A cold war is quietly raging in Buckingham Palace. King Charles likes his palatial suites to be chilly, and has a habit of throwing open windows in midwinter. This is leading to “quite a few battles,” according to royal biographer Robert Hardman. Queen Camilla would prefer things “warm and cosy”, and staff are distressed by the frigid conditions. “If you ever wander around the royal buildings and are wondering where the King is, look for the flapping curtains,” is the sage advice.
Hardman has written a book about the King’s first year in office. Speaking at an Oldie Magazine literary lunch, he praised the new, more informal style of reign. “After many years of writing about royalty I never thought I’d see the words ‘enlarged prostate’ in a palace statement,” he said. The King took the view that he might be able to “do some good” by being candid about his condition, and indeed online searches for prostate treatment went up by 139% last week.
Greeting lines in Buckingham Palace have also become a thing of the past. “Everything’s slightly chaotic,” apparently, but Camilla has some tricks to keep her husband in check during meet and greets. If things are running over, or the King is taking too long speaking to people, “she uses the sharp edge of her handbag in the small of his back and everything moves along seamlessly”.
Hardman’s book has sold like hot cakes – so much so that the publisher has run out of copies. They didn’t think it could rival Prince Harry’s Spare, and were wrong, he told us. It topped last week’s bestsellers, and he didn’t even have to write any stories about “frostbitten extremities”.