Will King Charles feel emboldened to show candor in his pre-Chubbly interview?

“Never complain, never explain” was a PR brand that worked for Queen Elizabeth II – she never gave interviews, and the only time anyone heard her voice was in carefully controlled speeches, videos and stage-managed appearances. There was some hope that strategy would die with QEII. One of the minor goals for Prince Harry, in writing his memoir, was showing the value of putting his name on his story – for better or for worse, he said or wrote all of it, come what may. There has been some lowkey chatter that under King Charles, the palace communications might run a bit differently, that people might go on the record, that (gasp) Charles and Prince William might even give interviews. Reportedly, Charles is considering a sit-down interview with the BBC ahead of his Clowning. The Daily Beast’s Royalist column has a piece (written by Tim Teeman, with a much more American perspective) about what that would mean and whether the palace comms offices should really change the way they do business. Some highlights:

Charles’s interview needs to be noteworthy: Charles’ coronation interview will have to show a bit of leg. After all, it is coming after Harry and Meghan’s with Oprah Winfrey, their six-part Netflix show, and that memoir of endless OMGs. Will it be as explosive? The interviewer will ask about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, of course, and then the question is how much detail will Charles give. Will it be a trickle compared to Harry’s torrent in the memoir Spare? Will Prince William say something? Or will the royal principle of silence and non-engagement reign? The latter is more likely. A lack of candor is the royal way; candor is seen dolorously, even if the only truly discreet royal—Queen Elizabeth—is now dead. She never divulged anything, believing secrecy and mystique were vital to keeping the monarchy interesting, and the taxpayer pounds and tourist coins rolling in.

What is stopping Charles and William from telling their stories? For one, something personal. They may not want to imperil already tender relationships damaged by the stories within the memoir, and all the media commentary that followed in its wake. If there is a way to eventually reconcile, what good will their own bitching session do? They may see no benefit for them publicly to be seen giving their side, or continuing the feud. Another thing is, the royals are practiced in the art of watching most scandals and blaring headlines recede in time. The Palace thinking may be: they survived the far more nuclear fallout of the Oprah Winfrey interview, which remains the Palace public relations disaster by which all others can be measured, alongside the queen’s initial handling of the death of Princess Diana.

What ‘Spare’ has changed: Harry’s memoir has necessitated a different kind of soul-searching for Charles, William, and their PR teams. For all the furore, all parties, now a few weeks later, have returned to their respective corners and are just—how British, after all dishing and bullets have been dispensed—carrying on, carrying on. Princess Kate is striking out on her own on a well-meaning mission to improve children’s “early years,” which would seem agreeably beneficent if its presence didn’t underscore how governments and social programs have failed children over and over again.

Kate & William’s rebrand: Still, the royal message is: Kate does something. This is an important message in the wake of Harry’s memoir painting her and William as a judgy, sniping pair of scolds, admonishing Meghan for being inappropriate (about everything), and Harry for wanting something different. Kate comes off as clipped but hardly Cruella; William is spared nothing. He is painted as an arrogant, hectoring bully, and the split between the brothers remains the immovable thorn in family relations.

What ‘Spare’ revealed about Charles: King Charles, by contrast, emerges as a classic upper-class twit—well-meaning (kind of), hopelessly at sea dealing with emotions, detached, worried for himself, worried about everything, ruthless-in-aspiration but also ineffectual. It tells you everything that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has been reportedly prevailed upon to mediate to get Harry and Meghan to the coronation in as functional order as possible, much to William’s reported ire.

Very few denials for ‘Spare’: And yet, the brutality of his memoir is in the fluently written (literal) execution and calculatedly bitter aftertaste—both the takedown, and the spirit of the takedown. Not much has been denied by the usual scurrying royal sources. Sure, a few dates and details here and there, but nothing of substance. The memoir instead laid bare family tensions starkly. It has done damage not of the immediately explosive kind but perhaps more longer-term and corrosive….instead of blowing up the royal family, Harry’s memoir showed that despite the outward fine costuming, the deep and shallow emotions, the arguments and pettiness, the squabbling and resentments, are universally familiar. William may feel the most mortified and betrayed of all—for the attacks on him and on Kate. But there it is, all out there.

