Tina Brown gave an interview to Marie Claire to promote The Palace Papers. As I’ve said, Brown isn’t changing up her pro-Cambridge narratives to suit her audience. In her American and British promotional interviews, she’s saying pretty much the same stuff, and my concern is that American audiences will start to think she has some kind of point? When really, the reason she’s so pro-Cambridge is because Kensington Palace and Middleton Manor were the people who would speak to her. She follows her sources and is apparently (nowadays) a stenographer to power. Some highlights from this interview:
People believe in the Cambridges: “There’s a pessimism about Charles amongst many circles, but I think he’ll be a transitional monarch. There is a tremendous amount of faith in the Cambridges. [The royal family] are blessed with one pair of people that seem to have accepted their duty and have been willing to serve in the way that they have been trained to do. It’s remarkable to see, really, and we’re lucky, so far, anyway, that William has never shirked his destiny. He’s quite like the Queen temperamentally—a prudent, cautious guy, a sober guy, a decent guy.
Kate is not a doormat?? “In Kate, the stunning thing about it was, people used to think Kate, who’s from a middle-class family, not an exalted pedigree in any way: is she going to be able to carry this out? It seems like now, everybody on earth wonders what they would do without her. She is extraordinary. William was prudent—it took him 10 years to decide she was the one. He really asked her to train, essentially, to be his wife. I don’t know many modern young women who would have waited 10 years. This is a young woman who had a degree in art history from St. Andrews; she’s not a flighty young woman at all. She’s a serious woman, but she, nonetheless, was willing to wait for William and sort of built her life around him without being a doormat. She’s very unusual.
The monarchy did everything they could to ensure there would never be “another Diana”: “They thought they did everything. For 20 years they’d been chugging along, trying to make the point that everyone was now in line. The Firm got itself in shape. We had the glory years, which I write about: the 2011 period of the Queen going to Ireland, Harry serving in the Army—all of it seemed as if it were righting itself. The great and fascinating thing about this family saga, which is why it makes such interesting material, is fate steps in and introduces Meghan to Harry, and all of the sudden they have it all over again. [Meghan] is a celebrity, a woman who has a lot of her own charisma and a strong will of her own, a strong sense of independence, who is not going to be subservient to this concept of hierarchy and monarchy. They had it all over again, and, in a way that was almost more unmanageable because Diana was a child, really, when she married…”
Meghan was “angry”: “Meghan got angry so fast, and that’s what’s rocked the family. They’re still reeling and just baffled why it seemed to go wrong so quickly. It’s still a source of great pain to them; they were also completely knocked for six when they decided to do the Oprah interview, and now Harry’s doing a book. Harry has become a disruptive force in the family. For them, it’s like Diana’s son is continuing the campaign to disrupt Charles’ future reign, and the “War of the Wales” continues. It’s a very destabilizing factor.
Harry is an IED: “When you ask about the future of the monarchy, I think we have in Kate and William absolutely brilliant, well-qualified, and well-trained people positioned as future king and queen. Whether Harry will let that reign proceed in a way that everybody hopes is the question. He does seem hell-bent right now on disrupting it…Don’t forget, [Harry’s book] is going to be coming out as that transition [to Charles] is perilously close. We don’t know how long the Queen’s health will hold out. It’s a very fragile moment, and the last thing they need is that IED going off.
Whether Meghan could have been “handled” differently: “I think it could have been made to work extremely well. She was beloved by the public when she married Harry. If she had taken things much, much slower than she did—I think Kate was smart to be very, very slow to enter into the public realm. But Meghan really did want to come out with guns blazing as the new global royal. And I think she needed to absorb more of the culture of the Palace and understand the minefields there. And on the Palace’s side, I’m sure they are maddening; the Palace is very traditional, decisions are made slowly. They’re not used to a formidable American, a hard-driving executive kind of woman. They do things in their own traditional way, which is extremely frustrating, I think, to anyone who has had a career, and a good one.”
Again, I’m covering all of this stuff because I don’t want Tina Brown’s narrative to become the prevailing, definitive version of events. Brown continues to act as if Meghan barged into Buckingham Palace and screamed “we need to change everything!” She did not. She wanted to get to work quickly because (I feel) she wanted to “prove her worth” to the institution. She wanted to help people and do good work and highlight important causes with the platform she was given. But she did try to learn the rules, she did try to work within the institution. “Meghan got angry so fast, and that’s what’s rocked the family…” More like Meghan, a grown woman, understood that she was being manipulated, gaslighted, smeared, racially abused and controlled and she wanted to GTFO.
As for Kate… “she’s not a flighty young woman at all. She’s a serious woman… she was willing to wait for William and sort of built her life around him without being a doormat…” Is this Opposite Day? My God. Kate IS flighty. She is a lightweight. She is a doormat. This is all so strange.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.