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LONDON – Just a few months back, the new Queen Consort Camilla celebrated her 75th birthday with a special TV documentary, magazine deal and the roar of approval from the Great British public. Yet, today, as she headed out toward the crowds of Buckingham Palace, here was a woman drenched in grief who only recently received some terrible news relating to her own family. And now her life has changed forever.
The loving support she gave our new King Charles III was evident for all to witness, but the royal show must go on. And, while we are united in grief as a nation, behind the scenes the wheels are turning fast.
Princess Anne is set for a new bigger role as Charles looks toward slimming and removing, many hope, other members of the enlarged and unworkable royals.
The mood is one of somber sadness, of course, but many people are angry that huge sporting events and concerts and major gatherings have been canceled. The queen, you see, would not have wanted this to happen. She believed in the show going on.
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Meghan Markle is holed up in Frogmore Cottage, where she claimed there was no room to stand. Yet she has a tough choice: face the music of the U.K. public who really dislike what she has done to the royal family or swiftly disappear back to LA.
Whatever she decides, it won’t be easy. She, along with Harry, piled on pressure to all senior members of the royal family of late, hence the reason Harry jumped ship back to London even before his father King Charles.
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Royal watchers have taken note of the very first event where King Charles III held his first audience with Liz Truss at Buckingham Palace, after the prime minister hailed the queen as “one of the greatest leaders the world has ever seen.”
Truss was greeted directly out of her car by Major Johnny Thompson, the man who was specially requested by the queen to sit behind Harry and Meghan at the now infamous St. Paul’s thanksgiving service to keep a swift eye on them. Given his newly found sex symbol status, it’s no surprise he was requested to perform this duty as his devotion to the queen was clearly obvious at previous events.
The bigger scale of the event is that shops, tourist attractions and royal palaces have closed today following the news of the queen’s death as the country enters its period of mourning.
While plans have been drawn up to mark the 10 days following the monarch’s death, many shops and attractions have made the decision to close up shop.
Selfridges, Liberty and Mulberry were among the first shops to announce they will keep their stores closed until Saturday as a mark of respect for the queen, whose death was announced yesterday.
Meanwhile, performances will continue at theaters across the country, but many will dim the lights and observe a moment of silence before opening. Some also plan to play the national anthem and open books of condolences for audiences to sign.
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The rest of the clan await their fate as many hope that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are not welcomed back into royal life. One can only hope that William, who Charles will defer to on many serious matters of the crown, will now have the final word. After all, his next tenure is the one that will really shape the monarchy for the future.
Finally, the pictures of an ashen-faced Catherine driving in Windsor today really said it all – wife, mother and one day queen. For many, she is the sheer definition of a queen in waiting.
I hear also that Tom Cruise has been in touch with senior royals after his spectacular stint on the world’s stage at the Platinum Jubilee celebrations and, of course, the royal premiere of his box office rocket, “Top Gun: Maverick.”
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Something tells me that Tom will indeed be on the guest list for the funeral of our greatest Queen Elizabeth.