Charles & William can tell their own stories now: Maybe the royals—all of them—could usefully dwell in the frothing water of Harry’s revelation waterfall. After every Harry and Meghan gossip-bomb, sources within the Palace typically spin whatever line they can to discredit or muddy the claim. Maybe a better response this time, if not to be as candid as Harry was, is to at least be inspired or emboldened by his candor, and the response to it, to know that they too may tell their own stories. And however they tell them, the world will keep spinning on.

[From The Daily Beast]

It’s not even fundamentally a PR question, or a press strategy question, it’s the whole essence of the “magic and mystery” of the monarchy – Spare exposed that there is no real mystery or magic, there’s just neglect, rage, pathology, bad parenting, financial disputes, and profound dysfunction. Charles and William believe that if they just ignore Harry and reset and rebrand, they can somehow retain the magic and mystery of the monarchy through performative silence and sending their courtiers out to brief against the Sussexes. That strategy was already strained, if not broken, in QEII’s final years. What I’ve believed for some time now is that Charles would actually do himself and his reign a world of good by simply showing some humility, however performative: say that he’s been a lousy father, but he loves his sons and grandchildren and he’s trying to figure it out. That would shut down so much of this drama. Which means he probably won’t do it.

Photos courtesy of Instar, WENN and Avalon Red.

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65 Responses to “Will King Charles feel emboldened to show candor in his pre-Chubbly interview?”

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  1. K8erade says:

    Taking responsibility and owning up to poor behavior has never been Charles’ strong suit. There’s always a bus and someone to throw under it and gaslight as far as he’s concerned. I think if he were to do an interview, he would come out of looking worse than Andrew.

    • Absolutely!! It would just be more of Charles showing us who he really is. A weak man, lousy father and not fit to be king.

      • Polo says:

        If he actually did a real sit down interview they wouldn’t dare ask him any questions they didn’t deem worthy. It would be over produced and not anything like his interviews during the Diana years

        Of course the press want an interview though to keep making money.

      • Mary Pester says:

        Or SUSAN, could we throw some of the shade that was thrown at Harry, you know the “meghan told him what to write”, maybe we should all be repeating, Charlie chinless will say whatever camzilla tells him to say!!

    • ShazBot says:

      But I think – in their view – the monarch literally can’t do that. The monarch can’t be wrong. That’s the entire foundation of monarchy. If he’s just a regular Joe with the same problems, then literally what is the point.
      The problem is, they don’t have good enough schemers and strategists anymore, who can keep the king being “right” but also move away from the story in order to get things back on track for him.
      What they should ACTUALLY do is just absolutely ignore Harry and Meghan at all costs. They can still attend family functions but there is no emotion in the behaviour. No revenge, no pettiness, zero briefing, no stories about them outside of events or normal occurrences. Just stop talking about them.
      But they can’t do that because they’re so narcissistic they can’t let it go, and they also have nothing else to take up the time and space besides their own dirty secrets. Idiots, the lot of them.

      • SueBarbri33 says:

        100% agree. Putting H&M at the center of everything happening is a huge mistake. It’s so short-sided that people will have no choice but to wonder what’s wrong with the rest of the royal team and why they don’t have anybody else to push forward. I see the article states that Kate is going to start working on her Early Years thing, but….nothing about William working? Why not?

      • Jais says:

        Interesting, if they actually could stop talking about them, briefing about them, and actually try and create some mystery, maybe the never complain/explain could work. But as you say, @shazbit, they are too narcissistic to ever do that. It’s so true that the mystique of royalty bubble has burst and then some. And yeah saying that Kate’s early years campaign is “well-meaning” is a death knell, it’s as bless her heart as they can get. And @suebarbri, so true that they can’t even say what William is doing bc his wife actually does do more work, as shit as it is. Bless their frozen cold hearts.

      • THERoyalExpert says:

        Also the media won’t let it go because it’s too lucrative.

    • Nicky says:

      And you can bet this interviewer will be one of Charles’s obsequious fans.

      He’ll say he did everything for H.

      All the while after punishing QE2 and DoE in his own


      • Mary Pester says:

        Maybe the interviewer should say, *Charles in YOUR BOOK, and IN YOUR INTERVIEW, you called your father harsh and hectoring and said your mother cold and emotionally distant, surely you can see, compared to you, Harry was kind “??

