Jonathan Dimbleby: Charles is different from his mother
8th September 2023

‘Diligent’ Charles ‘works very, very hard’ but was ‘never in a rush’ to become King, friend says – as he reveals why monarch is different from his mother

  • Talking on Good Morning Britain, Dimbleby said Charles differs from his mother
  • READ MORE: ‘I’ll never forget it’: The Daily Mail’s royal experts give exclusive insights and reveal unseen texts as they relive the day The Queen died one year ago today

Friend of King Charles III, Jonathan Dimbleby, has opened up about the monarch on the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing.

Talking to Good Morning Britain hosts Kate Garraway, 56, and Ben Shepard, 48, Dimbleby, 79, discussed Charles’ ‘big transition’ in becoming King.

Dimbleby, who previously wrote Charles’ biography, told the presenters that he was in ‘no rush’ to take the ascend the throne given ‘vast number of endeavors that he was fully engaged in’ as the Prince of Wales.

Nonetheless, the ‘role fits him like a glove’, and while he does not check the polls, Charles would be ‘pleased’ with his reception from the public, one that ‘any politician would die for’.

Reflecting on Charles’s first year as monarch, he added that: ‘He’s very diligent and works very very hard’, but Dimbleby believes he differs vastly from his mother. 

Friend of King Charles, Jonathan Dimbleby (pictured) ,79, discussed the Charles’ transition since the Queen’s passing 

The King’s biographer added that Charles is ‘committed’ and works very hard, but he has approached the role in a different manner from Queen Elizabeth. 

He explained: ‘He’s very dignified in his formal performances, he’s extraordinarily relaxed and informal. 

‘He’s not serene like she [Queen Elizabeth] was’. 

He said: ‘He was never in a rush, he had a huge life before. He was Prince of Wales before and had a huge number of endeavours which he was fully engaged with, so it was a big transition.

‘He must be very, very relieved that he is held in such high regard. I don’t think he looks at polls at all, but we know people think he’s great – polls any politician would die for.’  

Dimbleby supposes that these changes are due to the generational differences between the mother and son. 

Nonetheless, he believes that Charles has succeeded during ‘terribly challenging times’, were the country is dealing with the cost-of-living crisis and global issues including climate change.  

It comes as King Charles paid a moving tribute to his adored mother today as the nation marks the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s death.

In an unprecedented break with tradition, signifying how touched he has been by the country’s grief at her passing but also pride in a remarkable life of public duty, His Majesty recalled his mother’s ‘long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us’.

Initially Charles, 74, had planned only to mark his mother’s death – and his own grief-tinged accession – in ‘quiet contemplation’ at home in Scotland.

In doing so he would follow the same pattern that Queen Elizabeth chose to adopt for 70 years, marking her father King George VI’s death, at Sandringham in Norfolk, away from public gaze.

Dimbleby told Good Morning Britain presenters that Charles is ‘not serene’ like his mother but is still ‘an extraordinary’ man 

But in recent weeks he began to have a change of heart, having been so deeply touched by the global outpouring of grief after his mother died on September 8 last year.

Indeed, the Mail can reveal that the King and Queen Camilla chose last night not to return to their own home at Birkhall on the Balmoral estate as planned, but to remain at the castle itself where Elizabeth died at the age of 96, surrounded by the glory of the Scottish Highlands she adored.

They will remain there today, comforted by some of those who were closest to Her late Majesty, spending tonight there as well, before moving back to their neighbouring estate. A source said: ‘I think it will be of comfort to be surrounded by so much that was familiar to her.’

Meanwhile, the Prince and Princess of Wales are to mark the first anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s death with a small private service in Wales. William and Kate will attend St Davids Cathedral in St Davids, the smallest city in Britain, in Pembrokeshire on Friday. They will also meet members of the local community in the adjacent cloister, including local people who met Elizabeth II during her visits to St Davids.

Hosts Kate Garraway  , 56, and Ben Shepard , 48, discussed Charles’ transition to the throne with Dimbleby 

St Davids has been a site of pilgrimage and worship for more than 1,400 years, since St David – the patron saint of Wales – settled there with his monastic community in the sixth century.

Since the Reformation, one of the quire stalls has been in the possession of the Crown and is known as the Sovereign’s Stall. This makes St Davids the only UK cathedral where the sovereign has a special stall in the quire among members of the chapter, the governing body of the cathedral.

Elizabeth II was the first monarch to visit St Davids Cathedral since the Reformation when she arrived at the site with her husband, the late Duke of Edinburgh, during a royal tour to Wales in August 1955 following her coronation.

In his message, Charles said: ‘In marking the first anniversary of Her late Majesty’s death and my Accession, we recall with great affection her long life, devoted service and all she meant to so many of us.

‘I am deeply grateful, too, for the love and support that has been shown to my wife and myself during this year as we do our utmost to be of service to you all.’

It was signed Charles R and accompanied by a portrait chosen by the King that has never been released before to the general public. The photograph was taken at Buckingham Palace on October 16, 1968, as part of an official sitting granted to the legendary Cecil Beaton – the last he was to ever undertake with Her late Majesty before he died.

It was shown at the National Portrait Gallery the following month but has not been on public release before now.

The King apparently selected the photograph because of the ‘lovely’ – and slightly mischievous – look in the eyes of his mother, who was 42 at the time.

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