the eldest of which, Archie, was celebrating his 4th birthday that very day his father was in London ‘celebrating’ his father’s Coronation. I wonder if King Charles III was thinking about his four-year-old grandson in California. Probably not. The ongoing ‘family feud’ after the fall-out from Harry’s book, Spare, is obviously still very raw.
When I saw Charles and Camilla (I couldn’t help wondering whether he was wearing those cufflinks) standing on the balcony of Buckingham Palace wearing their crowns, I couldn’t help but think about all the times they had deceived their respective spouses in order to continue their extra-marital relationship with each other. Is it because Charles is such a high-profile person that these infidelities were glossed over? Or have ‘the Firm’ done such a good job of covering his tracks and downplaying the whole adulterous affair? Who knows. But I do know this. In the eyes of God, they have both sinned. But it doesn’t seem to have mattered one jot because they have carried on regardless.
Ultimately, they are part of a family, just like the rest of us, and they have had their fair share of disagreements, sadness, happiness and enough drama to last them a lifetime. Perhaps more drama than any of them would have cared to have, but I guess that is the price they pay for being part of such a high-profile family forever in the spotlight.
God save the King.
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