Monday, 2 Oct 2023

Charles’s ‘track record’ with uncle draws parallels with Sussexes

CBS: Oprah on whether Prince Harry and Meghan should attend coronation of King Charles

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King Charles has a “track record” of trying to “build bridges” within the Royal Family which could be why he invited Meghan Markle and Prince Harry to the Coronation, according to a royal biographer. Gareth Russell drew parallels between Charles’s treatment of Edward VIII – who abdicated the throne to pursue a relationship with Wallis Simpson – and that of the Duke and Duchess.

When asked why King Charles extended an “olive branch” to the Sussexes by inviting them to the Coronation, Mr Russell pointed to Charles’s “track record” of including all royals.

“This has become a recurring theme in his life, actually…in the late 1960s and early 1970s when Charles was still pretty young he was one of the only members of the Royal Family who was prepared to go over to Paris to visit his great uncle the ex-King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson,” Russell explained.

He added: “He said to the Queen Mother and to the Queen ‘I think we should be trying to build bridges between this side of the family, I think his uncle and his aunt, should be brought back into the fold a bit’.

“So there is a past track record of Charles doing things like this so, in that sense, it’s consistent with what we know of him as a person.”

However, Russell added that there was likely another reason that the King invited Meghan and Harry to the Coronation – it was a good “PR move”.

“I also think you catch more with honey than vinegar, to quote the old proverb,” the royal biographer said on US Weekly’s Royally Us podcast.

He continued: “I think if one side – rightly or wrongly – is perceived as being the side that complains and has had a real run of publicity of interviews that are stating the same thing in slightly different words each time then a very sensible PR move is for you to say nothing and when you do say something to say something positive.

“So I think it’s probably a mixture of personality and pragmatism that has prompted him to do that.”

King Edward VIII abdicated the throne in December, 1936 to pursue a marriage to American socialite and divorcee Wallis Simpson. They wed in 1937 and stayed married until his death in 1972.

Although Meghan and Harry have been invited to the King’s Coronation, they have not yet RSVP’d. The couple are said to be in negotiations with the Palace over what role they will play at the event.

The once-in-a-lifetime event will occur on May 6 and will be attended by around 2,000 guests including foreign dignitaries, royals and heads of state.

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