  2. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Charles is not above books, interviews, on-camera snide retorts, none of it. But he’s a chucken with his head cut off, running around in circles, not sure which way to proceed, listening to dumb advisors, then backtracking, because he isn’t a leader. His parents knew it. Now everyone else does too.

    • K8erade says:

      The only thing Charles has shown himself to be is a spoilt child in an adult body who is finally happy to have a parade in his name and to finally be the center of attention he feels entitled to be.

    • Jais says:

      Charles is a chucken with his head cut off. Lol, @thatsnotokay, not sure if that was a typo but that’s awesome, a chucken 🐓

      • K8erade says:

        Jais, I think you just found a new nickname for Ol’ Chuck. Lol Chucken.

      • Serenity says:

        The Chuckening….yep, I LOVE it!!!😆🤣🤣🤣

      • Jais says:

        All credit to @thatsnotokay who wrote “he’s a chucken with his head cut off, running around in circles” Not sure why but I love that chucken rhymes with turducken, which coincidentally is a deboned chicken stuck into a deboned duck.

    • Whyforthelove says:

      That is 100% spot on. Diana was so so so correct when she said he would be a terrible King.

    • Eurydice says:

      Yeah, “Charles” and “emboldened” don’t belong in the same sentence.

  3. Pumpkin (Was Sofia) says:

    Telling his own side is nothing new to Charles. Hell, I would argue he removed the “magic and mystery” of the monarchy in the first place by speaking to Dimbleby and other sources about how cold his parents/childhood was and his own petty actions/behaviour towards Diana.

    So if he’s mad at Harry for his book, he has himself to blame (even just partially) for dropping the veil in the first place IMO.

    • P says:

      That is the thing that surprises me, so many forget or conveniently don’t recall the furor that Charles created with his own authorized biography. At least Harry is working to change generational patterns for himself & his children. It is ugly though, even if your family isn’t high profile.

  4. equality says:

    Will isn’t denying how he came across and the BM is basically confirming his rage. What could he seriously say? Kate’s early years project “would seem agreeably beneficent” if she were actually doing something to help anybody and not just saying how important it is to do something. I think they are hoping that Charles will repeat his post-Diana interview and make himself look even worse.

    • Lucy says:

      Your last sentence! Perfect! Just about anyone who isn’t Harry or Meghan in that family completely fumbles interviews because they aren’t quick on their feet, or charming, or even care of anything outside themselves.

      Andrew gave that I’m not a nonce interview and everyone involved thought it was great until the public saw it. Charles and Will are no good beyond a few pre scripted comments (we’re very much not a racist family).

      Please let Charles come out with a soft focus interview where he flubs the softball questions and reveals his monster.

    • Hopey says:

      I still cant believe that Harry told the entire British public that Will and Kate laughed at the Nazi costume and no one has said a peep…

  5. Amy Bee says:

    I’m going to predict that Charles will not do pre-coronation interview because the press doesn’t want that. Charles admitting that he was a lousy father only helps Harry not the Palace or the press.

  6. Unblinkered says:

    I would welcome Charles including in any pre-coronation speech an earnest appeal to the UK media to now leave Harry & Meghan alone, for the vitriol to cease. And for the UK public to welcome them and hopefully their children in May.

    • Amy Bee says:

      Charles doesn’t have the emotional intelligence to do this. Plus, as we’ve seen in the last week, the press attacking Harry and Meghan protects Charles and the rest of the royal family.

  7. Jais says:

    Please, let William tell his side of the story. It would be a gigantic self-own.

  8. EasternViolet says:

    What drugs are you on to come up with that theory LOL!

  9. Moderatelywealthy says:

    What can they- not only Charles- say that will actually help tem look more human?
    They are clowns.

    CHARLES- ” I have waited all my life to be King, have two new throne made of gold, married my mistress but it is Harry who gets all the attention!”
    WILLIAM- ” I need a new home. I heard there is a house in Montecito that fits my needs-father I DEMAN YOU THROW HARRY OUT OF MONTECITO!”
    KKKATE- ” I will only peg William if he gives me A BABY! I need another baby! I cannot possibly work harder!”

