The funeral of Elizabeth II, top start of “Game of Thrones” in Buckingham?

“Monday is going to be difficult” would have already announced the prince William according to the magazine People. It is indeed difficult to grieve in front of the cameras and several million people. It is also difficult to hold your head up high and ignore past quarrels. Because if Charles III is indeed, according to the order of succession, the new king of England, the battle of popularity around the throne is far from over.

Also, this royal funeral will be scrutinized around the world, not only to pay a last tribute to “the queen of a century”, but also to spy on the placements, outfits, and other small gestures, whispers and tiny glances of the members. principals of the royal family.

Regular readers of the tabloids and other fans of the Crown know something about it: for a week, between the surprise outing on September 10 of the couples William-Kate and Harry-Meghan in front of the gates of Windsor Castle and the relevant question of military dress of the youngest son of Charles (will he be authorized to wear it or not?), it is indeed on the side of the descendants of the deceased queen that all eyes are now turned. For better and for worse…

Coffin of Elizabeth II: the huge queue in London in timelapse

Monday’s day, which the French will even be able to follow from early morning (from 6 a.m. on TF1 and LCI), risks in this yardstick being rich in adventures. We will find the “stars of the week” there: the quartet William, Kate, Meghan and Harry. Or four characters worthy of a Netflix series and quite capable of raising the ratings.

But on the side of the elders, the race also promises to be very tight, with, in the role of the (almost) bad guy, Charles, the new king who is moderately friendly, moderately patient and moderately charismatic. Will he recover? Were his mood swings last week only the legitimate expression of his mourning and his fatigue? The question will not fail to interest a crowd capable of waiting 2 p.m. to pay a last tribute to his late mother.

Charles III and Camilla in Cardiff, September 16, 2022
Charles III and Camilla in Cardiff, September 16, 2022 (CHRIS JACKSON/AP/SIPA / CHRIS JACKSON/AP/SIPA)

Beside him will be his wife Camilla. The septuagenarian blonde and new queen consort has so far only been talked about because… of a broken toe. But it must be said that the slightest misstep would be fatal to the former mistress of Diana’s ex-husband.

Finally, all that is missing from this rich picture is an unworthy old uncle accused of sexual assault. The role will be masterfully played by Andrew, brother of the king. The decor thus planted, no doubt, this Monday, September 19 has every chance of being “horribilis” for many reasons that are not simply due to the sadness of a family.

The Rebellious Queen and Princesses

Previously

As you will have understood, the royal family drags along, like all families in the world, its share of secrets and confusion. With constancy, Elisabeth II contained (often in vain) the excesses of each other by applying this well-known adage: “Never complain, never explain” (“Never Complain, Never Explain”). But the queen now gone, who to hold the torch of an expensive monarchy whose lifestyle hangs only on the thin thread of its popularity?

A 2022 survey by the Yougov polling institute has decided: Kate Middleton is the second most popular personality in the hearts of the British, after Queen Elizabeth II. She is closely followed by her husband, Prince William. King Charles and Camilla climbed with difficulty to 7th and 8th position with a plummeting popularity rating.

It must be said that at 73, Charles III lived most of his life in the shadow of his mother. In recent days, on social networks, a deluge of teasing comments have reminded us only too well. “Unemployed friends, don’t despair, Charles has finally found work at 73! » could we read for example.

While there is no doubt that the new king is sorely lacking in charisma, many Britons have come to meditate in front of the queen’s coffin to blame him for his remarriage. But the worst is without a doubt, according to The Guardianthis letter recently sent to employees of Clarence House, his former residence in London, telling them that they could lose their jobs!

Elizabeth II, the first influencer of the monarchy

The Maniac King

Under the spotlight, the personality of the king is now particularly dissected, in particular his relationship to the “little staff”. And so it was that last week, the statements of his former butler in the documentary “Serving the Royals: Inside the Firm” resurfaced:

“His pajamas are ironed every morning, his shoelaces are pressed flat with an iron, the tub stopper has to be in a certain position, and the water temperature has to be just lukewarm, in a half-filled tub. full “, we learned. The butler had also claimed that the king would require “to spread two centimeters of toothpaste on his toothbrush. »

Let’s be sure, more intimate details of this kind are sure to flow in the days to come. Especially since the demands of Her Majesty, to see the various videos of her public appearances, seem to be rising in rank.

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On September 10, when he was proclaimed king, at Saint James’s Palace in London, Charles indeed had a contemptuous grin to signal to his assistants that the inkwells had not been cleared of his office quickly enough. Malaise bis three days later in Northern Ireland, during the signing of a guest book at Hillsborough Castle. The fault, this time with a pen which leaks. “Oh my God, I hate this” Charles got annoyed before getting up and losing his nerve: “I can’t stand this damn thing!” » he cursed before leaving the room and letting Camilla sign the document with another pen. Since then, these two mood swings have obviously gone viral and Charles’s popularity rating is at an all-time low. Damn !

