Palace Confidential is weekly royal podcast on the British royal family. Host Jo Elvin, editor of You magazine, speaks to a mix of the Mail's royal experts, celebrity columnists and former palace staff for a mix of exclusive news, sharp analysis and a look back at some fascinating moments in the House of Windsor's history.
Harry and Meghan’s UK tour is about ‘having their cake and eating it’ ... and are the Sussexes planning on renewing their vows?
20:00HE Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s trip to Europe next month will be about ‘having their cake and eating it’, believes Sarah Vine. The Mail columnist told our royal talkshow Palace Confidential that the trip will be a chance for the pair to fulfil their dream of picking and choosing their duties.‘The working royals are on quite a punishing schedule of day-to-day stuff, most of which doesn’t get any coverage, most of which isn’t very glamorous, most of which doesn’t involve wearing very expensive earrings and necklaces and saying very meaningful things about poor people, which is what Meghan likes to do,’ she tells the programme.‘They don’t have to do that any more: They can come in, sweep in, get lots of coverage and then they can go home.’Royal correspondent and author Victoria Murphy says it marks a step on the road to the new life that they have planned.‘Despite the criticism that they get, they have kind of achieved what they want, because they are now doing the things they want to do in the way that they want to do them and they have that control,’ she says. ‘And because of their past roles and their links to the Royal Family they will always be relevant.’This week social media has been awash with rumours that the Sussexes will renew their vows as part of a new Netflix reality show. Charlotte Griffiths, The Mail on Sunday’s editor at large, says it’s so outlandish that it just might be true.‘It sounds so unrealistic, but the truth is stranger than fiction when it comes to these two,’ she says. ‘They probably have a lot of resentment around the wedding time, because of course there were all these dramas going on backstage, plus they need some interesting Netflix content, because footage of them at the WellChild awards is all very well, but they’ve got to have that Kardashian thing, that set-piece.’Later in the show, our panel examine royal security in the wake of the news that Prince Andrew will keep his 24-hour police protection, despite Harry losing his. Plus, they look at how Prince Charles is combating his perceived negative portrayal on The Crown by tackling it head-on.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
What DID the Queen say to Boris? And who is ‘trying to create a bit of mischief’ around moneybags Charles? Watch our royal talkshow for the latest
22:00AS he fought in vain to hold together his Cabinet, Boris Johnson managed to find time for his weekly audience with HM the Queen – we asked our panel of royal experts how that conversation would have gone down.The Daily Mail’s Diary Editor Richard Eden says that if the Queen had an opinion, she would have got it across.‘We certainly know that they do listen to her. Prime Ministers including Tony Blair have said that she has a very persistent way with them, and she asks probing questions, difficult questions. And he felt that he was often being jogged to maybe think again about something.’Some have drawn parallels between the departure of Margaret Thatcher and this week’s events. But Dickie Arbiter, the Queen’s former press secretary, says the Queen will feel far different about the departure of Johnson to that of Thatcher.‘I don’t think there would be parallels with them, because with Mrs Thatcher there would have been an element of sympathy in the way that it happened,’ he tells the programme. ‘This is something that’s completely different from what’s happening now and the Queen has never experienced that… the Queen admired Mrs Thatcher for having been so long the first female Prime Minister.’The Daily Mail’s Royal Editor Rebecca English discusses a new set of unwanted headlines around the charities run by the Prince of Wales and the access given to wealthy philanthropists.While there is no accusation of wrongdoing by the prince, she points out that ‘it does shine yet another unwelcome spotlight on the way that some of Prince Charles’s charities have been run in the past’.Any criticism being levelled towards Charles is unfair, argues Dickie Arbiter, who questions why these stories are emerging now: ‘It seems that someone with an axe to grind is trying to create a bit of mischief.’PLUS on the 40th anniversary of the day an intruder broke in to Buckingham Palace and made it into the Queen’s bedroom, the Daily Mail’s Editor at Large Richard Kay takes us on a fascinating trip down memory lane to the extraordinary summer of 1982.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Palace ‘desperate not to upset’ the Sussexes as Meghan bullying row ‘swept under the carpet’ – we look at the latest news in our unmissable royal talk show Palace Confidential
19:54BUCKINGHAM Palace’s decision to bury a report into allegations of bullying by the Duchess of Sussex could be down to a desire not to ‘poke the bear that is Harry and Meghan’, says the Daily Mail’s Royal Editor Rebecca English.Officials announced this week that the result of the investigation into the allegations – firmly denied by lawyers for Meghan – will never be made public‘There’s been a suggestion made to me that the palace have really done this because they don’t want to poke the bear that is Harry and Meghan,’ Rebecca tells Palace Confidential. ‘And they seem to want to keep the peace with them, possibly at the expense of their workforce.‘I suspect the Palace are willing to take a flurry of bad headlines and television reports on the chin over the next few days in the hope that after that, the whole issue will quietly wither away.’The Firm’s decision to ‘sweep things under the carpet’ has created an ‘extraordinary’ situation, argues The Mail on Sunday’s assistant editor Kate Mansey.