  10. Tessa says:

    Charles can do another super blunder like the time he outed Camilla as mistress and forced the Parker Bowles divorce
    Kate can just say next question when asked about harry and Meghan and will can get snide.

  11. molly says:

    It drove me bonkers during the Spare promotion era how many podcasts, stories, posts, etc. kept saying, “it’s not fair that Harry gets to tell his side of the story when he knows Charles and William CAN’T respond.”

    YES THEY CAN! Charles is the king! He can say and do whatever he wants! William’s on a tight leash, I’m sure, but he can certainly do more than mumble “we’re not a racist family” and run away!

    Any and every newspaper and television show would have either of them on in a hot second. And they’re both welcome to write their OWN book on royal life from their perspective (hell, Charles ALREADY HAS!), and I’m sure it’d sell a ton of copies.

    Now, *should* either of them sit down for an interview to rebut Harry’s claims and defend the institution of the monarchy? Absolutely not. Royal Family PR clearly isn’t great with the media coaching, and Charles and William have both shown themselves to be petty, spiteful, and painfully out of touch with the lives of actual people.

    But I don’t want to hear cries about the unfairness of their hands forever being tied in some kind of self-imposed, media prohibition when that’s absolutely not the case.

  12. Cessily says:

    His previous interviews were disastrous so go right ahead and try it again.🤣 He might just do worse than the nonces train wreck interview this time.

  13. Lizzie says:

    IDK if Charles will ever risk another interview, he may have prepared answers for questions about the Sussexes. but Andrew had prepared answers too and his interview was a disaster. Like Andrew he could literally lose everything.

  14. RoyalBlue says:

    What nonsense am I reading here? Now Charles and William can tell their own stories. What, you mean that’s not what Tina Brown, Lacey, Dimbleby and all the other sycophants have been doing all along?

    • Tessa says:

      Penny and Sally and Ingrid also told Charles story.

    • THERoyalExpert says:

      Yes Chucken and Baldemort have been telling their story all along but maybe it’s time they spoke themselves, with chest, and stopped hiding behind proxies.

  15. Jaded says:

    One of these days the tabloids will start going in hard on UpChuck. He and Willnot are starving the rota of real stories and they can only rely on repeating the same Sussex fluff over and over — in fact it’s getting tiresome now that the Sussexes have completely shut them out and are suing. If I were him I wouldn’t go near an interview with a 10 foot pole but he’s so utterly self-absorbed and entitled that he wouldn’t see he’s walking into a field of land mines. So do it Chuck, we’ll all be happy to see you shoot yourself in the foot yet again.

  16. GDubslady says:

    Charles is like a Alec Murdaugh on a larger scale and William like his entitled children. Kate and Cam, versions of Mrs Murdaugh. I wouldn’t believe a word any of them say. They are use to getting away with crimes maybe murder as well. Tyranny personified but the reckoning is near. Harry needs to reaffirm the bounderies and terms of communication he set in Netflix and interview. If Charles and William fail to acknowledge his asks, put the blame on them where ir belongs. However, the Firm isn’t the only issue. The Tories also want to use Harry and Meghan to distract from their failures. The UK is is freefall and people responsible want to use the Sussexes to break their fall. H and M need to just stay out of the way and let them fall. Harry has given them a rope. If they refuse to save themselves. It’s on them.

  17. Brassy Rebel says:

    Charles has been briefing for decades through the British media (mostly the tabloids). That is his side of the story in all it’s ugliness. The lies, racism, and misogyny is all he’s got. It’s all any of them have got, for that matter. A sit down interview would either be redundant, or he would have to disown everything the palaces have leaked so far.

  18. lanne says:

    This is the guy who said “whatever love means” in his engagement interview. He has no emotional regulation, even showing his snippy side over a damn pen. How on earth would he handle even a softball interview? He would come away thinking it went great, but then get excoriated. A smart advisor wouldn’t let him do it, but his advisors are a passel of fools.

  19. NotSoSocialB says:

    UpChuck admit errors? Never.

    • Bobbie degroot says:

      Sorry additional comment. The thing I just can’t get my mind around is how Charles is treating Harry, his son. I have four children and I’d die for them. I can’t understand it. My only conclusion is that Charles doesn’t love Harry either bc he’s incapable of love or for some other reason.

