When King Charles III is in the news these days ahead of his coronation on May 6, the stories can range from charming gifts to controversial profits to the guy’s love of winning big on the ponies. The pendulum keeps swinging wildly from positive to negative press coverage and back as the British monarchy has its first major shake-up in 70 years.
A new report in the Daily Mail about a secret gift Charles gave a longtime member of the late Queen’s inner circle would certainly appear to be a very positive story. But a closer look does raise a few questions, which might lead the more pessimistic among us to feel a little less warm and fuzzy about it all.
This particular story involves Angela Kelly, the former dresser of the late Queen Elizabeth. Before her passing, Queen Elizabeth had reportedly promised Kelly, who resided in a cottage on the Windsor estate, accommodations for the remainder of Kelly’s life. However, after the Queen’s passing, “the dressmaker was asked to vacate her cottage on the Windsor estate.”
But according to the Daily Mail, Charles sought to rectify the situation and hold true to his mother’s promise…to some extent, at least: “A source close to the Palace said that Ms. Kelly had been gifted a new home, believed to be near Guiseley in Yorkshire. It is thought that the King has bought the property, which will revert to the Crown on her death.”
Had that been all the Daily Mail reported, of course, we’d all walk away from this story with but a smile and the slightly perplexing quandary, But why was she kicked out of her cottage in the first place? While the Daily Mail doesn’t answer that question directly, the additional information supplied little dots here and there that paint a picture if you just take a step back and take it all in. Kinda like a Georges Seurat of the slightly scandalous.
For example, immediately after the Daily Mail reveals Charles’s gift of new lodgings, it chooses to describe Kelly thusly:
“While Ms. Kelly was adored by the late Queen, who granted her the right to produce books about her role, Ms. Kelly ruffled feathers among staff and senior royals. Her quick temper even earned her the nickname AK-47.”
Those close to Kelly reported feeling that she had been “…treated badly after such loyal and devoted service and say she has become another victim of the King’s ‘property merry-go-round’” after the ouster.
As for Kelly herself, she’s been vague but vocal on social media, with posts like, “If you love me—I love you! If you support me—I support you! If you hate me—I don’t care!” and “My work phone has been disconnected but hopefully you have this one.…Looking forward to my New Adventures.” Which is the kind of “f*ck ’em” tweet-through-it defiant attitude that would normally make us say, “We stan Petty Queen Angela Kelly,” were it not for the fact that she’s a 65-year-old lady closely associated with the royal family, meaning there’s a good chance she’s got some off-color comments that might pop up later and bite us in the behind for such an endorsement.
And as for off-color comments about Ms. Kelly, we have none directly from Charles’s mouth, although statements that were meant to be positive from Palace sources certainly suggest he didn’t have the most favorable view of her:
“A source said, ‘Angela wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea, but nevertheless, the King had no wish to see her homeless. I get the impression the King just didn’t want to be living next door to her.’
“A source close to the Palace said, ‘The narrative that the King is heartless has all been very wide of the mark. His Majesty has never wanted to see anybody homeless, particularly someone who has been so loyal.’”
So…look, we’re not gonna draw conclusions here. You can do that for yourself. All we know is King Charles reportedly didn’t much care for Kelly, and shortly after he assumed the throne, she was booted from her home on the Windsor estate. Then, after that became public, Charles swiftly but “secretly” (secretly enough that we all know about it) stepped up to supply Kelly with a new home, far away from him.
You know what they say: If it walks like a “panicked gift to cover up a potential PR issue” and it talks like a “panicked gift to cover up a potential PR issue,” it’s probably just a simple gift out of the kindness of a monarch’s heart.
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