‘I’ve never been at a briefing in my 20-plus years of reporting experience where something has been so comprehensively swept under the carpet,’ she says. ‘It’s extraordinary that these allegations can be made at such a high level and the public might never know the result of the review that’s been carried out.’It’s the wrong move, says the Daily Mail’s Diary Editor, Richard Eden, as now even Meghan doesn’t get a chance to properly clear her name.‘I think it’s terrible for everyone that’s been left hanging. You could argue that it’s very unfair to Meghan,’ he says. ‘What worries me greatly is it just seems like the Palace are falling over themselves not to upset Harry and Meghan. They seem desperate not to upset them and I think that’s a mistake.’The panel also discuss the revelations that Prince Charles accepted carrier bags of cash totalling £2.5million in donations to his charities. And while there is no suggestion of wrongdoing on the part of the prince, we ask whether the family should change their approach to charitable activities following a number of negative headlines and the cash-for-access scandal.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
William still smarting about Harry’s racism comments and why Charles could become the ‘ghost king’
25:01Prince William’s speech about racism in Britain will have been in part inspired by the fact that he is still ‘smarting’ about the comments that Harry and Meghan made last year, believes commentator Sarah Vine. The Sussexes’ claims about racism in the Royal Family in a 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey made headlines worldwide.‘I think it’s an issue that [William] feels that he has to address head-on and I think that’s a good way of addressing it,’ she tells Palace Confidential. ‘Maybe he would just like to draw a line under that and just make sure that people understand where he stands on it.’The Daily Mail’s Editor-at-Large Richard Kay believes that ‘a great sadness’ descended on William after the departure of Harry, made worse by his brother’s subsequent ‘ad hominem attacks’ in interviews.‘I think he’s going to find it extremely hard to forget what happened, even if he can forgive,’ he tells the programme. ‘William will not shut the door on him, he will have him back, but I think that there will have to be some fundamental changes in the nature of the relationship that Harry has with the Royal Family before William will allow that change to happen.’The anticipation of Harry’s memoirs will be stopping any rapprochement for now, believes the Daily Mail’s Diary Editor Richard Eden.‘I really do think that [Harry] is keeping his family at a distance until his book is published,’ he says. ‘I think that he is going to be saying some things which are unpleasant and will go down badly with Prince Charles and Prince William and he almost can’t face them.’Meanwhile focus on Prince William as he turns 40 has inevitably led to speculation about how both are preparing for the monarchy. Sarah Vine believes that the attention given to William and his family over Charles will sting the Prince of Wales.‘I think he must feel very acutely that a lot of people if you ask them will say it should skip to William, and I think that’s very unfair,’ she says. ‘So there’s this perception that Prince Charles is a sort of ghost in between the Queen and William. And I think if I were him I would feel a bit annoyed by that, genuinely.’PLUS The Daily Mail’s Royal Editor Rebecca English sends a report from Prince Charles’s visit to Rwanda and our panel look at the first official portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Will commercial pressures force Harry to break his promise to the Queen? And will Andrew face boos at the Jubilee? We discuss all this and more in our must-watch royal talk show.
27:05Will commercial pressures force Harry to break his promise to the Queen? And will Andrew face boos at the Jubilee? We discuss all this and more in our must-watch royal talk show.Reports this week suggest that Prince Harry’s long-awaited memoirs could be delayed. This follows news that the pair are under pressure from Netflix and Spotify to deliver on their multimillion-dollar commitments.The Daily Mail’s Royal Editor Rebecca English says that since signing their big deals the media companies have ‘precious little to show for it’.‘I think it’s fair to assume that there will be a lot of pressure on them to produce,’ she tells Palace Confidential. ‘How much this will ratchet up the pressure on them to talk about their time as members of the Royal Family? To talk about what it was like to be part of the institution of the monarchy – which are things that Harry promised his grandmother he wouldn’t do?’Meanwhile, there has been shock at the news that Prince Andrew intends to take some part in the Order of the Garter ceremony as part of his mother’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations. Given the reasons for his stepping down from royal duties, Rebecca English believes that he is taking a risk: ‘It’s the first time we’ll see him reacting up close and personal, reacting with members of the public. Could he even be booed?’The Daily Mail’s Diary Editor Richard Eden says he was ‘shocked’ by the news.‘The prospect of him, parading through Windsor in his velvet finery and feathers, my goodness! It’s horrendous, he should be playing no part in public life and certainly not for the Royal Family,’ he tells the programme. ‘Let’s hope wise counsel prevails and he is persuaded not to take part.’Meanwhile royal biographer Robert Hardman, whose latest book Queen of Our Times: The Life of Elizabeth II is out now, says that the buggy used by Her Majesty at the Chelsea Flower show this week should answer the ‘constant preoccupation with her health’.‘I would turn it around and say “isn’t it amazing the amount of stuff she’s doing, not what she’s not doing”,’ he says. ‘To be well into your tenth decade and to be so engaged with public life that she is, I just think it’s remarkable.’See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Will the Palace use the jubilee to reel the Sussexes back into the fold? Our experts discuss this and lots more in our essential royal talk show
