King Charles has been described by a biographer as a royal who “clings to tradition” as he is facing a “tricky transitional period”. Among the customs the new sovereign has shown he is ready to embrace is celebrating Christmas at Sandringham.
American royal commentator Christopher Andersen told Express.co.uk: “To at least maintain the illusion of continuity and stability, Charles clings to tradition whenever he can.
“Christmas at Sandringham is one of those traditions.
“The Queen’s absence will be felt, without doubt, and in his annual Christmas speech Charles will pay fulsome tribute to the impact his mother made over her long reign.”
The author of The King: The Life of Charles III noted the monarch had to deal with a “steady stream of cringe-making scandals” just weeks into his new reign.
Among them were the remarks made by Lady Susan Hussey to charity leader Ngozi Fulani at a Buckingham Palace reception hosted by Queen Camilla last month.
The racism row seemingly came to a close last week, when Lady Susan offered her “sincere apologies” for her comments to Ms Fulani, founder of Sistah Space, during a face-to-face meeting at Buckingham Palace.
Mr Andersen added King Charles is also dealing with the “Sussexes’ ongoing barrage of headline-making accusations”.
This month, Netflix released a six-part documentary about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s love story and their struggles with media intrusion.
The programme also included a series of blistering allegations against the Palace and King Charles.
The Palace was accused by Prince Harry of being ready to “lie” to protect Prince William but not to tell the truth to safeguard the Sussexes.
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Calling back to memory the Sandringham Summit – which took place on January 13 2020 to thrash out the exit terms from the Firm of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – Harry also claimed: “It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me, and my father say things that just simply weren’t true, and my grandmother, you know, quietly sit there, and sort of take it all in.”
The last episode of the series ended with the Duke showing plainly how strained the relationship between his family and the royals in England are, as he said: “I’ve had to make peace with the fact that we’re probably never gonna get genuine accountability or a genuine apology.”
Neither Kensington Palace nor Buckingham Palace commented on the claims included in the Netflix programme.
King Charles will likely be bracing for more criticism and claims ahead of the release of Spare, Harry’s memoir, on January 10.
Moreover, Mr Andersen believes King Charles also still has the issue of “selling the public on the notion of Camilla as Queen Consort”.
Clarence House said in 2005, at the time of Charles and Camilla’s wedding, she would not take on the title of Queen upon his accession to the throne, a move likely prompted both as a form of respect for the late Princess Diana and in line with the public’s sentiment towards the now Queen Consort at the time.
However, this statement was ripped up by Elizabeth II who, in a message shared in February ahead of her 70th Accession Day anniversary, said it was her wish for Camilla to one day take on the title of Queen Consort.
Buckingham Palace confirmed on Monday that King Charles and Camilla would spend Christmas at Sandringham and, keeping with tradition, they would attend the morning service on December 25 at St Mary Magdalene Church.
Their Majesties, the Palace added, will be joined by other members of the Firm, raising fans’ hopes some of the royals will take part in a Christmas walkabout following the service.
The King: The Life of Charles III by Christopher Andersen is published by Simon and Schuster.