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Queen is photographed, plans family Christmas
There is no better royal PR operator than the queen. She doesn’t speak candidly in public. She controls the flow of information, and screw anyone else’s expectations of what should and should not be divulged when she feels ill (as recently). And now, more than once, the paparazzi have somehow managed to snap her out and about to show, even if she might be resting for two weeks as ordered by her doctors, she is not totally laid up.
Earlier this week, she was photographed driving her green Jaguar at Windsor Castle. In the most recent pictures, HM was photographed being driven around Sandringham, where’s she’s gone to convalesce. And, just as when she was photographed with the Jag, she was wearing one of her trademark head-scarves, completing the look with a pair of cool shades.
“The queen was heading towards Wood Farm on the estate, which she often visited with her late-husband Prince Philip around this time of year,” the Sun reported. Philip lived in the cottage after retiring in 2017.
The message of these pictures: Brand Queen is still here, thanks very much. We shall see if she attends, as she desires, next Sunday’s Remembrance Day event.
The queen flew to Sandringham on Thursday, the Mirror reported, with Her Majesty “delighted” to be able to take the break. The queen is “totally committed” to spending a traditional family-focused Christmas at Sandringham, the Mirror previously reported. “Her Majesty is very much looking forward to hosting her family at her Norfolk home for the Christmas holiday and there is much preparation to be done in time to accommodate everyone who has been invited,” a royal source told the paper. “The Queen has many happy memories of being at Sandringham with the family over Christmas and was in the firm belief that she was far better off being there in person to oversee everything as much as possible.”
Drama inside the writer’s room at The Crown
A real-life rift at the heart of The Crown is making its own news this weekend. The U.K. Sunday Times reports that Jemima Khan, a close friend of Diana’s who also dated series creator Peter Morgan for a few months until February this year, has withdrawn her co-operation from the show because she believed it was not telling the story “respectfully.”
Morgan and Khan, The Times says, were friends for years but only started dating “late last year” after Morgan broke up with Gillian Anderson (who famously played Margaret Thatcher in series four). By then, Khan says, she had come on board as a writer, telling The Times that in 2019, “Peter Morgan asked me to co-write on the fifth series of The Crown, particularly those episodes which concerned Princess Diana’s last years before she died.” Khan adds that she has never publicly spoken before about her friendship with Diana.
In her statement to The Times, Khan goes on to add that she worked on “outline and scripts” from September 2020 until February 2021. The Times notes that Khan and Morgan “broke up in February” when he got back together with Anderson.
Whatever the context of the breakdown in the writing relationship may be, Khan says that she pulled out of the project, asked for her contributions to be cut and “declined a credit.”
A spokesperson for The Crown provided a counterpoint, noting tartly that while Khan was a source for the show’s writers, “She has never been contracted as a writer on the series.”
The Crown recreates Diana’s “revenge dress” moment
In other Crown news: the night that Prince Charles confessed his adultery on British TV in June 1994, Princess Diana had an engagement at the Serpentine Gallery in London. And this was no usual engagement—which is why the latest season of The Crown has been recreating it, as newly published pictures show, with actor Elizabeth Debicki, who is taking on the role of Diana for season 5, bringing the famous moment alive again.
That night Diana wore a stunning black Christina Stambolian cocktail dress—really, it is one of the most fantastic dresses she or indeed any royal has ever worn—and in doing so not only telegraphed that she was doing OK, but also blew Charles off the front pages the next day. This will be one Crown moment to particularly savor.
Joe Biden used the Cop26 summit to urge world leaders to cut methane gas emissions, so it’s ironic that he is making headlines this weekend for having farted “long and loud” while talking to Camilla Parker Bowles.
A report in the Mail on Sunday says Camilla is regaling friends with details of the alleged incident, on which the White House has maintained a steely silence. “It was long and loud and impossible to ignore. Camilla hasn't stopped talking about it,” a source told the Mail. Camilla met Biden at an art gallery reception on Monday, just hours after he was pictured apparently dozing off during speeches.
Epstein escorted Diana “on occasion”
Disgraced dead pedophile Jeffrey Epstein escorted Princess Diana “on occasion” he told biographer Michael Wolff, according to Wolff’s latest book Too Famous, per the Daily Mail. It is not known when this happened. There are no known pictures of the pair together, the Mail said—unlike the notorious image of Prince Andrew wandering with Epstein in Central Park, taken in December 2010 after Epstein had been released from jail. Andrew later said he had traveled to New York on that occasion to end their friendship.
No questions, please
The progress of investigations into the cash-for-royal access allegations against Prince Charles continues at a stately pace. The Mail on Sunday reports that one figure at the heart of the first wave of newspaper stories, society fundraiser Michael Wynne-Parker, has yet to be questioned by investigators, despite the fact that the Prince’s foundation reacted to the allegations by announcing an inquiry.
Wynne-Parker told the Mail: “I’m not surprised I haven't been questioned. I am an innocent person. Over a ten-year period I raised millions of pounds for Dumfries House through my connections.
“I’m very proud of what I’ve done. I know it is greatly acknowledged by the Prince of Wales. Certain events happened with slightly less morally motivated persons who entered the scene and finally disrupted it, totally.”
This week in royal history
Happy 18th birthday tomorrow, November 8, to Lady Louise Windsor, daughter of Prince Edward and wife Sophie, Countess of Wessex.
Will Meghan Markle continue in her canvassing of Republican pols, despite the criticism she received this week after calling them to lobby on paid parental leave policies, using her royal title as an intro?