27:37The Royal Family will use events around the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee to bring Harry and Meghan closer to the rest of the family, according to one expert.After years of bad blood, Kate Mansey, assistant editor at the Mail on Sunday says she believes that the Queen wants a rapprochement with the Sussexes who quit royal working life in 2020.‘There is generally a sense that they want to bring the Sussexes in, I think. They will be invited to lots of family occasions, just not the big, official numbers,’ she tells our royal talk show Palace Confidential.That doesn’t mean the initial encounters won’t be awkward says the Daily Mail’s Royal Editor Rebecca English, with much speculation about how the Sussexes will interact with the rest of the royals at a Jubilee thanksgiving service at St Paul’s Cathedral on June 3.‘The amount of time that they’re seen interacting with other family members on camera will be fairly limited,’ she tells the programme. ‘But as one source said to me the other week, the body language is going to be fascinating. I just hope for the Queen’s sake it doesn’t overshadow everything else that’s going on over the weekend.’The Mail on Sunday’s Editor At Large Charlotte Griffiths says the royal balcony will miss Harry’s humour.‘Harry cold have been the Duke of Edinburgh Mark Two, and we kind of need that,’ she says. ‘The Royal Family do take themselves very seriously but there is a fun side to them and Harry just would have been brilliant at that and he could have brought a jocular side to balcony moments and things like that and we’ve lost that now.’Meanwhile royal biographer Hugo Vickers talks to the programme about A Royal Life, the memoirs he co-wrote with the Duke of Kent. The Daily Mail’s Diary Editor Richard Eden believes that the duke’s life shows what an opportunity has Harry missed.‘It emphasises what we’ve lost and what I think Prince Harry could have been if he’d put loyalty and service at the forefront,’ he tells the show. ‘I think they married very different women, I think Meghan didn’t seem to have a plan to serve and to want to stay in this country. And I think she’s helped encourage Harry to quit the Royal Family. Whereas in the Duke of Kent’s case, he had a wife who was very supportive and did all she could to help him.’See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Netflix troubles for Meghan while royals jostle over Adelaide Cottage
22:09‘Her celebrity is fading!’ Royal expert says Meghan’s Netflix dramas signal fall from grace for the ‘woke warrior Queen’ – we discuss the latest royal stories in our unrivalled royal talk show Netflix’s decision to ditch Meghan’s animation Pearl before it was even made shows that the duchess’ star power is waning, according to one royal expert. Andrew Pierce, consultant editor of the Daily Mail, tells Palace Confidential that the streaming giant is working out that the royal pair ‘are not the investment they thought they were’. ‘What does it say about the fall from grace of Meghan? This contract is not even two years old and they’ve realised already that her celebrity is fading in the United States… I think Netflix are working out that they are not the investment they thought they were,’ he says. ‘[Pearl] was very important to Meghan herself who’s the great woke warrior Queen – it’s a real blow to her prestige and ego.’ The cancellation of Pearl could also spell bad news for the rest of the royals, argues the Daily Mail’s diary editor Richard Eden. ‘What’s so significant and what’s frankly worrying is that the only projects that will get the green light from Netflix now will be very personal ones about the Royal Family,’ he says. ‘That puts them in an awkward position because I don’t think they wanted to do that and certainly it will make people nervous back at Buckingham Palace.’ Meanwhile the paper’s royal editor Rebecca English brings an update on the latest jostling over who gets which grand residences. While the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are reported to be keen to move to Adelaide Cottage in Windsor, they could find themselves gazumping Prince Andrew. ‘I’ve been told by contacts that could be a little bit tricky because Prince Andrew has actually always had his eye on that property, it’s been used as a grace-and-favour home for royal staff and distant relatives for many years. He’d rather hoped one of his children, particularly Princess Eugenie, might able to move into it.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
‘William would have gone bananas’ over royal tour ‘clangers’ and what the Queen REALLY thinks about Harry
23:40For all the stunning scenery, diving trips and staged photo opportunities, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge’s trip to the Caribbean has attracted its fair share of negative headlines. Behind the smiles, Prince William will be furious at how things have gone – that’s the view of the Mail on Sunday’s Editor at Large, Charlotte Griffiths.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Strip Harry and Andrew of their final roles! The Queen under pressure to tackle a thorny family issue
23:03A new paper produced by the Houses of Commons library has laid out the process around changing the Counsellors of State – the members of the Royal Family who could step in for the Queen should she be unable to carry out her official duties.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
As Prince Andrew waves the white flag, his own daughter joins Team Sussex!
27:05The shadow of Prince Andrew’s friendship with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been hovering over the Royal Family for years now, but came to a head this week as he reached an out-of-court settlement with Virginia Giuffre. Mutterings of the exact amount of the settlement, and who would be funding it, have been on the lips of the nation ever since. Also, as news pages at home are filled with the bad judgment and connections of Princes Andrew and Charles, over in the US it’s their children putting out their own statements, with Princess Eugenie appearing in public alongside her favourite cousin Prince Harry.See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.