DAILY MAIL COMMENT: The Queen deserves better than this soap opera
Spare a thought for the Queen this weekend. At a time of life when she has surely earned a little peace, there’s trouble and turmoil on all fronts.
Her 99-year-old husband lies seriously ill in hospital, she has suffered the pain of seeing her son Andrew sidelined from public life for associating with a notorious paedophile, and senior courtiers face accusations of having covered up reports of bullying at the Palace.
To add insult to emotional injury, we reveal today that the Ministry of Defence is preparing to axe the Queen’s Flight aircraft, maintained by the RAF for the use of senior royals.
And if all that were not enough, at 1am on Monday her grandson and his wife are set to launch a full-frontal assault on the whole structure and integrity of the monarchy.
Even for a woman who has known more than her share of crises, disappointments and betrayals, this really is the Queen’s weekend from hell.
Spare a thought for the Queen this weekend. At a time of life when she has surely earned a little peace, there’s trouble and turmoil on all fronts
Harry and Meghan speak to Oprah Winfrey for a bombshell interview to be aired by CBS on Sunday
We don’t know exactly what Meghan will say to Oprah Winfrey in her tell-all interview. But from the snippets so far, we can see she’s in no mood to hold back.
While Harry plays a supporting role, this is very much Meghan’s drama, in which she casts herself as a caged victim who had to liberate herself from the clutches of the malign and overpowering ‘Firm’.
As Winfrey puts it, she will tell ‘her truth’, though whether that is the actual truth or a one-eyed travesty of it will be for the audience to decide.
It is ironic that while denouncing the bullying of others, she herself stands accused of bullying her own staff while living at Kensington Palace.
Yet for all the rising tensions, the invaluable day-to-day work of those members of The Firm who have not decamped goes on.
The Queen herself has been in the forefront of the Covid vaccination campaign, speaking out publicly about having the jab herself and exhorting others to conquer any reservations they may have to do the same.
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in a video call yesterday with a once-suicidal 12-year-old boy whose life was probably saved by their text counselling service, Shout.
The Queen with Prince Philip, 99, who remains seriously ill in hospital in London
The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge took part in a video call yesterday with a once-suicidal 12-year-old boy whose life was probably saved by their text counselling service, Shout
The dedication to duty and service of all the working royals is undiminished by the soap opera playing out across the Atlantic. And their work remains a powerful force for good.
Just consider the astonishing success of the Duke of Edinburgh awards scheme and the pioneering conservation work Philip did with the World Wildlife Fund; Prince Charles on environmental issues and the creation of the Prince’s Trust to improve the lives of disadvantaged young people; Camilla’s support for domestic and sexual violence charities, and William’s passion for breaking taboos around mental illness.
Indeed one of the saddest aspects of Harry’s departure is his estrangement from his brother, who once stood with him on mental health campaigns. Their bond was forged by the shared trauma of their mother’s death. We can only pray it isn’t severed for good.
However much the Sussexes may complain, the monarchy is more than some stuffy, antediluvian ‘construct’. In these days of national crisis it has never seemed more relevant – a comforting symbol of constancy.
Meghan could have played a huge part in its continuing evolution. Sadly it wasn’t to be. But then she has a long track record of falling out with people – her father, siblings, first husband, personal staff, the Press (which was once so rapturous about her) and now the Palace.
In asking why she has now fallen out so catastrophically yet again, perhaps she should look inwardly rather than seeking to saddle others with all the blame.