Basis of monarchy collapsed - historian


A CONSTITUTIONAL historian, Mr David Starkey, said the whole basis on which the monarchy was constructed had collapsed with the failure of the royal marriage.

He told Channel 4 News "The monarchy in the 20th century sold itself as a family monarchy. It was constructed on the marriage of the Queen Mother and carried through the abdication crisis and the second World War, band it itself has collapsed."

He said the princess and prince were selling two opposing models for a future monarchy. "We have Charles trying to do the caring, sharing, multi cultural, multi racial thing, which is very worthy but rouses no popularity at all. Whereas Diana is promoting the model of celebrity, which is very effective but also very dangerous, because the people that the media build up are the people it destroys."

In a devastating attack in which he called Princess Diana "the Teflon Princess", implying a shallowness of character, he said that she would never be more than the Princess of Wales.

"She will never be Queen Mother. You are only Queen Mother when you have been Queen Consort. The Princess of Wales will simply be the Princess of Wales. But 20 or 30 years down the line everyone will have forgotten about Diana. She will have joined the list of clapped out celebrities living in California."

The publishing director of Burke's Peerage, Mr Harold Brooks Baker, said any future wife of the prince would be known as the Princess of Wales.

He said "By agreeing to end her marriage in this fashion the Princess of Wales has shown herself to be truly patriotic, putting the needs of monarchy, the nation and Commonwealth before any other consideration.

"In time the wounds that this rift has caused will heal and both parties will be able to concentrate on the issues that interest them most. It may also be that, in time, we will see the Prince and Princess of Wales become very firm friends.