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William should succeed queen, poll respondents say
More miserable reading for Prince Charles this morning, as a Mail on Sunday poll confirms that Brits would rather—when the queen dies—that the crown bypass him and land on son Prince William’s head instead. Forty-one percent of Brits surveyed want William to succeed the queen, compared to 30 percent wanting Charles.
The results echo another poll carried out in April finding the same, which led Charles’ biographer Penny Junor to tell The Daily Beast: “I’m sure he’s really proud of William. I’m sure he’s really proud of the incredible work he has done and the success he has made of his marriage and family. But he also doesn’t want to be erased just yet.”
Brits also have strong views about Virginia Roberts Giuffre’s civil lawsuit against Prince Andrew, alleging he sexually assaulted her three times when she was a minor, a claim he emphatically denies. Half of those surveyed, 50 percent, say Andrew should answer the lawsuit against him in America, with only 29 per cent saying he should answer it from the U.K. Forty-eight percent of Brits say the case has damaged the queen’s reputation.
Around half of the poll respondents think Meghan Markle was behind Prince Harry moving to America; 7 percent say it was Harry’s decision, with under a third, 30 percent, believing it to be a joint decision. Asked how they viewed members of the royal family, positively and negatively, the queen scored well (61 percent positively, 12 percent negatively), as did William (same as the queen), and Kate Middleton (53 percent positively to 12 per cent negatively). Prince Charles did OK (42 percent positively to 24 percent negatively). But Harry and Meghan: ouch. Harry scored 30 percent positively, to 40 per cent negatively, while Meghan was perceived positively by 22 percent of respondents, and negatively by 46 percent.
There was some good news for Harry. Asked which member of the royal family respondents would like to go for a drink with, he won, with 19 per cent, followed by William at 15 percent, and Kate with 10 percent. The queen scored 8 percent, which just goes to show how weird surveys are, because obviously she would be the most fascinating royal family member to go for a drink with—unless the ghost of Princess Margaret was also available.
Harry says drilling “reaps disastrous consequences”
Prince Harry has co-authored an op-ed in the Washington Post with Reinhold Mangundu, a Namibian poet and environmental activist, urging greater environmental protection for the Okavango watershed in southern Africa.
Harry and Mangundu said the area is “at risk” after ReconAfrica, a Canadian oil and gas company, was granted permission to look for oil there. The article said that both authors had “found sanctuary and inspiration in the Okavango.” This appears to be a reference to Harry’s trip there shortly after his mother died. He also visited the region with Meghan in the early days of their courtship, staying at the Meno A Kwena safari camp in August 2017.
Harry wrote: “To protect the Okavango River Basin, we call on the world to stand in solidarity with us, our allies and local communities in advocating a full moratorium on oil and gas development in the region. We also encourage investors to note who profits—notably, ReconAfrica and its partners—and who is at risk from likely environmental destruction.
“Some things in life are best left undisturbed to carry out their purpose as a natural benefit. This is one of them. Drilling is an outdated gamble that reaps disastrous consequences for many, and incredible riches for a powerful few.”
William Shatner and Prince William’s intergalactic tussle
Prince William called out the prima facie absurdity of the private space race this week, saying: “We need some of the world’s greatest brains and minds fixed on trying to repair this planet, not trying to find the next place to go and live.” William Shatner, who had just been up and down in Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin space craft, clapped back, telling Entertainment Tonight: “He’s a lovely Englishman. He’s going to be king of England one day. He’s a lovely, gentle, educated man, but he’s got the wrong idea. The idea here is not to go, ‘Yeah, look at me. I’m in space’…I would tell the prince, and I hope the prince gets the message, this is a baby step into the idea of getting industry up there, so that all those polluting industries, especially, for example, the industries that make electricity... off of Earth.
“We’ve got all the technology, the rockets, to send the things up there... You can build a base 250, 280 miles above the Earth and send that power down here…All it needs is... somebody as rich as Jeff Bezos [to say], ‘Let’s go up there.’”
Charles and Diana happy! In The Crown!
The Daily Mail has its long lenses out again, this time publishing exclusive images of Dominic West as Prince Charles and Elizabeth Debicki as Princess Diana having a whale of a time in the sea off Majorca filming scenes for the next series of The Crown, following the later years of the Wales’ marriage.
The pictures, which also feature the two younger actors playing young Prince William and Harry (Timothee Sambor, 11, and Teddy Hawley, 7), may show only fleeting happiness, as the series will inevitably sketch the tumultuous implosion of Charles and Diana’s marriage, the so-called “War of the Waleses” conducted in the tabloids, and Diana’s death.
The Crown, of course, has been criticized for being too free-and-easy fictionalizing reality, and laying the boot into Charles, so perhaps this is an attempt to underline something more tender between Charles and Diana, or emphasizing their devotion to their kids.
In one shot, Charles and Diana are pictured on a jet-ski, Diana’s arms flung aloft, and in another West is shown with Hawley playing with an inflatable. Debicki is also pictured playing with the boys in the sea. The Mail reports: “Charles, Diana, William and Harry enjoyed happy trips to Majorca in 1986, 1987, 1988 and 1990—while Diana also visited the island following her divorce.”
And really, if there is one thing that could help Prince Charles right now, it’s being played by the buff-bodied Dominic West.
Harry and Meghan announced this week that they were partnering with “ethical” investment group Ethic. The company isn’t a fund because it doesn’t pool investors cash and buy shares. Rather it is an investment manager which creates “custom investments for our clients based on both their unique values and their financial preferences.”
However, Ethic’s SEC filings, as unearthed by the Daily Mail, show some distinctly unsavory investments made by its clients. These include oil, gas, mining companies, airlines and even weapons’ manufacturer Raytheon, which boasted that its Paveway laser guided bombs made up more than half the ordinance dropped on Iraq during the American invasion. The Daily Beast has contacted Ethic for comment.
Billie Eilish on her royal encounter
Billie Eilish, who sings the theme tune for the new James Bond movie, says she was given a list of rules before meeting Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Charles and Camilla at the No Time to Die premiere in London on September 28.
In an interview with Jimmy Kimmel Live! reported by Glamor, Kimmel asked her: “I assume they read you the rules and all that stuff before you met them?”
Eilish responded, “Oh yeah. Oh yeah. There was a whole list of things.”
Kimmel asked, “Did you pay attention to those rules?”
Eilish mimed a “No,” in response.
Eilish added, “I tried to. I was planning on it but they were just so normal. They didn’t make me feel like, ‘Oh, I’m scared, I can’t talk to them.’ They were very complimentary and they had all these questions for me. They were just very friendly and funny and sweet. I don’t know, I can’t complain. It was amazing.”
This week in royal history
Three years ago this week, Harry and Meghan were beginning a 16-day official tour of Australia. As The Daily Beast reported, at one event in Sydney, local media estimated that a crowd of 15,000 people waited to see the couple, who announced on the first day of their trip that Meghan was pregnant with their first child.
Will Harry and Meghan return to the U.K. this year, and will Lilibet be christened there if so? The mystery over that christening, and royal wrangling over the details, as The Daily Beast reported this week, continues.