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The queen “doesn’t want to be reminded of her age in any way”
The queen, 95, attended King Edward VII’s Hospital in London on Wednesday and stayed there overnight for “preliminary tests.” The secrecy about the hospital stay has led to questions about the queen’s condition, and why the news was not revealed until a day later.
“She is knackered,” a source close to the queen tells the Sunday Times. Since she got back from her summer holiday in Balmoral she’s carried out 19 engagements. “It has been too much,” a courtier told the Times, but the desire to pack the diary was the queen’s. “There is very much a desire to get out there, to get back to normal, back to business,” aides told the Times. The queen is still “razor sharp,” those close to her insist.
In private, the queen has had “a constant flow of lunches and dinners with family and friends, because the queen does not want to dine alone,” sources told the Times. She likes to watch TV with former nanny Mabel Anderson, who looked after the queen’s children. A source says the women are “very cozy.” However, the queen reportedly loves late night TV, particularly at weekends.
As well as family help, palace officials are, says the Mail, “purging” the queen’s diary of engagements, “drawing up a ‘core’ list of key events that the queen will prioritize in the next 12 months, including the Platinum Jubilee to celebrate her 70-year reign in June.”
Charles spent time at Windsor Castle earlier this week, but rumors that William and Kate will move there are “speculation” the palace told the Mirror.
A palace source told the paper: “The queen is in good spirits and will continue to take a period of rest over the next few days. She will be guided by her doctors on what is appropriate in terms of her duties.”
Princess Anne already stepped in for her mom, handing out awards at one ceremony this week. The queen is reportedly seeing “family who live nearby.” This may include youngest son Prince Edward and his family, and Prince Andrew.
The queen is still reportedly planning to attend the UN climate change summit COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, on November 1, although the Mail says a final decision on this will be taken this week.
One source close to the queen told the Times: “She is fine, but she needs the rest—she is saving her energy for Cop [COP26].” The queen is doing “light duties” this weekend, the Times reports. Her desire to stay busy, a royal source told the paper, is because the queen “doesn’t want to be reminded of her age in any way.”
The Telegraph adds that following last week’s health scare, Her Majesty will in future be accompanied by at least one other member of the royal family on any public engagements. The person can offer assistance or even step into her shoes if she is indisposed.
Kristen Stewart says Diana was “house on fire”
Kristen Stewart, who plays Princess Diana in the movie Spencer (released on November 5), has been holding forth on the challenge and intrigue of playing her.
“She was touchable,” Stewart told the Daily Mail. “I think that even when she looked her most beautiful and her most substantial, she also felt like she could kick her shoes off and walk outside with you and ask you how you are and touch your face. And you would feel that honesty from her. But ironically, she was also the most unknowable person, and at least over the three days we’re imagining in the film she was the most isolated human you can think of.”
The movie is set over Christmas 1991, when Diana—adrift and desperate at the royals’ annual gathering at Sandringham in Norfolk—realizes her marriage to Charles is finished. Unlike other biopics, the film focuses on this micro-period in time rather than a grander biographical sweep.
Director Pablo Larraín told the Mail: “Hers was a fairytale that had captured the imagination of billions around the world, a woman who'd been chosen by a prince and would eventually become a queen and live happily forever. I guess part of becoming an adult is the realization life isn’t like that. What we have instead is a princess who’s going away from the idea of being a queen because she realizes what she really wants is to be herself.”
On signing up for the role, Stewart said, “I thought, ‘Oh, shit, this is a big deal—I don’t want to mess it up!’ But I guess the only thing that alleviates that tension is that I can only do the best I can. Besides, there’s no one way to do this. If you read every memoir about Diana, you see that everyone feels differently about her. Every photographer sees her in a different light, and she herself felt different every day. So there’s no way to get it right or wrong.”
Stewart said she became obsessed by The Crown, in order to study the character of Diana. “I just wanted to have her voice in my head so I never feel like I’m just doing an impression of her. The people you know best in your life—the ones where when you tell stories about them you immediately drop into their voice—I wanted that feeling. I wanted to encompass her and jump into her skin—not just feel like I’m putting on a costume or a wig, but that I was really walking in her shoes.”
