The ‘Sussexes have sparked something so fundamentally incendiary,’ according to a royal author, that it may ‘topple’ the monarchy.
The royal family is going through a strange period. In 2020, Harry and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, stepped down as senior royals. In a shocking interview with Oprah in March 2021, they discussed their experiences at the firm, which did not reflect well on the royal family. Meanwhile, Harry and William’s relationship is strained.
According to British journalist Anna Pasternak, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s stunning allegations might complicate Prince Charles’ succession to the throne after his mother Queen Elizabeth II.
Prince Charles is next in line for the throne after Queen Elizabeth, according to the laws of succession, but some royal experts believe his ascent isn’t guaranteed.
Anna Pasternak, author of The Real Wallis Simpson: A New History of the American Divorcee Who Became the Duchess of Windsor, told Vanity Fair that she feels the British monarchy’s future is more unclear in light of recent events.
Royal novelist Anna Pasternak is skeptical that Charles will succeed the queen because of the present conditions of the family and the firm.
Since his son and daughter-in-law revealed their problems in the royal family with the world, the Prince of Wales’ chances—the longest serving heir apparent in British monarchy history—seem to be gradually dwindling, according to Pasternak.
“The Sussexes have sparked something so fundamentally incendiary in this country that it is changing the face of Britain, and I think the monarchy as an archaic institution may well topple,” she said, adding that, while changing the succession plan appears unlikely, “it may be that there is such a groundswell of public opinion against [Charles] that it’s deemed by the firm preferable for William to ascend then because he’s younger, more relatable,” she said.
According to a YouGov survey conducted in December 2020, two-thirds of Britons (67%) want Britain to maintain its monarchy, while just 21% prefer an elected leader. This was before the Sussexes were interviewed by Oprah Winfrey in March.
Meghan turned to the firm for aid when she “didn’t want to be alive anymore.” She told Oprah that t hey allegedly did not provide her any assistance. In the same interview, Harry and Meghan said that someone in the royal family made racist remarks regarding Archie’s skin tone, but not the queen or Philip.
She also addressed Harry’s comments on his brother Prince William and father Charles being “trapped within their royal roles,” stating that “both sides are like wounded animals.”
“Harry said there’s been an awful lot of hurt. Well, there’s been an awful lot of hurt now on the side of the Windsors from this interview,” the writer explained.
Following season 4 of The Crown, which reminded everyone of his romance with Camilla Parker-Bowles while married to Princess Diana, public perception of Prince Charles took a knock. Not to mention, in an interview with Oprah, Prince Harry stated that he felt “let down” by his father, adding that there was a point when Charles stopped returning his calls.
Prince Charles, 72, has been the heir apparent for decades and would be in line to succeed his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, if she died or abdicated. As the Queen grows older, he has been portrayed as already taking on the role of a “quasi-King.”
All of this, along with the public’s opinion of Charles, may be enough to make William king.
“It may be that there is such a groundswell of public opinion against [Charles] that it’s deemed by the firm preferable for William to ascend then because he’s younger, more relatable,” Pasternak added.
Author Peter York, though, believes that a reunion is possibe, especially in the presence of the Queen.
“The ideal reconciliation will be if, in some way, the queen can engineer it while she’s still around. It would serve the monarchy to show that, as it were, brotherly love, grandmotherly love, had triumphed,” he told VF.
Martin Wiener, Ph.D., a British history research professor at Rice University, told Vanity Fair that without the Queen, “It’d be like, ‘Who wants Charles to be our head? We’re stuck with Charles.’”
Pasternak speculated on the royal family’s future in other parts of the interview, including if Meghan will return to the UK. She stated, “I truly wonder if Meghan will ever set foot on British soil again.”