Sara Vilkomerson chatted with Kitty Kelley yesterday for today’s piece on Charles and Camilla’s visit to New York, and, well, one can never get enough of Ms. Kelley. Here’s quite a bit more of their rollicking conversation than we got to put in print:
On American’s being over the royals:
“Americans care so little about this, the British Embassy [...] held a press briefing and put out an all-points notice to press all over the nation’s capital. Do you know how many showed up? Four! Four! Are you kidding me? A church man and a bird’s nest could have gotten four hundred. Really! So that gives you some indication.
“Since the marriage to the Princess of Wales, royalty has taken such a hit. They are no longer figures that you look up to. They really have become imposters in a sense. And Charles, all you have – just the idiocy of either the Prince of Wales or how stupid he thinks Americans are. He – go to Saks Fifth Avenue in your city, he’s selling lithographs of his watercolors. For five thousand dollars! Now, I can buy a lithograph of Chagall for six hundred dollars.”
On how Prince Charles would do as King Charles:
“By the time he becomes King, royalty will be such an anachronism that it will be almost embarrassing.”
The arrangement is said to be that Camilla will be known as Her Royal Highness The Princess Consort upon Charles’ ascension to the throne. But Ms. Kelley claims otherwise:
“That’s what they’re saying now. But she will be Queen. I promise you. She will automatically be Queen. And he would not have her be anything less. It will be his real vindication against his mother, against everybody who stood in his way.”
On the selling of royalty in America:
“I think Charles and Camilla are going to come to the United States and they’re going to organically eat their way through Washington, and visit do-good places and try to rekindle the respect that people used to have for the royalty, when the queen mother came, and King George VI–even when this Queen came shortly after she ascended the throne and Harry Truman was president, but that’s not going to happen anymore. It’s a new world. And this royal family had, they’ve just disgraced themselves to us.”
On Diana and Charles and the press:
“They gave her the crown jewels and they certainly wanted her to conduct herself as a royal, and to look like a royal. But she became too much of a rock star for them. And she so totally overshadowed her husband, and this is a man who has never seen anyone’s back! You don’t turn your back on royalty. You curtsey, you bow, you back out of the room in his presence. Imagine the sense of entitlement! As you can tell, I’m a little opinionated. Anyway, you can imagine! He begins to look at himself as a God figure, which is right, since that is how people treat him. The only leveling process in this is the press. And he despises them. He HATES them.”
On whatever will President Bush and Prince Charles have to talk about down in D.C.:
“WHAT! What are they going to talk about? Global warming? The war in Iraq? [...] I mean you have got people at two opposite ends of the pole. You have a knee-cracking evangelical who sees the world in terms of black and white. Then you have the Prince of Wales who is a ditherer. If there is a gene for dithering, Charles has it. Charles so enraged his mom a few years ago–as Queen of the UK, she’s called the Defender of the Faith. Charles made a public announcement that he didn’t think the monarch should be defender of the The Faith. He thinks the monarch should be the defender of Faith. So that would embrace everybody – he is more inclusive. He felt Catholics were excluded, and that muslims are excluded – which they are in Anglican England but it is an example of how diametrically opposite Charles and George W Bush are.
[...] Prince Charles is a 24-karat-gold schmoozer. Why do you think all those old ladies love him? Oh my dear, he just small talks you. He’ll be very charming. And George Bush once introduced himself to the Queen at a dinner his parents gave for the Queen – not technically a state dinner. He introduced himself to Her Majesty by saying, “Hi! I’m the black sheep in the family!” and the Queen was very good. The Queen was very good. She just said, “Oh, we’ve got a couple of those too.”
— Sara Vilkomerson