Prince Harry’s book could be ‘the beginning of the end’ for royalty, warns King Charles biographer
The “absolutely catastrophic” implications of the attacks on the royal family’s conduct in the Duke of Sussex’s new memoir are being ignored, says Catherine Mayer, a royal analyst and biographer of King Charles.
The advance publication of the Spanish edition of Spare: In the Shadow focused attention on personality clashes, some of them fueled by the royal publicity machine, and this could jeopardize the constitutional monarchy, whether or not British public opinion calls for such a change, Mayer says.
“Possibly it is something that will mark the beginning of the end of the monarchy, and that is what we should discuss. It is important, given the current lack of trust in the state and the significant rise in right-wing politics. Members of the royal family have become our anger proxies against racism, misogyny, and wealth. After all, it is an institution that defends inequality, so the stakes are high.”
Mayer, whose book Charles: Heart of a King was the subject of similar security leaks and pre-publication misrepresentations when it came out in 2015, argues that fundamental issues raised by Harry in his Netflix series and his new series are being avoided. book, as well as his interviews with Oprah Winfrey and ITV’s Tom Bradby, broadcast on Sunday. Accusations of harassment, racism and misogyny, as well as class differences supported by the monarchy, will eventually mix to undermine the basis of consent by which the royal family rules, if not addressed, the biographer predicts.
“There is a general misconception that this is a light story about a British tourist attraction. The polarization on both sides of the dispute is presented as a defense of the monarchy, but it is not that,” Mayer explained. “This is not just a boisterous celebrity story. What we are talking about is the status of a major state institution, with significant powers and significant taxpayer funding, so whether you are for or against the monarchy, the matter deserves serious consideration. ”.
The writer first condemned the confrontational tone of much of the media coverage of the dispute in a tweet posted on Saturday morning, writing: “It’s like UK journalism, irritated by criticism of #PrinceHarry , I would have gone to a bar, drunk 17 pints of top lager and come out swaying, reeling and yelling ‘You think *that* was wrong?! Just look! #Spare”.
Prospects for reconciliation were remote even before the book’s publication, Mayer said, “but there is a strong incentive for King Charles to initiate some kind of truce: this is resurrecting the aftermath of his first marriage and questions about Queen Camilla. They are already resurfacing.”
Mayer points out that the alleged racism, harassment and manipulation of the image that exist within the institution are not being analyzed. Left alone, they have the power to dissolve faith in the idea of a hereditary head of state.
“The extreme reaction, and likely feigned outrage, when Meghan mimed curtsying in the Netflix documentary is a case in point,” Mayer noted. “In fact, within the palace staff there is a competition to see who can reach the lowest without falling. Therefore, she was not being so disrespectful. She was right “.
Part of the blame, Mayer argues, lies with the “layers of secrecy and obfuscation” that surround the royal family and foster misunderstandings. “It’s meant to be a defense, but it will beat the organization if they focus on the personalities. The whole family is intended to be an idealized reflection of the British population itself and Harry’s marriage to Meghan made that a lot easier,” she said. “The failure of that project is absolutely catastrophic for the royal family.”
The emotional impact of the new book takes on greater weight when Harry tells Bradby about his feeling of numbness after the sudden death of his mother, Diana, Princess of Wales in 1997: “I cried once, at the funeral, and you know what I mean. in detail how strange it was and how there was actually some guilt that I felt and I think Guillermo felt it too, walking outside Kensington Palace… They all thought and felt that they knew our mother, and the two most close to her, the two people dearest to her, were incapable of showing any emotion at that moment.”