Gyles Brandreth

The King won’t be watching Harry and Meghan on Netflix

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When it comes to the Harry & Meghan ‘this is our truth’ Netflix documentary, the senior members of the royal family have decided to do what the Queen Mother’s friend Noël Coward always did when faced with adversity or criticism. They are simply going ‘to rise above it’. It won’t be difficult. While the Queen Mother loved Dad’s Army and Elizabeth II did her best to get to grips with Line of Duty during lockdown, Charles III watches almost no television. The Queen Consort told me that she had persuaded His Majesty to catch a bit of the Channel 4 series about canal-boating that I do with Dame Sheila Hancock, but I think she only said that to indulge me. Our new sovereign is a workaholic with a wide variety of private passions. TV is not one of them. Nor is he obsessing on the latest royal brouhaha. Like his mother, he is good at taking the long view. He knows this, too, will pass.

I am writing this on a train going to Manchester. Of course I am: I am an author with a book to flog and, stupidly, I live in London. Today it’s Manchester for BBC Breakfast, tomorrow it’ll be somewhere in Hampshire for Alan Titchmarsh’s Love Your Weekend. In my experience it’s daytime TV that best sells books. Appearing on a late-night chat show may seem glamorous, but it won’t necessarily shift much stock. No one turns off the telly at midnight and goes online to place their order. They leave it until the morning, by which time they’ve forgotten. I have now done a dozen interviews about my book, a biography of the late Queen. I am not sure that anyone who has interviewed me has read it.

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