Richard Fitzwilliams is such a staple when it comes to royal watching. The British public relations consultant and commentator is a lover of film and an even bigger lover of the British royal family! He talks to Kinsey Schofield of the To Di For Daily podcast about how Hollywood’s obsession with the royal family often strays from accuracy and sometimes lacks the most important aspect… the perfect leading lady.
Kinsey Schofield: Richard Fitzwilliams, thank you so much for talking to To Di For Daily. I’m Kinsey Schofield! I have probably watched your royal commentary… I mean, I don’t remember how old I was when I started watching your royal commentary but you are just a staple to me when it comes to getting the gossip and getting all the goods on the royal family! But what I love about you is that everything you say is coming from this really brilliant PR perspective. It’s not catty. Where it’s coming from is ‘Strategically they failed here’ or ‘Strategically this is a win.’ So, I’m so excited to have the opportunity to talk to you!
Richard Fitzwilliams: Oh, that’s a very kind introduction, Kinsey! You know, royalty has fascinated me ever since I was a child. I grew up with a picture of the Queen on the horse Burmese saluting the photograph at Trooping the Colour above my bed. My parents were monarchists and very, very keen on the institution. And also, you know, I was brought up with a love of it or love for the tradition and the ceremonial and also what it means not only the power it has, which isn’t considerable these days, but the power it denies to others in an era where we’re so disillusioned with so many of our politicians. And I mean, there’s nothing new about that. But we have, for example, as well, you know, the Queen and exemplar and all things and I mean, talk about her dedication to duty and a lifetime of service. It’s truly remarkable.
But it is fascinating… also going back over the centuries. I mean, you had some superb monarchs and you had some shockers, of course… and then also how fascinating I find to see younger people today so interested in, for example, Henry VIII or Elizabeth I, or Queen Anne or King George III because you can see films that feature them, which is so interesting. And I do think you know, the debate about The Crown, I’d be very interested to know what you think of that. This has been quite a staple of British television and film fair recently and also films like say Helen Mirren in The Queen… Very interesting. Almost a docu-drama, holds up well, quite controversial, but dealing with part of our history. That’s almost part Diana’s death… it’s almost part of, I would say, almost a mythology really?
KS: Okay, well, I’m glad that you mentioned how important the royals have become to film and television because what I wanted to reach out to you about specifically was… I’m fascinated by this comparison: Robert Pattinson in the new Batman to Prince Harry. Can you explain that to me? I would have… personally watching the film, which is beautiful, and I loved it… I would have never ever thought ‘That’s Prince Harry!’ But after I heard your explanation, I thought ‘Oh my God! Is it?’
RF: Well, put it this way. I think it is Director Matt Reeves. And I must say… I think they’ve made a wonderful film. I’m not a superhero fan on the whole. Black Panther was the one exception before because it tapped into African myth and legend. And here with The Batman – I find myself two hours and 56 minutes gripping at my seat. I’m fascinated by the way… I would say that the comparison is a little bit mischievous perhaps but there is a certain relevance. After all, Batman, aka Bruce Wayne… I mean… the Waynes were one of the two major families that built up Gotham City. And it’s with this in mind… the fact that his parents, of course, the tragedy there… the murder… that this is something in Bruce’s past. And, of course, Prince Harry and we mentioned Diana and we think back as to an extraordinary outpouring of grief that occurred there in the country too. But the fact that he was traumatized by it and also still is and has frequently referred to his struggles in this regard. The fact that he’s trying to help others with mental health problems but also that he’s grappled with his own. When we first meet Bruce, and of course, the Riddler in this movie is the super villain and indeed, knows how to infuriate and tantalize Batman because with the first murder… which is very dramatic… I don’t want to say things for spoilers. This is a movie that relies so heavily on the impact of very, very surprising visuals. Even a car chase, for example, can be impressive. I mean, I really, really, I liked it. And I’m a film critic, as you know, in another one of my interests… but this idea that the Waynes and Bruce Wayne particularly… he isn’t active in civic duties. The pressures on him are very considerable to be active. And at the beginning of the movie, and of course, he has Alfred, who’s there to take care of him and trying to help and so forth. And of course, he’s served his parents. But is there anything in the Wayne background that could be perhaps a bit suspect?
