Richard Kay: Actually, Peter Phillips is the Queens favorite grandchild

Richard Kay: Actually, Peter Phillips is the Queens favorite grandchild


I’m writing this up because I don’t want it to be lost in the larger shuffle of royal gossip. On Friday, the Daily Mail published another column from Richard Kay, a favorite of both Prince William and Prince Charles. Kay must have been getting an earful from both Kensington Palace and Clarence House in the wake of Harry’s Today Show interview. Because Kay completely misrepresents Harry’s Today interview, let me just say this – Harry never claimed that he was the Queen’s favorite grandson. He did indicate that they have a special relationship, that he cares about his grandmother a great deal and that he’s worried about the people around her. In addition to all that, he spoke about his late mother and he got choked up describing how he can feel her in his life so much in the past two years. Surely, no one will try to fact-check Harry’s emotions, right? Wrong. Kay is here to inform everyone that William is incandescent at the thought that Harry is like Diana, and everyone knows that the Queen’s favorite grandchild is Peter Phillips.

William is mad that Harry is Diana’s son too: For several years, through a combination of natural diffidence and an unwillingness to make relations with his brother even worse than they already are, William had silently watched as Harry cloaked himself ever more firmly in Princess Diana’s legacy.

William has been trying to invoke Diana’s mother constantly too: If this was designed to halt the torrent of comparisons between the wronged Diana and the son who believes he, too, has been the victim of an uncaring institution, William must have been bitterly disappointed. Harry has barely drawn breath since, frequently invoking his mother’s name with regard to the frustrations he and Meghan have faced, and drawing comparisons between their own unhappiness with royal life and Diana’s. (Although it is worth pointing out that, unlike Harry, Diana, for all her difficulties, did not abandon her country and continued to serve the monarchy.)

Now everyone’s mad that Harry said he & the Queen enjoyed a unique relationship. Of all his recent utterances, it is certainly one of the most breathtaking. Not only does it ask us to put aside the controversy generated by his inflammatory remarks about racism within the Royal Family, it also invites us to believe that of all the Queen’s eight grandchildren, he occupies a distinctive position as her favourite. As one of the Queen’s longstanding staff told me: ‘No longer content to claim a special status with his mother, he now seems to be mythologising his relationship with his grandmother. Would she recognise this description? I very much doubt it.’

The Queen’s actual favorite grandchild: The Queen has always been scrupulous to avoid any accusations of favouritism when it comes to her grandchildren, but insiders insist that if there was a ‘special one’ it would be not Harry but Princess Anne’s son Peter Phillips, 44, her first grandson. ‘She has always been close to Peter and admires the way he and his sister Zara handled themselves as grandchildren of the monarch but without royal titles,’ says an old friend of the Queen. ‘Like William and Harry and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie, Peter and Zara were children of broken homes, but were somehow more exposed because of Anne’s decision that they should not have titles. She thinks Peter especially has inherited the resilience that is so characteristic of Anne. She sees him as dependable.’

Kay disputes the idea that Harry makes the Queen laugh: There is no doubt their ability to laugh at the same things has underpinned the relationship. But the fact is there has been precious little laughter since Harry and Meghan began releasing their ‘truth bombs’ on the Royal Family from cossetted exile in California. ‘She certainly used to worry about Harry, what with his moods and his scrapes, but because, like Prince Andrew, he fought for his country, she has always been enormously proud of him,’ a close figure tells me. ‘She also was always very conscious of his status as second in line to William, just as Princess Margaret was to her. But this didn’t confer any favouritism and after all she has hardly seen him in the last two years.’

[From The Daily Mail]

“Diana, for all her difficulties, did not abandon her country and continued to serve the monarchy” – she would have if she had lived. She would have abandoned that toxic place in a few years. She was already planning her next steps, and her plans did not involve “serving the monarchy” or sticking around to watch Charles establish Camilla as the new Princess of Wales. It’s also worth noting that Diana’s service to the monarchy was basically over too – she was pushed out of her royal patronages following her divorce and she was planning to devote her energy to several core issues, like landmines and AIDS.

As for the rest of it… it’s William, right? William’s mad that Harry keeps reminding everyone of the real Diana, and not the button-covered Diana cosplay of William’s wife. William’s also mad that Harry seems to maintain a warm relationship with their grandmother, and so this is William shrieking “she loves Peter more than you!!!” What a sad, petty man. You know what else is notable? Even in William’s rages and delusions, he knows that he’s no one’s favorite. He’s not the Queen’s favorite, or Charles’s favorite or anyone else’s.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.

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