For Stewart, the really sad thing about Diana was “as normal and disarming as she was, she also felt so isolated and lonely. As an outsider I can say that Brits generally have the stiff upper lip mentality, but with Diana I look at pictures of her, even just a fleeting little video clip, and I feel like the ground shakes and you don’t know what’s going to happen. She really sticks out as a sparkly force, just a house on fire. There are some people who are endowed with an undeniable penetrating energy, and she was one of them.”
William namechecks Harry in speech shock
It is a sign of just how desperately bad relations are between Harry and William that the fact that William was able to bring himself to mention his brother’s name in a speech he made this week is newsworthy.
The Sun reports that the gesture happened at a small party held this week to celebrate the erection of a statue in Diana’s memory in Kensington Palace.
A source told the Sun: “William made a brilliant speech saying thank you from him and Harry and how happy they both were with the statue. He mentioned Harry by name. The brothers are barely on speaking terms but it’s clear the Princess Di statue has done some good.”
Harry flew back for the statue unveiling in July, but didn’t make the trip home for this week’s party.
Camilla’s anguish at watching her mother suffer osteoporosis
Camilla Parker Bowles has told in a BBC interview of the unique way she urged her children to take the risk of osteoporosis seriously after her mother, the Honorable Rosalind Shand, and grandmother, Sonia Keppel, endured terrible battles with the heritable weak bone condition.
She told interviewer Gloria Hunniford: “I would show them pictures of my mother, before and after she got osteoporosis. I would make them look at these photographs and say: ‘Look, if you don’t take care, that’s what will happen to you.’”
The Evening Standard says the interview will be broadcast on the BBC on Monday.
Camilla, who has campaigned on the issue for more than 20 years, said: “My mother went to see everybody you could possibly think of and they all said the same thing: ‘Sorry, you’re old.’ We just watched her shrinking before our eyes.
“It was terrible because we didn’t know anything about it.”
Camilla added: “Occasionally, when she moved or you touched her, she literally screamed. I remember when a friend of hers came in one day just to give her a hug, and her rib broke. It was as bad as that.”
She added: “The thing about osteoporosis is you can prevent it, but you can’t cure it. You have to prevent it by taking a look at yourself and saying: ‘I don’t want to have this disease.’ You must take a lot of exercise, walking in particular.
“I think we all think we’re immortal when we’re young. I’d like to see more young people being educated and being more understanding about it. Not just thinking ‘poor old bats,’ but actually understanding what happens and how they can prevent it.”
Adele chooses Harry
If she has to, Adele chooses Prince Harry. As part of the “73 Questions” video she did for Vogue (that became 95 questions), Adele was asked which prince she would choose for a date, Prince William or Prince Harry. ‘Priinnnnce Harry,” she said. In 2011 she elaborated on her choice, telling Glamour: “I’m after Prince Harry. I know I said I wouldn’t go out with a ginger, but it’s Prince Harry! I’d be a real duchess then. I’d love a night out with him, he seems like a right laugh.”
Eugenie gets out and about
Princess Eugenie was spotted at a London pub which is owned by David Beckham and Guy Ritchie this weekend. The Walmer Castle pub in west London has become something of a low-key celebrity hidey-hole since it was taken over by the footballer and the film director.
The Daily Mail reports that Eugenie, who wore a black dress and long red coat, was joined by friends including Viscount Erleigh, the son of The Marquess of Reading. No pub nights out for Eugenie’s father, Prince Andrew, of course, although he was photographed horse riding in Windsor Great Park on Saturday with his niece Lady Louise Windsor who is Prince Edward’s daughter.
This week in royal history
Prince Charles and Princess Diana took Princes Harry and William with them on their tour of Ontario, Canada this week in 1991. It would be the couple’s last Canadian trip together.
How is the queen’s health in reality? Which royals will step up to do her duties? What scale of public duties will she carry out moving forward?