The Plot in this Royal Drama Has Either Thickened or Is Thinning; I've Lost Track

Illustration for article titled The Plot in this Royal Drama Has Either Thickened or Is Thinning; I've Lost Track
Image: Tim Ireland (AP)

Though it seems like 30 years ago, it’s only been two months since the British monarchy made promises that it is was going to take a long, hard gander at claims from a former aide alleging that Duchess Meghan Markle was formerly abusive to palace staff. Since then, Meghan and her husband, some ging named Harry, have told Oprah that the family is racist, the blowback may have killed nearly-century-old racist Prince Phillip, Queen Elizabeth chose to sit alone at his funeral rather than congregate with the lot of them anymore, and now England has declared war on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under for making accurate jokes about Prince Andrew. What a wild 30 years 10 weeks that has left me utterly exhausted, confused, and completely grasping for the thread. It would be just splendid if award-winning English historical fiction writer Hilary Mantel could take over the tale right now to tell me exactly where we are in this narrative. Like midway through book two? The back third of book three? Where, exactly?

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The latest twist in the saga is that the man who alleged that Meghan was a bully, Jason Knauf, is leaving his position as the chief executive of the Cambridges’ Royal Foundation at the end of 2021. What a ride he’s had, and very much one I’d like for Hilary Mantel to eventually chronicle. In addition to being the man who sent a 2018 email alleging that Meghan had bullied two former assistants out of their jobs, he’s also part of the reason Meghan won her copyright suit last week against the Daily Mail for publishing a private letter she wrote to her dad. Per the Guardian:

“Last week Knauf’s “unequivocal” denial that he helped Meghan write a letter to her estranged father helped her win her copyright claim against the Mail on Sunday, which had published parts of the document, a high court judge ruled.”

Knauf’s denial meant Meghan Markle had sole copyright over the letter, which for reasons I would probably skip if this all were a Hilary Mantel book, meant she won. And though Buckingham Palace swore up and down they were going to hire some independent firm to get to the bottom of the bullying allegation, Will and Kate sure are sad to see Jason go, according to a statement:

“In a statement, William and Kate said they were “immensely grateful for his hard work and commitment”, and were sad to see him go. Knauf said working with the couple had been ‘the privilege of my career.’”

Okay, all the niceties are fine but if they don’t behead anyone, Hilary isn’t going to step in and write all down and make it make sense, so send him to the goddamn tower already or even just send a cousin. Just send someone and fast.

DISCUSSION

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Shanderson

I literally just wrapped the Wolf Hall set, and enjoyed the shit out of them. I’m on a kick now, and back to Phillipa Gregory to scratch the itch, but after Mantel it just feels fluffy and gossipy. Anyone have any good recommendations for an impromptu historical fiction thread?