King Charles has a strategic need to resolve the Sussex issue, but still wont apologize
In the past three-and-a-half years, the Windsors have tried and failed to stick to different messages about the Sussexit, the Sussex estrangement and the larger institutional and existential threats the Windsors face because of Prince Harry and Meghan’s thriving success outside of the royal establishment. The problems have only increased for the Windsors in the past year, following the death of QEII, who was not only a unifying figure for the nation and the family, but she was also the only person Harry and Meghan really respected and honored. Since her funeral, the new king has paid his advisors to come up with increasingly stupid strategies to deal with “the Sussex issue.” For months, it was “Charles is sanguine, he thinks the estrangement makes him look like a normal father!” But given that he literally just refused Harry’s simple request for one room for one night, Charles feels the need to change tack and go with a different media strategy: a detente must happen, but no apologies will be made to achieve the rapprochement.
No apologies: The friend of the king and Camilla told The Daily Beast that while Charles hopes to be able to build relations with Harry in due course, he would not be tempted to start dishing out apologies. They said: “It has been reported that Charles wants an apology from Harry, but that’s far from the case. [Charles] wouldn’t expect that. He knows the Windsors are a stubborn lot and Harry is no exception. The quid-pro-quo is, can Harry accept that he won’t be getting an apology either? Don’t forget that Charles authorized Jonathan Dimbleby to write a book which attacked his parents, but ultimately they all basically forgot about it, chalked it down to experience and moved on. Charles wants to hit the reset button—but not at any price.”
Dithering about having a conversation: While there is little doubt that an entente cordiale with the Sussexes would represent a win for King Charles, such hopes and dreams are balanced by concerns on the king’s side over the past years of doing anything that may breathe new life into the media narrative of a destructive royal feud. Arranging a meeting with Harry, no matter how cordiale, would risk doing just that. Indeed, the palace has been notably quick to quash as false rumors of “peace summits” or other tête-à-têtes in recent weeks. However, the fact that courtiers are understood to have told Harry he would be made welcome if he wished to visit his father at Balmoral earlier this month is “clearly a positive sign that things are moving in the right direction,” the friend said.
Charles’s priority isn’t Harry, BP’s briefings to the contrary: The friend said: “The Harry issue doesn’t have to be sorted out immediately but it will be sorted out eventually. Charles loves Harry but his priority is to fulfill his duty as king and not let his mother down. That means constitutional considerations have to come first.”
The Sussex estrangement makes Charles look like a dogsh-t father: Charles has inherited that instinct, but times have changed, and the reality is that, while people are sympathetic, the continued alienation of Harry and Meghan reflects poorly on Charles as a leader. It will only become an even more pronounced problem if his grandchildren, who are a prince and princess, grow up in California without any apparent contact with Harry’s family. And while royal sources like to give the impression that Charles has no need to hurry, the simple fact is that Charles is already 74. At the age of 73, he was the oldest person yet to ascend to the British throne. Given that both his parents lived well into their nineties, he is generally expected to do the same.
The William problem: But time is not, actually, on [Charles’s] side, and were something unthinkable to happen and Prince William to take the throne, even the most optimistic of palace spinners concede that an outbreak of brotherly love would be unlikely. William has remained implacably furious with his brother, outraged by what he sees as his betrayal of him and his family, and their privacy, for financial gain. He has no wish to see him, The Daily Beast understands from sources. Charles, however, does.
A strategic need: A former staffer who worked for the king in their time at Buckingham Palace, told The Daily Beast that Charles has a “strategic need to resolve the issue” of Harry’s estrangement from the family. The former staffer said: “It’s not sustainable for the king, who is the national symbol of unity, to be on such bad terms with his son that they haven’t been pictured together in years. Ultimately Charles has not just a personal but also a strategic need to resolve the issue.”
It’s all in Camilla’s hands, actually: “The division between state and family is sacrosanct so Camilla will be pivotal in all this,” the source added, “She is the only one who will be in a position to advise him who he will listen to. She is a pragmatist and I’m sure she understands the importance of putting this saga to bed.”
[From The Daily Beast]
Yeah, the issue is that it’s always been Camilla advising him, and Camilla likes where things are now, so that’s how things will stay – Camilla managed to get her way at every level. Charles’s first wife is dead, Camilla found a way to drive a wedge between Diana’s sons, she figured out a way to get the clever, charismatic son exiled and the other brother is malleable and stupid, as is his wife. This is Camilla’s monarchy. But I agree with the “sources” saying that Charles needs detente for strategic reasons. Too bad he can’t problem-solve his way out of a paper bag and simply treat Harry like a much-loved son, and simply offer the Sussexes a thorough apology explicitly for the sake of his grandchildren. Like, just on a managerial level, Charles sucks at this. At a parental level, the bar is in hell.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.
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