“The only problem Carlos III will face is his personality”

What to expect from Carlos III? From London, the specialist in British royalty Marc Roche shares with mrs figaro his analysis of the coming reign and the personality of the new king of England.

Buckingham Palace shook on September 8. With the death of the queen Isabel II, a page of history has been turned. homework to your son Charles now to take charge, and above all to prove his worth. The image of the new sovereign, in fact, has been tarnished for a long time by his chaotic marriage with Princess Diana. However, not everything is a foregone conclusion according to Marc Roche, who has been covering the Windsor news for over twenty years. An expert on the British monarchy, this former journalist for the World He is the author of numerous books on royalty, including The Borgias in Buckingham (Albin Michel)*. From London, share mrs figaro his analysis of the coming reign and the personality of Carlos III. As we say in the UK, God save the king

On video, when King Carlos III loses patience because of… a pen

mrs figaro.- In 2020 you dedicated a book to Isabel II entitled She didn’t want to be queen!. Can the same be said of Carlos III?
Marc Roche.- It’s the opposite. Carlos wanted to be king. He waited his whole life for him and was prepared as no Prince of Wales had been before. The first heir to the British throne, he had access to the monarchy’s confidential information and was de facto quasi-regent during his mother’s last years. This new status of king, therefore, is not unknown to him. He knows everyone: all the heads of state visited him at Clarence House.

As an accredited correspondent at Buckingham Palace from 2000 to 2014 for The world, you yourself had the opportunity to meet the new King of England. What man is he?
I like to recount this conversation I had with him after a banquet with Nicolas Sarkozy. It was March 26, 2008, I still have the invitation card. The tradition is that after the banquet you go to have a coffee in the hall. This is when you meet the members of the Royal Family, except for the Queen. This famous March 26, I am introduced by the “Lord Chamberlain” (one of the high court officials in the United Kingdom, editor’s note) to Prince Charles who says to me in French: “Oh, I heard, Mr Roche, that young French people are settling in London by the thousands because they can find work there. It’s very interesting, isn’t it?” Instead of answering “Indeed”, which would have been appropriate, I don’t know what happened to me and I answer: “Well, don’t complain, you send us all the old Brits who settle in Dordogne and cost social security a fortune!” He didn’t make him laugh at all. After this event, I had to show my credentials.

So he’s a man who doesn’t have much of a sense of humor…
No, Charles is a humorous but one-sided man. He laughs at his own jokes. That said, it’s not much of a compliment to say that. However, he never has a bawdy or hurtful sense of humor, unlike his brother. prince andrew.

The death of the Queen settled the fratricidal fight that existed between Harry and William

Marc Roche, specialist in British royalty

LThe image of Prince Charles has suffered greatly in the media. How did King Charles III’s reign begin?
The queen’s death somehow erased all these scandals. Basically the British are loyalists, they need royalty. So forget everything. On the other hand, Carlos III has committed two failures since the death of Isabel II and that, in my opinion, are significant for his personality: the inkwell and the blotter. Both sequences showed an irritated King Charles, a less sympathetic side of him. It must be said that this man has always been used to everything going well since his youth. It’s his lifestyle that stands out. For me, the only problem that he is going to face is his personality.

On video, what will change for the monarchy the arrival of Carlos III to the throne

Everyone seems to agree that today the princes WilliamY Harrythey no longer speak. But we have seen it in recent weeks: despite the tensions, the two brothers seemed united in mourning. Can we believe in a real reconciliation, promoted by King Carlos III?
I believe that the death of the queen settled the fratricidal fight that existed in recent years between Harry and William. From now on, for the British, there is an order of succession, a hard core made up mostly of Wales. Meghan and Harry no longer play any role in the British monarchy. Worse, Meghan Markle he is hated in the UK for dragging the royal family through the mud. However, Charles III did his best to defuse the conflict and convince the Sussexes to stay in England. He did not fail to have a word for them during his first speech as king. It is not a coincidence.

Princes William and Harry walk behind the coffin of their grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II. (London, September 14, 2022.) Sebastian Bozon / AFP

However, Prince Harry plans to publish his memoirs. Should we fear new revelations?
No. Rather, this biography is expected to lack information about Charles, Camilla, William and Kate. I assume a financial agreement between the Windsors and Meghan and Harry. The specialists I know are even convinced of this. Perhaps the royal family bought her silence. It’s probably not for nothing that Netflix is ​​no longer interested in the Sussexes.

Across the Channel, we heard that Carlos III could reduce the lifestyle of the monarchy. Can we imagine him ending up cutting food for certain members of the royal family?
Now, what needs to be understood is that only the king benefits from the “royal endowment”**. Apart from Prince William, now at the head of the Duchy of Cornwall, which is making huge profits, all members of the royal family depend on the generosity of Charles III. And a priori, the king will be generous with those who work: Princess Anne, the Wessex, the Kent… For the others, who have caused many scandals like Prince Andrew, I don’t imagine that he will restrict their path. of life, but it will certainly impose a code of conduct on them.

*The Borgias in BuckinghamMay 2022, 336 pages, €20.90.

**Please note that the UK taxpayer does not pay the ‘Royal Endowment’. It feeds on the profits of the “Crown Estate”: the lands and real estate of the Crown, the income of which is destined for the British government. In return, the latter returns to the royal family a percentage of the profits generated (between 15 and 25%). The new sovereign also inherits the Duchy of Lancaster, owned by royalty since the Middle Ages, which generates some 25 million euros in private income each year for the British monarch.

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