Smiles and no comment: Royals make first appearances since Harry’s memoir
12th January 2023

Key points

  • Royal family members have made their first public appearances since Harry’s memoir was published.
  • King Charles chatted with well-wishers on a visit to a village in Scotland.
  • Prince William and Princess Catherine visited a Liverpool hospital.
  • Neither they nor Buckingham Palace have commented on Harry’s book.
  • A YouGov poll conducted after the book showed 24 per cent had a favourable opinion of Prince Harry compared to 68 per cent with a negative view.

Aboyne, Scotland: Britain’s King Charles and Prince William made their first public appearances since the release of the monarch’s son Prince Harry’s tell-all memoir and TV interviews in which he made accusations against them and other royals.

King Charles III in Scotland.Credit:Getty

In his book Spare, Harry divulges that he had begged his father not to marry his second wife Camilla, now the queen consort. The book also delivered numerous other revelations, including that elder brother and heir to the throne William had knocked him over during a heated argument.

Harry also used promotional interviews to double down on his claims that some royals, including Camilla and William, and their aides had leaked damaging stories to tabloid papers about him or his American wife Meghan in order to protect themselves or enhance their reputations.

Charles chatted with well-wishers on Thursday (Friday AEDT) but made no immediate comment about the recent furore when he arrived for a visit to the Aboyne Community Shed in a village in Scotland to meet representatives involved with local support groups.

The low-key trip, the monarch’s first public event of the year, was in stark contrast to the recent high-profile coverage of his son’s book, which came a month after the release of a six-part Netflix documentary series about him and Meghan.

Also on Thursday, a smiling and happy-looking William and his wife Kate, who he also criticises in his book, made their first appearances since the memoir’s release, to a hospital in northern England. They too made no public reference to the saga.

All smiles: Prince William and Princess Catherine. Credit:Getty

So far, neither Buckingham Palace nor aides for any of the royals have commented on Harry’s disclosures.

There is no doubting the huge global interest in Harry and what he has to say about his fellow British royals.

Publisher Penguin Random House said the memoir had secured the largest first-day sales total for any non-fiction book it had ever published with more than 1.4 million copies sold in the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

It said more books were being printed to meet demand, with the level of interest coming after their Netflix documentary had also attracted record viewers.

However, according to a YouGov poll conducted after the book was published, the fascination is not reflected in popularity, with his once high favourability score among Britons slumping again to a record low. Just 24 per cent had a favourable opinion compared to 68 per cent with a negative view, the poll found.

Among those aged over 65, he and Meghan were even less popular than his uncle Prince Andrew who has been banished from public life over his friendship with late convicted US sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, and a related sexual assault allegation which led to him settling a US lawsuit.

The royal melodrama does not appear to have seriously damaged the popularity of Charles or William though, although the regular poll indicated that the heir’s standing, and that of his wife Kate, appears to be on a downward trend.

The monarchy itself has also taken a slight hit, with a rise in the number of people embarrassed by it, although the vast majority remained supporters, the survey showed.

British newspapers reported that in the wake of his revelations Harry would not be welcome to attend his father’s coronation in May.

“I’m not going to lie the last few days have been hurtful and challenging,” Harry said earlier this week.

Reuters

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