Now I’m REALLY worried.
On Tuesday morning, with just two hours to spare, the Prince of Wales announced that he would not be attending the funeral of the late former King Constantine II of Greece, his godfather no less.
The reason given was “for a personal matter.” Hmm. She was also deflecting the honor of giving a reading.
All of which made me and many others immediately start worrying about Kate.
Twitter caught fire (11,000 posts about William, 47,000 about Kate) with feverish speculation. This is despite the Palace insisting around the same time that the Princess of Wales is “fine”, which sounds pretty silly.
Almost telling us to keep our proletarian noses out.
We have since been assured that the death of Tom Kingston, husband of Lady Gabriella – daughter of Prince and Princess Michael of Kent – was No the reason for William’s absence.
Last photo together: Lady Gabriella Windsor and her husband Tom Kingston photographed on February 14 this year at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Park Lane.
That sad announcement was made several hours after the service, although he was found dead on Sunday.
Bravely, and as proof, if we needed it, that royalty is nothing if not stoic, Gabriella’s parents decided to attend the memorial service.
It was all the more poignant given that the venue was St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where Gabriella and Tom held their wedding in 2019, which was attended by the late Queen.
Gabriella’s parents looked somber yesterday but didn’t reveal anything. They were in the middle of a family tragedy but knew the show had to go on.
Duty: Prince and Princess Michael of Kent at the memorial service for King Constantine of Greece in Windsor on Tuesday, two days after the death of their son-in-law.
The temptation to stay with Ella and comfort her must have split the Kents in two, but royalty always, always put duty first.
Which, of course, only fueled further speculation last night that for William not to show up, something must be terribly wrong.
He has been educated with duty as his motto. Even when he was 15, he managed to stand his ground and walk behind his mother’s coffin.
What could have caused the dramatic last-minute absence?
While most of us have never heard of the late King Constantine, William’s decision not to appear is baffling. The king, who died more than a year ago, was a cousin of William’s grandfather, Prince Philip, and a senior European royal.
Guests included the King and Queen of Spain, as well as Queen Camilla and Princess Anne.
William’s absence was baffling on many levels and I wonder why the Palace allows the rumors to get out of control by not giving us a good reason.
Desperate for news, like so many people, I connect to the Internet. And there, my goodness, my goodness, is a montage that may not quite bring about the end of the monarchy, but suggests that it will surely drive it to irrelevance.
Poignant: Tuesday’s memorial service took place at St George’s Chapel, Windsor, where Lady Gabriella married Tom in 2019. Pictured with her parents, her brother Lord Frederick and his wife Sophie Winkleman.
The photographs of the service were clearly Victorian: so dark and somber and the protagonists – there is no other phrase to describe it – as old as the hills.
Falling apart. There is no trace of glamour, there is no sap in those veins.
Of course, it was a somber occasion, but didn’t the sight of the Princess of Wales in a black veil at Prince Philip’s funeral give hope for the future?
Sad to say, but the actual attendance was mostly gray haired and wrinkled. And Prince Andrew, 64 years old, Prince Andrew! – who led the procession to the chapel. Surely that wouldn’t have happened if William had been present.
The Duchess and Duke of Gloucester, aged 77 and 79. Princess Alexandra was there at 87, Commander Tim Laurence, 68, along with Princess Anne, 73.
And, of course, Queen Camilla, 76 years old. The combined age of the royals in the front row was 581.
Gray heads and wrinkles: In the front row of Tuesday’s service were, from left, Princess Alexandra, 87, her daughter Marina Ogilvy, 57, Prince Andrew, 64, the Duchess and the Duke of Gloucester, aged 77 and 79, Sir Tim Laurence, aged 68. Princess Anne, 73, and Queen Camilla, 76
All of which makes me long for William and Catherine: tall and elegant as reeds, far more glamorous than any movie star.
I can’t begin to understand why no one thought to shoehorn Princess Beatrice (row two) and Zara (row three) into the best seats to increase style and youth.
And where is Lady Louise, Philip’s granddaughter?
Nor did I spy on a single person of color in our royal ranks.
Royal courtiers, of course, will shout “protocol.”
Queen Camilla is holding down the fort, but she too must be thinking: “We really are on our last legs.”
You can imagine the groans of relief when the congregation is allowed to sit down.
Of course, age brings experience, seriousness, wisdom, devotion to duty; Once again, Gabriella’s parents were doing exactly what the late Queen Elizabeth would have done: straightening her back and playing in front of her.
But this does not guarantee a future, much less the positive exclamations of a greeting crowd.
We have never needed William and Kate, and even Harry and Meghan, more – they would be a shot of HRT. It would be all: ‘What are you wearing?’ ‘Are the boys talking?’ ‘How’s Harry’s hair?’
Instead we get: ‘The Duke just sat down, my goodness, will he ever come up again?’
Whether we like it or not, the Royal Family is all about glamour, marketing and spectacle. You can’t seem fatalistic and reek of mothballs. Princess Michael herself has described older royals as “boring” in the past.
Modern style: The Prince and Princess of Wales. Like it or not, the Royal Family is all about glamour, marketing and spectacle, says Liz Jones.
Royalty really looks very dark. Bring back the Fab Four, or even a Fab One.
We really can’t take any more bad news. Prince William must do his duty. Not only for his wife and children, but also for us.