      • Rnot says:

        I wouldn’t have credited it years ago but lately I’ve been wondering if it’s possible that Charles really does think that Harry’s not his? Harry’s so obviously Philip’s grandson and the royals have had access to DNA tests for decades now so no rational person would doubt it, but Charles was willing to evict them based on a book he hasn’t personally read, so now I’m less sure. Did Camilla tell him that Harry wasn’t his and he’s just operated based on that belief ever since without ever confirming it?

      • Jaded says:

        @Rnot — I think you’ve bought into the completely false rumour that Harry’s father is James Hewitt? It holds no water. Diana didn’t even know Hewitt when Harry was born, she didn’t meet him until Harry was 2 years old. When Harry was born Diana said how happy she was that she had a “Spencer” baby because he looked more like Diana’s father when he was young. And she certainly wouldn’t have been fooling around with another man at that point in her marriage. No, Charles is just an uncaring, unfeeling, self-absorbed person who relegated the Spare to the bottom rung of the family unit, good only to pander to the Heir.

      • Rnot says:

        @Jaded, I said that Harry is obviously Philip’s grandson which would require Charles to be Harry’s biological father. What I’m wondering, particularly since Harry mentioned Charles “joking” about the subject, is whether it can be possible that CHARLES doesn’t think Harry is his son. No rational person would think so. If he did, it’s an easily answered question. But “lover of books” Charles wants the world to know that he’s angry about the book AND that he hasn’t read it himself. That makes me wonder what other unverified stories he’s swallowed and acted upon.

      • Tessa says:

        R n o t Charles is a bad father. He and philip not getting along does not mean philip was not his bio dad. Charles knows darn well harry is his son.harry looked so much like Charles when he was a toddler more so than william

      • PrincessK says:

        There is also a resemblance between Charles and Harry.
        They have a similar timbre to their voices, which is why they deliver good speeches ( so surprised that Harry said that he gets so nervous because he always looks confident). Whereas William’s voice is not deep always sounds flat to me.

  20. Bobbie degroot says:

    I have said the same thing so many times. When the crown stuff was happening I thought Charles should just say, “while a lot of the crown is not factually accurate there’s no doubt I wasn’t the husband I should have been and I will regret that to my dying day. “ or something like that. With Harry he should just say “we aren’t perfect, I’m not perfect and I’ve made mistakes as a father, but I’m trying to do better.” That would end it all.

  21. Trix says:

    I am in PR. If I was advising this idiot in advance of the interview, I would have him say the following. Also, this is not rocket science. It’s pretty obvious this is the only way to go:

    1. I miss Harry and Meghan and regret what’s happened. I want to do whatever possible to heal the wounds, address some of the allegations and try to move forward. I want all of my grandchildren in my life.

    2. I haven’t reached out yet because I believe everyone needs a cooling off period. Like every other family in the world, we have some issues and they blew up over the past few years. Trying to sort through them when feelings are still so hurt and there is still intense anger might make things worse (cough cough William cough cough). The conversations will happen at some point when the temperature has come down, and no one in my household will ever discuss them with the media (although can’t speak for William and Camilla cough cough).

    3. I love both my sons equally but I fully admit parenting did not come naturally to me. My parents had huge jobs to do when I was a child, and I don’t blame them for it, but I lacked a normal childhood with lots of face time with my mother and father, and for that reason didn’t often know how to be a modern-day, hand’s on parent. For that I apologize to both my sons. I fully understand it wasn’t easy for them, especially after the terrible death of their mother, who was an amazing parent, and I regret to this day having them walk behind her casket. That was one of the biggest mistakes of my life.

    4. My role as monarch is to unite the nation, and that’s why it’s a priority to also get my own house in order. I am committed to doing that and to righting wrongs. That includes airing my own grievances if necessary but also sincerely listening to the grievances of my loved ones and working with them to move forward.

    5. I haven’t read Spare because I fear it will be too painful. Again, when the situation is calmer, I will read it and I expect to learn from it.

    6. I am committed to helping my sons heal their relationship in whatever way I can. They are both loved and respected, and I will encourage them to remember all the things they share and the love they once felt for each other and will one day again.

    • K8erade says:

      *Chef’s kiss* But this is working on a level of intelligence that the royal family does not seem to possess.

