William ‘taking over’ from Queen? Er, no, says Palace
Mail on Sunday cover story ‘total and utter fabrication’ says royal family spokesman
The long-serving Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre sensibly took no bonus this year on top of his £1.64m salary, according to the annual report of Daily Mail & General Trust released last week. This was seen to be a smart move, enabling his journalists to carry on being righteously indignant about greedy City bankers without fear of a comeback.
But on another front he has found himself unable to escape an angry response. The royal family is not amused by the cover story of yesterday's Mail on Sunday - of which Dacre is editor-in chief - which claimed that the Queen was set to hand over a substantial part of her public duties to Prince William.
The article claimed that this was to help William "prepare for the day when he becomes King". The report also inferred through the use of headlines such as 'Secret scheme to make Prince the Shadow King', and talk of "speculation" about the future of the monarchy, that the crown might skip a generation and pass directly from Elizabeth to William - although it admitted that "Royal sources strongly discount this option".
By Sunday mid-morning, Buckingham Palace weren't just "discounting" the Mail's theory - they were rubbishing it as "total and utter fabrication".
The Mail claimed to have obtained Treasury documents which indicated plans were being made for new financial arrangements for Prince Charles and his two sons because of their increased public duties.
But a royal spokesman explained to the BBC that while it was true Prince William was gradually taking on more engagements, there were no plans to by-pass Prince Charles. The spokesman said: "Prince William is gradually undertaking more public engagements as he takes on more patronage. However, his focus remains for the foreseeable future on his military career."
Prince Charles, who flies to Copenhagen this week to address the climate change conference on measures to reduce deforestation, can rest assured, it seems, that he will still have a new job to look forward to - one day - when he gets back. ·
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