‘The Palace Papers’: Tina Brown’s take on the British royal family

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The former editor-in-chief of The New Yorker, Tina Brown, has published her new book, The Palace Papers: Inside the House of Windsor—the Truth and the Turmoil, to provide an inside look at the British royal family and their biggest woes.

New revelations in The Palace Papers

Brown reportedly researched and had interviews with intimate royal sources, and shared some new insights into the split between Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana, the relationship between Queen Elizabeth II’s favourite son Prince Andrew and convicted pedophile Jeffery Epstein, to accusations of racism from Meghan Markle and Prince Harry during an interview with Oprah Winfrey.

The Palace Papers from Tina Brown. Image: The New York Times

The Los Angeles lists some of the revelations Brown writes about in The Palace Papers that are sure to fan the media firestorm: “resentments greater than is widely known” between Princes William and Harry; Prince Andrew snubbing his hosts to watch porn for two days on a private trip to Palm Springs; Harry calling his future father-in-law, in the hospital after a second heart attack, to berate him over his media-management style.

The palace and the queen

“The Palace Papers depicts a crown single-minded in its survival drive, with the queen its ruthless instrument,” the publication writes.

Charles Arrowsmith writes that the book depicts Prince Andrew and the California-based Sussexes as “largely frozen out”, while the family members who have thrived in “the Windsor fishbowl” are referenced as “closely aligned with its safe passage”.

The future queen: Kate Middleton

This particularly includes Kate Middleton who has become, “a savvy dynastic strategist who wholeheartedly buys into both the monarchy’s mission of duty and its priority of survival.”

As for Meghan Markle, Brown portrays her as a maker of “strategic besties” whose wedding guest list was “a portrait not of Meghan’s intimate circle but of the friends she most wanted to recruit” and that the Sussexes exit was “a necessary end executed with maximum chaos.”

The message for Meghan is clear: “Celebrities flare and burn out. The monarchy plays the long game.”

Kate Middleton birthday
Kate Middleton on her 40th birthday. Image: Instagram/Duke and Duchess of Cambridge/Paolo Roversi

Modernising the monarchy

In an interview with Time, Brown said that the monarchy will continue to modernise, and that Prince William and Kate are key.

“They’re very lucky that they have these two people who are actually willing to serve their country and follow the path of duty as the Queen has.”

Brown also compares the Sussexes and the Cambridges, saying that Prince William and Kate would “calm each other down” while Harry and Meghan “feed each other’s sense of indignation and victimhood”.

Queen William
Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William, Duke of Cambridge attend The Ceremony of the Keys at The Palace Of Holyroodhouse on 28 June 2021 in Edinburgh, Scotland. Image: Samir Hussein/Getty Image.

A Windsor and a Spencer

Brown says that a member of Harry and Meghan’s team told her: “they’re addicted to drama,” which seems to be the opposite of William and Kate.

“They are all about ‘let’s keep it calm, let’s keep this composure and not have drama.’ It’s interesting as I came to think that William had very much become a Windsor, and Harry has become all-out Spencer [Diana’s family name]. The Spencers are a very hot-headed, impetuous family with a lot of swashbuckling drama.”

Prince Harry Invictus Games
Prince Harry praises Ukrainian competitors for their bravery at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games in April 2022. Image: Twitter/Glasnostgone

Traveling in style

As for Prince Charles, the heir to the throne reportedly travels in style even if it’s just for a stay at a friend’s country house.

Prince Charles’ former aide, Michael Fawcett, would oversee the “paraphernalia that preceded his boss like the baggage train of a Tudor traveling court,” Brown writes, “including the Prince’s orthopedic bed, lavatory seat, and Kleenex Velvet lavatory paper, plus two landscapes of the Scottish landscapes.”

According to Page Six, Brown also writes that when Charles, 22, met Camilla Parker Bowles he was instantly smitten and the two shared an intense passion although Camilla was vastly more experienced than Charles in the bedroom and even offered helpful tips.

“‘Pretend I’m a rocking horse,’ she is said to have urged him, to conquer his early diffidence in bed,” Brown writes, adding that he appreciated his girlfriend’s “sexual joie de vivre.”

Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge stand with Prince Charles, Prince of Wales, and Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall as they arrive for the World Premiere of the James Bond 007 film “No Time to Die” at the Royal Albert Hall in west London on 28 September 2021. Image: Chris Jackson/POOL /AFP.

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