    • lanne says:

      Fantastic response. I’ve said it before–Celebitches spending 5 minutes on a royal response during our work days have created viable reponses that are better than anything the fools gold plated royal advisors can come up with. maybe they should start hiring people based on who can actually do the job required, as opposed to someone who’s grandfather went to the same school as a royal uncle.

      The royals have tradition and inertia in their favor. People want to like them, or at least, the royals should be a comforting familiarity. This group is so noxious and toxic that, outside of racists, aren’t doing anything to build their brand or extend their reach. They still believe the goodwill the queen earned through her sense of duty and her longevity magically transfers to them. Like the Romanovs, the British royals don’t think they have to do anything to endear themselves to the people–it’s the public’s “duty” to love them. While they won’t come to the same gruesome end, they are making the same fundamental mistake–refusing to look the reality of their society in the eyes and holding on tight to their faulty perceptions.

    • Wesley says:

      The Royal Family don’t currently have anyone working for them with PR background. What they have is a former co-deputy editor from the Daily Mail and ex-NBC & Cambrdges Communications Secretary. You may remember them as the pair which denied the Palace had been contacted by Netflix prior to the Harry & Meghan series, only for Netfix to produce emails from them demanding copies of the show.before they commented.
      I would like to see both Charles & William do separate interviews, then it to be put to rest with no further Palace briefings.

  22. Joy says:

    I’m so curious to know – how much of the “Meghan and Harry can’t be half in half out” was driven by QEII or by William?

    • Trix says:

      I guarantee it was William. Blowing up his only allies out of jealousy and spite. Now he’s stuck hoping Camilla doesn’t leak about him.

      • DaisyMay says:

        I agree. I was shocked when the Queen seemed to respond so harshly to the idea of half-in, but the main thing has always been to continue the succession and Willie is key to that over Harry. I’m sure, though, that shallow entitled brat Willie wouldn’t dream of making any accommodation, particularly for the spectacularly skilled and charismatic Meghan. Brits should end it.

  23. Lala11_7 says:

    I NEVA saw where Charles “loves” his children…hell I see THAT more with the despicable Andrew with HIS children than I see that with Charles…We need to call a “thing a thing” & WHATEVA Charles has showcased with William ain’t love…but FEAR which is why William is OFF THE CHAIN & what he’s showcased to Harry is good old fashioned abuse & manipulation…to me…NONE of that presents as love…

  24. Well Wisher says:

    This is Kate’s perspective on things, it is apparent by the taste desperation to be noteworthy.
    She is a contradiction in terms; by contract she has to sell adverts to fulfil the contract and in another she wants to be noteworthy and taken seriously.

    How’s the relationship with Camilla??

    Since this article from the dailybeast is based on the senior royals, why would they take their cue from the royal they chased out, snubbed, leaked and was very rude to??

    Harry’s story was about him, his struggling to cope with grief, non-expression of love in his life, self soothing via medicating, his joys, his unique way of learning, his intelligence etc.

    How can any of that impact what is father has to say about his reign, his place in Britian?

    Absolutely nil…

    Why are they still obsessing about Harry and Meghan???

  25. Jay says:

    Charles has done sit down interviews before and there’s a reason he stopped doing them. IMO he came off as hopelessly petty, whiny, and out of touch.

    He’s lucky that most people weren’t interested enough to watch and that he did his interviews pre-internet. I never watched the whole thing, but this few clips or quotes I have come across were terrible. Kaiser, if you ever have a slow day, we should look back at the Dimbleby interview in detail. A lot of the descriptions later applied to Harry were used for Charles at the time.

    • SueBarbri33 says:

      Chiming in to agree. I didn’t start royal watching until the post-Diana era, so I didn’t see the Dimbley interview until fairly recently. It’s REALLY something. Charles comes across as so awkward and self-involved and isolated and strange that I couldn’t believe his people let it get out.

  26. SueBarbri33 says:

    He won’t do it, but I wish he would. Charles was bad enough in the Dimbley interview 30 years ago, and if he does it now he will be twice as bad as Andrew. And William….oh yes. That would just be incredible.

  27. Beverley says:

    Great Britain, behold your King!
    Cowardly, indecisive, flaccid, racist, and incompetent.

    I feel for y’all.