Prince william

The Prince Andrew conundrum

Prince Philip’s memorial service yesterday was an affecting occasion. The hymns, including Guide Me O Thou Great Redeemer and Britten’s Te Deum In C were well chosen, and the Dean of Windsor’s well-judged sermon acknowledged both the Duke of Edinburgh’s sincere but never pious religious faith and his energetic, at times abrasive personality. The Dean suggested, rightly, that the Duke would never have wanted to be remembered as a plaster saint. After the low-key Covid-necessitated funeral service of last year, it was a public reminder that the royal family can still command both dignity and respect. So why, then, have today’s headlines been so dreadful? She was acting as a

Prince William is turning into his brother

For a tour that should have been an unmitigated success, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s visit to the Caribbean has ended up being surprisingly controversial, described as nothing less than ‘a PR disaster’. Even if some of the negative coverage feels confected, especially in light of the exploits of Prince Andrew and Prince Harry, it seems extraordinary that the supposed outrage could not have been anticipated. It has been an inauspicious curtain-raiser to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June: from the unfortunate images of the Duke and Duchess shaking hands with Jamaican children through a chain-link fence to the protests that have greeted their progress from local republicans. There is a sense

What Prince William gets wrong about space travel

Time was when ‘to boldly go where no man has gone before’ was not just a line from Star Trek. It was a national dream. Space exploration transcended political divisions. When Nasa pulled off the first moon landing, the world watched in awe. Last week, the Star Trek actor William Shatner was blasted into space on one of Jeff Bezos’s rockets. Yet there was no shared wonder. Instead, there was criticism. Scientists have more pressing problems to solve, argued detractors. In a rebuke to Bezos, who is pouring his fortune into space travel, Prince William told the BBC: ‘We need some of the world’s greatest brains… trying to repair the planet,

Prince William won’t save the Union

Can the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge save the Union? Officials at Buckingham Palace are reported to be drawing up plans for the Royal couple to spend more time north of the border. If so, it’s likely that Alex Salmond won’t be amused: the former first minister accused Prince William of ‘poor judgement’ for meeting Gordon Brown on a recent visit. Salmond, who is now the leader of the nationalist Alba party, also said it would be a ‘fatal error’ for the monarchy to allow the perception that they were taking sides in the debate He need not be concerned. Pictures of William in a kilt trying not to look bored as

In praise of Prince William’s buff arm

Prince William is a genius. In a single Instagram post, he hoisted focus back over the Atlantic from his prodigal brother, and it seems he and the Duchess of Cambridge have been trending on Twitter ever since. What was the post? He flexed his guns. We have all been there, at the gym where the lighting gives shadowy definition to our various appendages, but we resist the shamelessness of taking a pic. The Duke however, was getting his vaccination, so there is no better justification to have a pic taken of you with your sleeve rolled up, and weren’t we all impressed? Not the first time we have been pleasantly

Prince William’s extraordinary attack on the BBC

The tone of his delivery was subdued, which belied the severity with which the future king, Prince William, battered an institution that has historically striven to please and not provoke his family. There was not one bit of comfort for the BBC in the 315 words uttered by William. This was the most damning criticism a senior royal has ever unleashed on the national broadcaster. Once lauded for its Diana scoop, the BBC will now forever be haunted by the accusation that its failures contributed significantly to the ‘fear, paranoia and isolation’ that Diana experienced in the final years of her life. This was the most damning criticism a senior

William has revealed the princes’ pain

The institution waited two days before responding to the Oprah interview with a statement that acknowledged the allegations around race were concerning, but it omitted any condemnation of racism. In just twelve seconds this morning, Prince William tackled the central charge head on.  The brothers are riven, in their trenches and communicating via chat show hosts and off the record briefings to newspapers TV doorstepping — shouting a question at someone without prior agreement while armed with a camera and microphone — can be a fruitless task. Doing it when the target is a royal is a soulless endeavour. This morning, at a school in east London, fortune favoured the

Most-read 2020: Warring Windsors – the real royal conflict

We’re closing 2020 by republishing our ten most-read articles of the year. Here’s No. 4: Camilla Tominey on the Prince of Wales Three years ago, Sir Christopher Geidt departed as the Queen’s private secretary. For years, he had done much to hold The Firm together, but his influence was resented by Prince Charles. The festering acrimony between Buckingham Palace and Clarence House came to a head in 2017 when Geidt, a Cambridge-educated former Scots Guard, convened a meeting of staff to announce Prince Philip’s retirement without first consulting Charles’s aides. Geidt ended up being forced out after a decade of unwavering service. Many in the family — including the Princess Royal

The War of the Waleses 2.0

In the Nineties, it was a husband and a wife who used supportive reporters, friendly biographers and the global reach of television to extol their own royal righteousness, as their marriage deteriorated. Now, it’s the sons of Charles and Diana who are settling scores after the searing pain of a shared bereavement failed to lash them together for life. Harry is first out of the traps with ‘Finding Freedom’, which is being serialised in the Times and the Sunday Times. The biography captures his intense hurt that the people who are variously described as ‘the men in grey suits’, ‘the old guard’ and ‘vipers’, didn’t properly appreciate what he and