I mean, of course, as the film progresses, you will definitely find that there is. And to what extent is, or has Bruce Wayne withdrawn and when he visits… there’s a certain funeral early in the film… and when he visits or attends the funeral… and this is a scene that you will not forget… he hasn’t been out and about performing civic duties for some time. So, there is… with tragedy in the past, and with the pressures of civic life, and the pressures also of being rich and established… you can see, of course, that he might feel a bit trapped. That was this that Matt Reeves said to Robert Pattinson, ‘Think when you’re thinking of Bruce Wayne, think of the British Royal Family.’ And then you know, you might get a certain inspiration for aspects of the character. You could say it’s a little bit mischievous. But also, it got to have got a headline in the Daily Telegraph here.
KS: No, I thought that that was really interesting because as I watched it, and you’ll maybe be familiar with this because you are a film critic. But to me, I wondered how much of it was Robert Pattinson because he seemed so reluctant… He seemed so against celebrity when his star really blew up. So, then to hear you describe the similarities to Prince Harry, I thought you know what, that really does make sense because I truly think that if Prince Harry could just be a soccer dad in Montecito, California, he would. You know, I don’t know if he enjoys all the attention that he gets. I think Meghan might enjoy it but I don’t think that Prince Harry necessarily does.
RF: I think it’s a very interesting question because I think he was brought up to be… well as it were… the spare… he knew he would never be a future King. But I thought… and I wrongfully thought that he was satisfied with that sort of role. There have been a lot of suggestions among royal commentators, that in fact… Harry didn’t like being regarded as the royal wild child and a bit of a joke… and wasn’t quite as at ease with William as we thought. But in my view, both brothers were inseparable. And there’s no doubt that one of the tragedies is that they’ve taken very, very different roads. And I see no, no rift being healed, unfortunately, because what you’re looking at now is a memoir that Harry is writing that’s coming out in the autumn now. The problem is what is going to be in that book. It’s very difficult after Oprah, which is just over a year ago, and I thought it was so destructive, and also open to different interpretations. And they were full of inaccuracies, in a lot of it. As the Queen said, so well, although there was very little she could say the damage had been done… ‘Some recollections may vary.’
KS: What do you think we might get out of that book? I’m specifically wondering if he might be critical of Camilla becoming Queen Consort.
RF: That is what is thought because it’s very hard to see without exacerbating the feud, the rift with his father and his brother… and also if he were to criticize Catherine, I think that would be very ill-judged! But then I think… to have a memoir bringing it out this year… I mean, it’s obviously commercially linked. But you do wonder what Harry and Meghan are doing when it comes to commercial matters. Spotify paid a lot of money, reportedly, but they’ve only put out one podcast. And Netflix, there are a couple of series coming out or at least this film about the Invictus and Meghan has a series. That’s not that much. They haven’t had any public speaking engagements as far as I can see… the way they might do. It doesn’t seem… of course the birth of baby Lili in the past year… but they haven’t done a great deal. They’ve made certain speeches and comments in support of the causes that we know they have been helping… and some of them excellent. The facts of the matter are, of course, I thought that… I’m sure you did also… they’d be wonderful as members of the royal family and giving it a contemporary edge. A very different feel something that appeals to younger people and also around the Commonwealth and the wider world. But of course, this was not to be. And the problem with the attack, if it is intended about Camilla, this is what the speculation is that it might be, I think it would be very harmful. But I do think the Queen… who was so so right to solve this problem… which has always had a question mark over it… and in the case of Prince Charles ascending to the throne… this thing where she was supposed to become Princess Consort… which has no historical precedent at all! And you’d actually have to have an Act of Parliament passed here and in the 15 realms and the Commonwealth for her to have the title, which hasn’t got any real meaning! So in fact, it was always meant to smooth over the feelings of those who, of course, couldn’t forgive her for what they believe she did during the marriage to Diana.
