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LONDON – When Prince Charles became King Charles III and met our newly installed British Prime Minster Liz Truss, he famously said on camera, “We have all been dreading this,” and he spoke for the world.
I mean, can anyone imagine a world without our dear late Queen Elizabeth? And yet now we have to. This is the new era of King Charles III; and what now after such a moving and magnificent funeral of the queen?
Here in London covering this historic event is something I will never ever forget, simply because we are all now living in pure history, and because of that, you notice things you may have not before. For instance, I was in the media pack on Saturday when King Charles III, without prior warning, turned up with the Prince of Wales, William, to thank all the people that queued for hours; a truly uplifting experience.
I mean, here is a man, son of the queen, having to bear his grief in public and without any thought for himself. William looked crestfallen, but again, true showmanship showed that both knew what the crowd wanted and what they had to give the crowd.
And so I was at the Abbey last night to pay respects to a lady — our monarch — who gave her life to the service of others, and I was struck by how she had united us all in death and why for this brief moment we all agreed our best to unite as one.
While the battle over uniforms and non-uniforms for one-time senior royals moved on today, we saw the former royals — known as Harry and Andrew — both attired in morning suits while standing next to King Charles, Anne, Princess Royal, and William, Prince of Wales, as they saluted during the state funeral, which was all very moving.
And we then saw Meghan Markle, the woman who has created so much bad press for the royals and in particular the late queen, receive a good bit of attention as she arrived for the funeral of the queen at Westminster Abbey alongside her husband, Prince Harry. The Duchess of Sussex went for traditional all-black mourning attire as she paid tribute to her husband’s grandmother in London. She then traveled to the service alongside Prince Edward’s wife, the Countess of Wessex.
Throughout the state funeral, Meghan, a mother of two, appeared deep in thought as she sat alongside her husband and his cousin, Princess Beatrice, in Westminster Abbey.
The ex-royal paid tribute to the queen by wearing a set of pearl and diamond earrings she was given by the monarch as a gift for her wedding, and of course, earlier this week, she wore the same pair for the funeral procession to Westminster Hall.
Unlike the Prince and Princess of Wales, Harry and Meghan, who live in Montecito, California, decided not to include their two children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 15 months, in the funeral. They are believed to have remained in California with Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland. Given their ages, they will unlikely know much about their own royal history.
It was announced that Prince George, who had a wonderfully close relationship with his great-grandmother, would be attending the funeral alongside his sister, Princess Charlotte — this was always going to happen simply because as royals they have to get used to such big state occasions, and of course represent the royals on the world stage, which they did with great finesse.
Whatever you read, make no mistake — most British people did not really want Meghan to attend this much respected monarch’s funeral simply because of all the bad hurt and abuse they received via the endless interviews and sniping to world cameras. But as one mole told me, “Harry simply could not have gone through this without her — she is a mother figure, protector and guide, and no matter whatever she says, he needs her now more than ever given his ties with his own family are so badly burned.”
Finally, the future — what can we expect from the new era of King Charles III? Lots of good experiences we are told, but the real future of the monarchy really remains with the Prince and Princess of Wales, and given they are both set to visit the United States in the fall, then this would be the very best test to see just what good hands the future is in. And for the record: no, there is zero chance of Meghan, William, Catherine and Harry reconnecting. Why? Well, the thorny issue of that tell-all memoir, which Harry insists is coming out, but a mole told me this week that he said, “I don’t know what people are worried for as it’s my story and all I have done is tell it.”
Given that we have already seen some elements of his story with Oprah, that is the reason why the royals are worried and why there is no reconnecting.