Tina Brown on Harry and Meghan, Queen Camilla and the future of the monarchy

Aall eyes turn to King Charles IIIjournalist and noted royal watcher Tina Brown offers some insight into what kind of monarch the longtime heir apparent is likely to be.

Brown’s latest book, The palace documentspulls back the curtains on some of the inner workings of the royal family.

How would you rate King Charles III’s reaction to his accession to the throne and his mother’s death?

His royal training kicked in fully – both his naval training as an officer and his years and decades spent in grand royal ceremonies had just taught him this impeccable demeanor. Each of his different speeches is both powerful and human. Charles has been applauded with immense love and affection by the British nation over the past few days. In a way, this is the first time Charles has really gotten to experience this.

Read more: The story behind TIME’s Queen Elizabeth II cover

Is King Charles III likely to run into trouble given his climate advocacy and his history of trying to get involved in politics?

Charles knows that the days of saying these things out loud are over. He actually said in an interview, “I’m not that stupid.” And I don’t think he will. He doesn’t need it. The truth is, we know what he thinks about climate change. The other thing that will be very useful for Charles: he becomes king at a time when we have a lot of inexperienced and divisive prime minister [Liz Truss], who has not done this work before and who is not elected from the entire country. So he will actually appear to be the more statesmanlike figure.

How will the king respond to the very public controversy surrounding Prince Harry and Meghan Marklethe duke and duchess of sussex distance themselves from the royal family?

Charles will contact Harry a lot. And I think he really wants to heal that rift. Whether or not the rift can be healed depends more on whether the Duchess feels she would ever want to return to the family.

There is camel successfully restored his image as a queen’s husband now?

I absolutely think so. She has now been married to Charles longer than Diana and is extremely supportive of him. I think he has the look of a guy who’s a little overwhelmed by the enormity of what he’s in now. But she has a natural charm. She will be a queen mother figure to the nation that now looks upon her with some affection.

The two women in Charles’s life who will be most important are Camilla and his sister Anne, with whom he is very close and who will play a role as Valerie Biden plays Joe — a behind-the-scenes adviser to Charles.

We just passed the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death. How do you see Charles’s ascension in the context of this anniversary?

The country will always love Diana and her memory. You will see more and more mentions of Diana during William’s reign, for example, when he took over. But time was advancing. [Diana’s death] it was 25 years ago. Camila is accepted. This is a human family, and what family has not been torn apart in this century? Very little.

There are already rumors that some nations will cut ties with the monarchy. What will this mean for the crown?

Charles fully expects this to happen. He actually takes it quite a bit. He knows that by the time we get there [new heir to the throne] Prince William, sovereign kingdoms will disappear. One of the most difficult challenges for Charles is to deal with the lasting damage of colonialism, for which there are growing clamorous demands.

Read more: The British monarchy helped mortgage our collective future

Is there any chance that the British monarchy will be removed in the foreseeable future?

No, not in the foreseeable future. It’s been 1200 years and they’re going strong. The answer is in the 5 mile queues to see the Queen lie in honour. The monarchy stands above party politics. It is a symbol of unity that unites the country in times of sorrow and times of joy.

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Write to Olivia B. Waxman c [email protected].

More must-see stories from TIME

Write to Olivia B. Waxman c [email protected].

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