KS: Yeah, I actually was surprised at how many people I saw really supportive of the Queen’s statement. I thought I would see more pushback. But I’d say that the majority of the reaction I saw online was supportive towards the Queen with the Camilla statement. Maybe it’s just because I’m in the states and the states… because of The Crown… the states are still very critical of Charles and Camilla… almost… I would say directly because of that, that show, reintroducing us to that scandal.
RF: Very, very interesting point. You will have seen Camilla meeting her younger self and Emerald Fennell this week.
KS: So cute. I love that.
RF: I mean, I’m a great admirer of Emerald Fennell. I mean, she was responsible for Promising Young Woman… which I thought was absolutely brilliant. And I thought she gave a very good performance as Camilla in The Crown. But of course, as you know, it took Diana’s side, as I think people expected that it would. But we’ve also got 20 more episodes to come. And I mean, this is going to deal with the 1990s and that was a catastrophe… as you know… for the monarchy. As a result, you are going to have a series that further… it’s going to be tough viewing for those of us who firstly don’t like the inaccuracy which so characterizes some of it but despite the production values… I think there should be a disclaimer myself, just to remind people, this is fiction.
KS: I mean, that is a great point, because I do think too many Americans accepted it as fact because it’s just close enough. And so they accept all of it as fact because they can Google something and see ‘Oh, he did cheat on her. So this all must be true.’ What do you think about Olivia Colman‘s performance as the Queen? Because I’m under the impression that the Queen is a much nicer individual. I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her but I don’t like the roughness, the toughness, and just the… I don’t know, she just doesn’t seem like a sincere person you could go to talk to. To tell that you have problems. Just you know, I understand that the Queen might be uncomfortable talking about those things, which Diana kind of laid out in some of her secret interviews. But I don’t think that she is oh, this brick wall that she seems to be in The Crown or in The Queen, which is, you know, by the same man.
RF: Well, it’s interesting because there is a fascinatingly complex attempt by Peter Morgan… who is a Republican… he regards the monarchy… he’s said it openly… he’s very good at writing about it and also mixing politics and royalty, which it does superbly. But here we go. (Inaudible.) And if you look at the way… for example, in The Queen… Helen Mirren played someone who, firstly, she cared about her grandchildren, and also there was in Diana’s death, there was no precedent. She was reliant… it’s true on Tony Blair…but also she didn’t want to or didn’t feel she wanted to have the press and what she would have considered public opinion… which had been risen to unthinkable levels across (Inaudible) in Scotland and Balmoral. She doesn’t. She’s told what’s happening in London, and what’s happening in London requires a different response. She eventually gives in and when that happens, that diffuses things. There was a human level that I thought that performance communicated. I thought it was very well scripted and you had good supporting performances. Helen Mirren… although we didn’t know what the Queen thought of her performance… she did ask Helen Mirren for dinner to Buckingham Palace. Helen Mirren couldn’t go but she felt that this was an indication that her performance might well have been appreciated.
So to your point about The Crown‘s concern… and I do think this is very serious. The first two seasons of The Crown…. I thought (Inaudible) disgraceful episode about the Duke of Edinburgh‘s sister… which was a total invention… there was a tragic crash… which she and her child died in the 1930s and in The Crown… the series implies that Philip had a certain responsibility for her being on that plane… which is complete rubbish. That was very, very cruel, but that apart, it was fascinating the way politics and the royal issues were mixed up. It was superbly acted with Jared Harris as George VI, coughing blood into a laboratory… well, of course… in the first scene, so we know he was ill. Which, indeed he is. But you’ve got a wonderful cast… Alex Jennings… as the Duke of Windsor, John Lithgow, American actor as Churchill. A sublime performance. And what you’ve also got is Claire Foy as the Queen… which I thought worked so well… didn’t you?
KS: Oh, I loved her. I thought she was just so enchanting.
