Discover more from The Royal List
King Charles III’s first year: the verdict
How the new monarch has done, 12 months on from the Queen’s death
It’s been one year since King Charles III took the throne and heralded the start of “the new Carolean age” – but have we all been rejoicing? That’s the question Kerry asked for The Sunday Telegraph this week. Here’s a taste of her article:
Charles acceded the throne on Thursday September 8, 2022, with the passing of the late Queen. As his mother did, he pledged his life to the crown. “I too now solemnly pledge myself, throughout the remaining time God grants me, to uphold the Constitutional principles at the heart of our nation,” he said in his first address.
Buckingham Palace has confirmed the King will mark the anniversary on Friday, privately at Balmoral, where the Queen died. So, how has the new monarch done, 12 months on?
Coronation: It was smaller than the past, with some 2,200 guests at Westminster Abbey on May 6, including Heads of State, community and charity champions and Prince Harry, briefly. It was followed by a concert at Windsor Castle, the next day. We were there – read our report here.
First State Visit: The King received his first State Visit from President Cyril Ramaphosa and wife Tshepo Motsepe of South Africa, in November. His own first State Visit was meant to be France and Germany in March, but due to riots, he’s now visiting France on September 20. However, there was some criticism Charles should have visited Commonwealth countries first.
New kind of reign: As monarch, his reign is meant to rein in Charles’ famous opinions, which is why politicians gagged him from speaking at the COP27 climate change summit last November. However, according to historian Dr Ed Owens, Charles is constructing “a policy of confrontational constitutionalism”. His first major project is about food waste and will be unveiled soon.
Currency: Coins with the monarch’s head on them – facing the opposite way to the Queen, by tradition - have been produced and The Bank of England unveiled notes with the King on them, which will go into circulation next year. However, in Australia, the new $5 note will not feature Charles, but an indigenous design.
More money: While Charles’ face might not be on all the notes, he is making plenty of coin. According to the British Parliament’s First Year of the Reign briefing, “The King’s Accession Council … was the first to include provision for the royal finances.” The King has had a bonanza year from increased profits from six new offshore wind farms and pledged the cash for the “wider public good”.
Reduced working royals: His expenses have been reduced by his smaller pool of royals. There are now only seven full-time working royals - the King and Queen, Prince and Princess of Wales, Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh and the Princess Royal. These are joined by four part-time royals, the Duke of Kent, Princess Alexandra and the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester. However, experts wonder whether when the ageing royals retire, he may need more help, in the next decade.
Problem family: Harry’s continuing allegations have not helped his first year as King – with December’s Netflix documentary Harry & Meghan, followed by his autobiography, Spare, in January. In response, Charles terminated the lease on Harry and Meghan’s Frogmore Cottage, in March. And despite hopes to return as a working royal, Charles has been clear Prince Andrew will not alleviate his staffing problem.
Harry opens up for Invictus
Prince Harry’s new documentary, Heart of Invictus, launched on Netflix this week and in it, the Duke of Sussex opens his heart again. He said he had no support structure when Diana tragically died on August 31, 1997. When he finally sought help for his emotions, he described it like a cork popping and “it all came fizzing out”.
“Losing my mum at such a young age, the trauma that I had I was never really aware of. It was never discussed, I never really talked about it and I suppressed it like most youngsters would have done,” he said.
He also revealed what Archie wants to be when he grows up. “Some days it’s an astronaut, other days it’s a pilot - a helicopter pilot obviously - or Kwazii from Octonauts,” he said.
Harry will be in London on Thursday for the WellChild Awards, of which he is patron, the day before the anniversary of the Queen’s passing. He then flies to Dusseldorf for the Invictus Games on Saturday, where he will join Meghan.
Fergie’s emotional confession about Diana
The Duchess of York has revealed how the mastectomy she had in June has helped her come to terms with years of self-hatred, triggered by being compared to Diana.
Speaking on her podcast, Tea Talks, with co-host Sarah Thomson, she talked about the psychological after-effects of her eight-hour operation. “Not because of seeing death,” she said, “but waking up to stop worrying, stop self-hatred, stop self-doubt, stop all those things. Stop not liking yourself…”
Sarah elaborated on her feelings sparked by enduring years of unfavourable comparisons to Diana, spearheaded by the tabloid press back in the 1980s and 90s. “When I look back, OK... I got good legs and, you know, look good and didn’t like myself and that was because I think I was always compared to Diana and I think that at the end I sort of believed my own press which is, you know, not too good.”
The Duchess’s podcast episode was released a day before the 26th anniversary of Diana’s death. Sarah paid tribute to her former close friend saying she missed Diana every day. Poignantly, Mohamed Al Fayed, father of Dodi who also died in that fatal car crash, passed away last Wednesday, on the eve of that tragic anniversary.
Camilla almost upstaged by Gyles’s jumper
The Queen looked lovely wearing a Grace dress by Bombshell London, as she joined TV presenter, author and polymath Gyles Brandreth, sporting one of his famous pitch-perfect jumpers. The pair were attending a Poetry Together recital and tea party at a west London primary school.
On Tuesday, Camilla was “very impressed” as she watched children and their care-home resident grandparents recite various poems from memory. Poetry Together, launched by Gyles in 2019, encourages schoolchildren and the elderly to come together. Since its foundation, more than 800 care homes and schools have participated.
Camilla and Gyles, both renowned for their love of literature, have known each other since their own school days. So, we’re pretty sure Camilla is used to Gyles’s standout super sweaters. You can even buy one here.
Charles debuts new tartan at Braemar Gathering
On Saturday, King Charles and Queen Camilla attended their first Braemar Gathering as monarchs, with His Majesty stepping out in the new King Charles III tartan. Once a lifelong favourite date in Queen Elizabeth II’s diary, a reigning monarch and other royals have been coming to these Highland games since Queen Victoria in 1848. Charles was a sweet six year old when he first attended this world-famous event.
Thanks for reading The Royal List! Subscribe for free to receive new posts.