In London, after the death of Elizabeth II: “She’s been there all my life, how can she disappear…”

Kate and William versus Meghan and Harry

But if King Charles III does not seem (for the moment) to care about his media image, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are trying by all means to restore their image. Also according to Yougov, the British ranked Harry 11th and Meghan 14th, just ahead of Prince Andrew. Still… One is criticized for his youthful escapades and his lack of solidarity with the royal family. On the other, that of being a spendthrift diva and the villain responsible for the argument between Harry and the darling child of the Crown, William. But above all, the exile of the couple across the Atlantic two years ago does not pass, not to mention their settling of scores via the media, Hollywood soap opera style. It is an understatement to say that the British did not enjoy their controversial interview with Oprah Winfrey. However, when the overhyped couple resurfaced on English soil, mouths in heart and tears in their eyes, at the bedside of the queen, many thought that the death of Elizabeth II could reshuffle the cards. It is not so.

On September 8, Harry rushed, alone, to his dying grandmother’s bedside at Balmoral. In the corridors of Buckingham, it is rumored that Meghan would have been asked to stay in London. Solo alongside Kate, retained because of the return to school of the children, the Duchess of Sussex would have taken advantage of this free time to prepare a media return to grace. Which did not fail to happen two days later when the quartet of William, Harry, Meghan and Kate walked together in front of the flowerbed adjoining Winsdor Castle. A first since April 2021! But a first that had nothing, it seems, spontaneous.
According to the English press, this perfect façade unity would indeed be the fruit of long negotiations. But beware, opinions differ. Some claim that Charles III worked behind the scenes to bring the two couples together. Others, notably the Times, which William spent 45 minutes convincing ” the Duke and Duchess to join him and the Princess of Wales” for this moment of contemplation, an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family”.

Meghan Markle in front of Windsor Castle on September 10
Meghan Markle in front of Windsor Castle on September 10 (KIRSTY O’CONNOR/WPA POOL/SHUTTER/SIPA / KIRSTY O’CONNOR/WPA POOL/SHUTTER)

The Ladies’ Ball

As a result, cameras around the world dissected every second of a funeral march that looked like “Men in black”. Starting with the outfit of these ladies: long dress close to the body, tights, high heels, and black of rigor… Kate and Meghan seemed to be two carbon copies, united in pain. A priori, nothing to report… until the folds of the dress of the Duchess of Sussex attracted the attention of some internet users. And that are born rantings about a possible microphone thus camouflaged by Meghan to feed a future Netflix documentary. Drama level: 6/10.

But that day, facing the British people, the ” poker face “ was in order. All smiles, Meghan and Kate politely accepted a few flowers, sent kisses from right to left, exchanged a few sentences with the crowd, batting their eyelashes, then left… each on their own. Last Wednesday, the two women reappeared – without smiling this time – during the funeral procession of the coffin of Elizabeth II. Black fascinator, veil and pearl earrings, Meghan Markle imitated the sober and distinguished look of her model sister-in-law, in tribute to the queen.

Princes William and Harry, accompanied by their wives, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, on September 14, in London
Princes William and Harry, accompanied by their wives, Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle, on September 14, in London (CHRISTOPHER FURLONG/WPA POOL/SHU/SIPA / CHRISTOPHER FURLONG/WPA POOL/SHU)

Each has its place

This Monday, it is more than likely that this facade unity will continue. All the more easily since a millimetric protocol will assign everyone a role and an immutable place. So when at 10.52am the coffin arrives at the west door of Westminster Abbey, it will be followed on foot by the Queen’s eldest son and heir apparent, King Charles III and other members of the Royal Family. Finally, has revealed the English press on Sunday evening, two of Kate and William’s three children, George, nine, and his sister Charlotte, seven, will attend the funeral. They will precede the Prince and Princess of Wales while the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and other members of the Royal Family will follow.

As expected, and despite a sprain granted on Saturday evening by his father to watch over his grandmother’s coffin, Harry should be deprived of his uniform for this funeral Monday. Despite his military background, he’s been banned from wearing it at official ceremonies since stepping down from royal duties in 2020. And he won’t be the only one. His uncle, Prince Andrew will also have to wear civilian clothes since his heavy accusations of sexual assault on a minor and his possible involvement in the affairs of Jeffrey Epstein. “Old sick man! » we also heard from the mouth of a passerby while the Duke of York accompanied the coffin of the Queen in the center of Edinburgh a few days ago.

We bet that this funeral march will offer an eloquent picture of the post-Elizabeth royal family. Everyone in their place, behind the king. The rest, the mood swings, the espionage accusations or the leaky pens… will continue to cause a lot of ink to flow, but will not change anything.

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