RF: And exactly, and here’s the first impact I had with The Crown. On the one hand, we had Claire Foy who was shy, rather conservative, rather cautious. After all, she was only 25. And she was dealing with the likes of Churchill and then afterwards the disastrous Anthony Eden but it was a fascinating… it hooked you… it was a fascinating glimpse at the corridors of power, and it all worked so well. And what I hadn’t fully realized… was the fact that Olivia Colman, I think you’re absolutely right. It’s the third and fourth seasons, because although some of it was amusingly scripted or somewhat entertaining episodes, such as Princess Margaret‘s and Lord Snowdon‘s visit to the vulgarian Lyndon Johnson at the White House… sort of thing. Facts were… Olivia Colman was rather cold, coarse. The royals are portrayed as… The Queen has dignity, she has charm. I have had the honor of meeting her and indeed it’s very, very important to notice that she’s not someone who would look down as Colman seems to. The role not only lacks dignity but it’s a crude… it’s rather a crude interpretation. She was the wrong person and Claire Foy was the right person. But also the royals are portrayed as a sort of mafia. They’re snobbish. They’re very bad mannered. Look at the way they behave to Margaret Thatcher when she goes to Balmoral. No one would behave like that! In fact, one might or might not like Thatcher… that’s not the point! Having seen the audience, also with Helen Mirren, about the Queen’s audiences with her prime ministers, and this was on stage… Thatcher was the villain there and Thatcher was always going to be, played by Gillian Anderson, the villain here. But it’s simply not only inaccurate, much of it, and rather cruel. Prince Philip is always a bit of a layabout and someone who’s always discontented and someone who’s always got a roving eye and so forth. That becomes a bit tedious and Matt Smith and Tobias Menzies both do their best but it’s not much of a role. And quite honestly, Josh O’Connor as Prince Charles… I mean, he’s so utterly useless… you wouldn’t allow him to run anything much less The Prince’s Trust – which has helped, as you know, over a million people, young disadvantaged people, so he can run things! Vanessa Kirby, I thought very good as Princess Margaret on the first couple of seasons, and most certainly, Helena Bonham Carter‘s hilarious, but the third and fourth seasons I thought was… they were cruel. They distorted fact. But also… perfectly obvious when Peter Morgan said that certain ways you can play around with facts sometimes you must always not desert the truth. I don’t think he… so long as his anti-monarchist message got across… and remember by then it got 75 million people when Netflix released the figures from the first couple of seasons watching. I don’t think he minded. I think the monarchy will not look forward to the remaining two seasons.
KS: I know! I wanted to know, did you interpret that last episode as Prince Philip threatening Princess Diana? Because I did and I thought… this is a dangerous path to go down.
RF: I did interpret it as a form of a threat. And that’s the way that Diana, very well played, I would say by Emma Corrin, and I thought that she handled the role superbly as an actress… just as Emerald Fennell was very good as Camilla Parker Bowles. So you get an impression of an ingenue. But someone who’s perfectly well aware that she’d love to snare a prince and someone who, of course, when they go to the antiquities, and she realizes she’s really got pulling power and she begins to realize it and the marriage is a sham. Charles was portrayed too negatively. Yes, I did think that was a form of a threat but not in the sense that we’re going to see anything particularly uncomfortable in that area. You will recall Mohamed Al-Fayed always made the most bizarre and horrendous claims about Prince Philip and Diana’s accident. No, no, we won’t get that. And I think also The Crown would have to be very, very careful the way, obviously, it deals with the notorious Panorama interview, which, as you know, was obtained with such duplicity, and had such disastrous fallout.
KS: Absolutely, yeah, no, I’m interested to see that. But I do think that… and I hate, I hate to even bring this up. I hate the conspiracies. But I do think that the more animosity there is towards the royal family in the States… And that exists because of that Oprah Winfrey interview… I just don’t think people cared about the royal family in the States until that Oprah Winfrey interview, obviously, Meghan helped to reignite this interest in the royal family and it was positive. But I don’t think that Americans really had a, you know, a player in the game. I don’t really think that they had an opinion about it until the Oprah Winfrey interview. And now that people have decided that they’re on Harry and Meghan’s team, those terrible, ugly, yucky conspiracies are coming back around. And so when I saw it at the end of The Crown, what felt like an exchange what felt like a personal, you know, perhaps a threat, I thought, please, please don’t go down this path on this show, because I just don’t want to do anything to encourage that. You know, there was a driver that had too much alcohol in his system. She wasn’t wearing her seatbelt. She was at the wrong place at the wrong time. You know, let’s just accept what the facts are. She was being chased by photographers. So, I’m glad to hear you say that you don’t believe that we will hear any of the conspiracy talk on the show.
