The author of “The Palace Papers” takes us inside the power struggles and scandals of the British royal family.
Produced by ‘Sway’
Whether it’s the Queen’s platinum jubilee, Meghan and Harry ditching their royal roles or the sexual assault allegations against Prince Andrew, Buckingham Palace has kept the media, and the public, hooked on the goings-on of a thousand-year-old institution. Tina Brown has been covering the royal family since the days of Diana, most recently in her forthcoming book, “The Palace Papers.”
In this conversation, the former Vanity Fair editor talks to Kara Swisher about how Elizabeth has sustained her relevance over her seven decades of rule and what happens to the British monarchy when she dies. They also discuss what’s happening in the nonroyal wing of British leadership — including Boris Johnson’s “Partygate.”
(A full transcript of the episode will be available midday on the Times website.)
Shortly after Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh and husband of Queen Elizabeth II, died last Friday, the BBC cut away from its schedule to broadcast special coverage across its TV channels and radio stations for the entire afternoon and night.
As popular shows were taken off the air — including Friday’s episode of “EastEnders,” a soap opera that has run since 1985, and the final episode of “MasterChef,” a cooking competition show — the BBC was flooded with expressions of displeasure. To be exact: 109,741 complaints were received, the BBC said on Thursday, making it the most complained-about moment in the BBC’s history. [ . . . ]
Harry and Meghan: The union of two great houses, the Windsors and the Celebrities, is complete
After Harry and Meghan, the monarchy looks archaic and racist. Well duh
By Patrick Freyne
Having a monarchy next door is a little like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and has daubed their house with clown murals, displays clown dolls in each window and has an insatiable desire to hear about and discuss clown-related news stories. More specifically, for the Irish, it’s like having a neighbour who’s really into clowns and, also, your grandfather was murdered by a clown.
Beyond this, it’s the stuff of children’s stories. Having a queen as head of state is like having a pirate or a mermaid or Ewok as head of state. What’s the logic? Bees have queens, but the queen bee lays all of the eggs in the hive. The queen of the Britons has laid just four British eggs, and one of those is the sweatless creep Prince Andrew, so it’s hardly deserving of applause.
We cut sporadically to the couple’s own property, where they wander in hoodies, jeans and anoraks, as if to say, ‘We’re just regular rich folk, Oprah, no different from you or Tom Hanks or Jeff Bezos’
The contemporary royals have no real power. They serve entirely to enshrine classism in the British nonconstitution. They live in high luxury and low autonomy, cosplaying as their ancestors, and are the subject of constant psychosocial projection from people mourning the loss of empire. They’re basically a Rorschach test that the tabloids hold up in order to gauge what level of hysterical batshittery their readers are capable of at any moment in time. Continue reading →
For the 27 million people who watched the Queen act alongside James Bond in the 2012 London Olympic opening ceremony, or the six million people who watch her Christmas speech every year – it might come as a surprise that the Queen has kept one of her most notable TV appearances under lock and key for nearly 40 years.
Viewers of episode 4, season 3 of The Crown, will see how a documentary made in 1969 about the British royal family was withdrawn from broadcast by Her Majesty after only three public viewings, following of widespread criticism.
The Netflix drama follows the Queen, played by Olivia Colman, and her close family as they organise scripts and film scenes over the course of a year of their lives, before eventually watching it air — and dealing with the ensuing fallout. But did it really happen?
Viewers may be surprised to learn that the 110-minute film, titledRoyal Family, was indeed filmed and subsequently taken off air by the Queen. In 2019, it continues to fall under the crown’s copyright, meaning it hasn’t been shown in public since 1972.
How did the film come about?
Towards the end of the “swinging sixties” the royal family felt increasingly out of touch with the new liberal mood of the country. Journalist Malcolm Muggeridge appeared on American television in 1964, telling viewers: “The English are getting bored with their monarchy.” Continue reading →