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Coffee House The Spectator Podcast

The Spectator Podcast: can the royal family survive its makeover?

22 August 2019

9:00 PM

22 August 2019

9:00 PM

A steady stream of royal scandals has put the monarchy firmly in the limelight this week. Prince Andrew’s suspicious friendship with the late Jeffery Epstein and the continued controversy over Meghan and Harry’s hypocritical bow to ‘woke’ causes have given the royal press office a lot to think about. But is this latest set of embarrassments indicative of a monarchy losing its grip? Why aren’t the younger royals toeing the line? And is there anything they could do that would risk compromising the Queen’s authority?

In this week’s cover article, Jan Moir argues that the younger royals are undermining the gold standard that the Queen has spent 67 years upholding. Whilst these transgressions are bad enough individually, together they create a ‘storm front of bad royal behaviour’. Jan joins us on the podcast, together with journalist and royal biographer Angela Levin. Angela talked with Prince Harry extensively in 2018, and expresses her surprise at Harry’s role in all this:

‘He was charismatic. I thought he was funny; intuitive like his mother, and although he’s not academic I thought he had a really good brain. He could see right through things and – at least I thought – he could see right through people.’


Our second topic puts a spotlight on the government’s no-deal narrative. In this week’s political column, Katy Balls asks whether the government should explain the full risks associated with no deal, or stick to Boris Johnson’s more optimistic message that there may be ‘a few bumps in the road’. On the podcast, Katy asks former Tory MP Stewart Jackson whether the government risks eating its own words by downplaying the dangers. They are joined by Ian Wright, Chief Exec of the Food and Drink Federation and Poppy Trowbridge, the former advisor to Phillip Hammond.

And finally, are your children’s palates more bourgeois than yours? Do they – like Colin Freeman‘s children – request sourdough instead of white sliced bread, and prosciutto, not ordinary ham? And worse – is it all your fault? Katy talks to Colin and fellow Spectator contributor Leah McClaren about their children’s distinctly middle-class food requests, and where they got them from…


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