RF: Absolutely. It’s very, very important about the facts in mind. I’m convinced that The Crown… when it comes to telling parts of it straight, they’re going to fiddle around with a level of drama. But remember, they are an anti-monarchist message, I’m afraid. It’s perfectly clear now. And also, they’ve also got a decade in the 1990s, which was a disaster for the royals. It’s well worth remembering, however, that by 2002, and the Guardian newspaper was predicting people wouldn’t turn out other than perhaps those who remembered (Inaudible) for the Queen Mother, or there would be little interested in the Golden Jubilee and look how wrong they turned out to be. So, I do think that come June, we’re going to get a wonderful set of celebrations that will be a blaze of color, it will bring rejoicing to a nation that’s had two tough years of… so many others have… with a pandemic. And of course, at the moment we’ve got a brutal war going on in Europe as well, you know, so it’s it is a very difficult time. And this will be something that I think that… where the monarchy will seem… will be a symbolic of national unity. Where you’ll be celebrating an absolutely unique achievement. The Queen… 70 years, I mean, no one had managed that before. Queen Victoria, of course, had her Diamond Jubilee and she was elderly and frail at the time. In fact, there was a service held in the front of St. Paul’s and the carriage pause for a while and then she went in for a drive and so forth. Look at the amazing robustness of the Queen. It’s true her health has been a little unkind recently but looking positively, I’m sure she is looking forward to it.
No, no, no regarding as a setting in Britain, you don’t have discussion or much if any discussion about conspiracies. But it’s absolutely true… that obviously, of course, Diana, as you know, is always in the news. There was the unveiling of the statue earlier this year, next year, as you say, the 25th anniversary of her tragic death. And also, of course, Harry’s book will deal with that period. To what extent it deals with Camilla Parker Bowles, as she was then, we will have to wait and see. But his intention of writing a memoir… coming only in the next year after Oprah… I do think that it’s made it very, very difficult for members of the royal family to talk to him to say anything to them. Might get Gayle King or Omid Scobie to repeat it. It’s happened before. And then of course, looking forward, you might find the conversation in the book and you might find the conversation perhaps wasn’t exactly what you said. Who knows?
KS: Okay, I have to ask a petty question, because you said something during the, during our conversation about The Crown and this question just keeps knocking me in the brain. Do you think that Fergie is feeling excluded? Do you think that Fergie wishes she had more involvement in the production or that she was a character? Because in both Spencer and in both The Crown, she is such a background character. And that’s not the way it was in real life. I mean, she truly was Diana’s, you know, kind of a partner in crime for a while.
RF: Oh, she was indeed, and of course, fatefully fell out with her…
KS: Well, you shouldn’t write about warts on your feet. Okay? We don’t want to hear about that! Neither does Diana!
RF: That’s true! Absolutely true. It’s very, very sad. As far as Fergie is concerned, of course, I don’t know that she would wish to be a character in The Crown. She loves publicity. She loves any form of show, but that’s let her down very badly in the past, you know, and of course, you think back in the 1990s. I mean, are they going to show the toe sucking episode? I mean, it was extraordinary. She was staying at Balmoral, of course, all the papers were spread over in the tables with a family to come down and they came down and they look what they saw. And the Duke of Edinburgh had views – which I personally sympathize with. It is said that subsequently, he would never appear in the same room or wish to be in the same room or indeed particularly the same house, I think, as as Fergie. Of course, she has remained very loyal to Andrew. There’s no question about that. He’s in total disgrace. It’s been a disasters period for him. Indeed, I would say international disgrace. I mean, his interview with Emily Maitlis in Buckingham Palace where he showed no remorse for Epstein‘s victims and, of course, more for his friendship with Epstein. It was a disaster of Krakatoa proportions! The entitlement is absolutely bizarre!
So would Fergie wish to be in The Crown? She might very well be. I suspect that she isn’t really interesting enough to be and she would not be pleased about that… but then she was a disaster as a royal. And all I can say regarding the various children, 3 out of 4 have been divorced, but the scene where the Queen actually has to have an inquiry brief her on her children before she sees them all… I mean… that is one of the scenes in the quite recent season of The Crown… and that is an absolutely ridiculous scene. Obviously, that implies that she doesn’t know her own children and that’s just daft!
KS: Yeah, absolutely. And what did you think about Fergie’s Queen Victoria movie? I’d specifically like to know your thoughts on the casting of Emily Blunt because I think she’s absolutely precious. I don’t know if I would have ever thought of her as Queen Victoria. But I did like her in this movie.
RF: Yes, I agree. And I think I mean, Fergie did have something to do with that film. I think she was involved in the production or one of the producers or some such. I thought it was rather charming film with a very, very sympathetic look at Queen Victoria. Reminding us… and this is so important, I think, and people have realizes this since the Diamond Jubilee of the Queen, because we’d started that to look back on Queen Victoria’s life. Apart from this, this image of this puritan, mandamus, didn’t care for parties… and of course, is very prudish – I mean, there was that side to her – but she was in mourning for the rest of her life after Albert‘s tragic death, as you know. But on the other hand, there’s no doubt that you know, she was very vivacious, lively, sometimes absolutely impossible and temperamental young princess and of course, she loved sex. She was full of fun the way she did up Buckingham Palace, the ballroom and so on. I mean, if only Albert had lived because of course, this is one of the world’s greatest royal romances. And Emily Blunt… I thought was perfectly cast as Victoria. Indeed, there was a very good series, albeit, stretched out a bit. A little. It was BBC and ITV on Victoria too. I think that with Judi Dench‘s performances… with Billy Connolly particularly in Mrs. Brown and also Victoria and Abdul where Judi Dench was superb. That was the older Victoria and it humanized her. And it also showed where John Brown was so important because after Albert’s death, Victoria went into this depression becoming a form of a waxwork. She wouldn’t participate in her royal duties or appear in public and she needed somebody to move her out of it. And the rough, gilly John Brown, superbly played by Billy Connolly… there’s wonderful scene between the two of them because there was a love of (inaudible) there. It’s probably most unlikely that they were physically consummated but no one has seen the journals of the period, I understand. And there are all sorts of rumors of what could have gone on. Was there a keepsake of John Brown’s placed in Victoria’s coffin, sort of thing? It’s very, very interesting. There’s a scene the two of them where Victoria played by Judi Dench says to John Brown, played by Billy Connolly… very, very sensitively… ‘I cannot live without you.’ By live, of course, she means… having some sort of advisory and having some sort of, you know, being a complete person because she had almost become a museum piece.
KS: Yeah, no, that’s beautiful. You are so blatantly honest about your reaction to the movie Spencer. And I was much more delicate in mine. Because… well… if I’m being honest, I was trying to interview Kristen Stewart. So I was being a lot nicer thank you were! But I’d love your response to the movie Spencer.
RF: Well, the director of Spencer made Jackie and when you make a film as successful as Jackie with Natalie Portman… and that was absolutely fascinating because you could see how Jackie Kennedy had created this myth of Camelot after her husband’s death and how successful it was and the movie really, really scored. So that’s why I was looking forward to Spencer. I thought it would be intelligent but equally, it was a vision, but a vision of an individual. And Diana, of course, was at its center. And it was an imagining of what happened in that final Christmas and, of course, without giving out any spoilers… it rather over imagines. The original poster was showing Diana throwing up in a laboratory bowl and that’s a curious poster. Equally, if you swallow pearls then that is what might happen, which is what she does! There are a few gimmicks in this movie which simply don’t work. Well, that’s one of them. A second gimmick is to have the ghost of Anne Boleyn keep appearing beside her… it’s really not necessary. I mean, whereas you could argue that symbolically, that is what happened to her… it certainly doesn’t work. It’s very, very stiff and starchy as as a concept. I thought it was, I wouldn’t say… I’d said it’s a bogus concept because it wouldn’t work. And I got the impression that it was a personal film. It’s always a personal take, you have every right to that… his own imaginings. But it simply didn’t work. And the reason I thought it didn’t work work: Kristen Stewart looked like Diana… to be sure. But if your voice is wrong, she was just too breathy. And if you feel somebody isn’t convincing and you get the wrong… the wrong tone, so to speak, even if visually it’s quite effective enough… and they’ve got some rather good bit parts, including Sally Hawkins and Timothy Spall as you know, top British actors. Without spoiling it climatically for anyone, I would say that the last sequence involving a shoot really, really… this is unsubtle stuff. What you’ve got is a tragedy and it was playing out then and as you were saying, the Morton book was soon to cause enormous shock because this is something that had never been done. And there is no doubt that metaphorically, it was a very, very difficult period for her and this was… what was at the heart of the film. I think one of the problems though… with that film… is that it did lack drama! Because you have these ideas… the pearls… Anne Boleyn’s ghost… the way they play up for the shooting scene… but not much happens. It’s supposed to be a film about Kristen Stewart, how she plays Diana… but how interesting is it? We had dramas a plenty to come. But this was a two star to five film and I mean with that, I think I’m letting my own views about what happened in one way or another impinge too much. As a drama, Jackie was five stars, but Pablo Larraín can do better. It was a rather, glossy in a sense, because obviously, you have the same visuals of the countryside… and it looked quite impressive. And so that’s not difficult. But what the heart of the film was Diana… and she looked the park. Yes, but it wasn’t convincing, because if you’ve got the wrong speech. The person doesn’t convince and it’s stilted and this was stilted.
KS: Absolutely. Alright, one more question and I’ll let you go! As a PR expert. What advice would you give Prince Harry and Megan Markel, based on everything that’s happened today?
RF: You know, they have enormous potential and Time magazine made them one of their… I think they have seven covers for that top 100. And they were one of them. Now, Time believes that they’ve got the Netflix and Spotify deal and there’s all sorts of rumors that Megan might choose politics. It’s also a question of whether or not Oprah… and it’s inaccuracies… and some of the the half truths in that… might one day come back to haunt her – if she did. And also it’s an open question whether or not the American public would like Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and like the title. There’s huge question marks… and I appreciate totally the work that Harry wants to do for Invictus and mental health, the work that she wants to do for those… also for mental health, the disadvantaged, for persons of color and discriminate against discrimination, and so forth to help women and women’s rights has been part of the parcel of what she wanted to do. To what extent that actually – the next year… the next few years are very important. Because America, if she wants to go into politics, America, as you know, has some form of gerontocracy, for obvious reasons. But Presidents Biden and Trump as examples, not to mention Chuck Schumer to Nancy Pelosi, so, you she has plenty of time. How will she use that time? What advice I would give them: I would say so far as she’s concerned… we know that she’s close to her mother. We know that the rest of the relationship with her family, partly through no fault of our own, are disastrous. But also she’s created a rift with the royal family. Or at least worsened by Oprah and certain other statements and bits of behavior and certain other statements and also behavior in some fields. They clearly are resentful, but if they wanted… or whatever future they wanted, they completely unpredictable in my opinion… Don’t keep knocking the British Royal Family or, or should I say don’t keep knocking your family, which it is! They have a very destructive side and Oprah showed that very clearly. So my advice… they’re always talking about freedom and positivity, which is excellent! But there’s no positivity if Harry produces a book which is going to cause harm in the Jubilee year to the Queen. So… if you talk positive, it’s high time they acted positive when it came to the royal family.
KS: Great advice. Oh my gosh, Richard, thank you so much for talking to me today. I look forward to seeing you again on my TV since I do so regularly.
RF: Oh, that’s very kind, Kinsey! And it’s been lovely chatting and I’ve much enjoyed it.