The Multiple Disasters Threatening King Charles' New Reign

Shakespeare once said, "Heavy is the head that wears the crown," and King Charles III is quickly discovering that being the boss is harder than it looks. Prime Minister Liz Truss made history when she resigned after serving just 45 days in office, the British economy is tanking, and the king has several personal crises to handle. It's also no secret that Season 5 of "The Crown" has Charles shaking in his boots. 

The new monarch, who took over following the death of his mother, Queen Elizabeth II, is worried about Prince Harry spilling the tea in his upcoming memoir. Don't forget the upcoming Netflix docuseries about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Meghan Markle told Variety: "We're trusting our story to someone else, and that means it will go through their lens." You can almost feel Buckingham Palace's flop sweat.

Unfortunately, the more the palace and Charles talk about "The Crown," the more people want to watch it. Charles has generated tons of free publicity for the Netflix series, resulting in millions of new viewers joining up before Season 5 (via the Financial Times). While Vanity Fair positioned the new king and queen consort as doting grandparents, the Daily Mail claimed the royal couple has a shady history of PR attack campaigns.

In addition to the financial crisis in the United Kingdom, there are multiple disasters threatening Charles' new reign, leading royal watchers to wonder which the new king is most concerned about.

Charles and Camilla sought to smear Princess Diana's name

King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla Parker Bowles began smearing Princess Diana in 1996, according to Express. As Mic Wright's 2018 Newsweek essay explained, "What we're witnessing now is the latest stage of something that started a year before the death of Princess Diana when Prince Charles hired the PR man Mark Bolland and 'Operation PB' — the plan to rehabilitate Camilla's public image — began." 

The sordid details of the PR blitz to malign Diana are outlined in royal biographer Tom Bower's book, "Rebel Prince: The Power, Passion and Defiance of Prince Charles." The tell-all tome details how the future king and queen consort worked with Bolland to defame Diana. In one excerpt, published by the Daily Mail, Bower wrote, "The first hurdle, they agreed, was to demythologize Diana by portraying her as a manipulative hysteric." 

It gets worse. Bower continued, "Since Diana's death, [biographer] Penny Junor had recast her book to portray the Princess as an unbalanced and unfaithful wife, suffering from borderline personality disorder, who had compelled Charles to return to his true love." Charles and Camilla were mortified after "Camillagate," and the 1993 phone conversation ended Camilla's marriage to Andrew Parker Bowles. But, after her infamous "Panorama" interview, the then-prince and his mistress hired the ruthless Bolland to make Diana look bad and themselves look better in the public eye, per The Sun.

King Charles sold out Prince William and Prince Harry to the press

Many royal watchers have forgotten how King Charles also sold out his own sons to the press while trying to rebuild his public image. In 2015, the Daily Beast reported how, less than ten months after Princess Diana died, when the princes were only 16 and 13, PR mastermind Mark Bolland began leaking bad stories to the press about them on behalf of their father. 

The 2015 BBC documentary "Reinventing the Royals" includes interviews about how Charles' chief aide created PR campaigns against the boys. For example, Bolland leaked a story about Prince Harry's drug use and Prince William's first meeting with Camilla, per the New York Daily News. Steve Hewlett, the host of the two-part documentary, explained how "A very bad story for Harry had turned into a very good story for Charles."

Elsewhere in the documentary, Sandy Henney, a former aide to Charles, described PR guru Bolland as a "brilliant manipulator." Henney acknowledged, "Regardless of whether or not sometimes we might agree or disagree with what [Bolland] did, he got the result that he wanted." The new king is nervous about what Harry might reveal in his upcoming memoir as a result. 

In fact, Charles might not allow Meghan and Harry at his coronation, depending on how Camilla is treated in the book. But it sounds like he should be worried for himself too. 

The Crown Season 5 covers 'Camillagate' and Diana's Panorama interview

Royal watchers can't really blame King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla for worrying about "The Crown" Season 5, since their actions during his separation and divorce from Princess Diana don't show Charles or the royal family in the best light. According to Entertainment Weekly, the upcoming season of "The Crown" will detail two of the biggest royal embarrassments ever. 

The outlet reported Season 5 heavily features "Camillagate," when a very intimate conversation between Charles and Camilla was recorded and made public. In the infamous phone call, Charles tells Camilla he wants to "live inside" her pants and that he hoped he could be reincarnated as a tampon. Royal biographer Howard Hodgson told Express, "He [Charles] remains deeply ashamed of the embarrassment that he caused his mother, [and] deeply sorry for the pain" generated by the leaked phone call. 

Dominic West plays Charles in "The Crown" Seasons 5 and 6. He told EW, "I remember thinking it was something so sordid and deeply, deeply embarrassing [at the time]." Season 5 also dedicates an entire episode to Diana's bombshell BBC "Panorama" interview. AP News noted the Princess of Wales's infamous quote: "There were three of us in this marriage, so it was a bit crowded." The Netflix series will introduce a whole new generation of royal watchers to Diana's heartbreaking interview, and it won't make the new king and queen consort look very good. 

King Charles and Queen Camilla's PR is a house of cards

Unsurprisingly, Yahoo News! royal editor Omid Scobie confirmed the British media fully supports King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla's PR campaign. Some royal fans aren't even aware of the scandalousness of Charles and Camilla's relationship timeline but, as Scobie noted, "Talk to straight-talking Brits, and you'll find the sentiment is mostly uninterested or turned off." Moreover, "Recent polls revealed that only 14% of Britons favor Prince Charles' wife becoming queen consort."

Scobie pointed out how Camilla prioritized getting the British media onside. As BBC royal expert Peter Hunt wrote, in an essay for The Spectator, "Camilla has been canny. She's kept the media close and the Daily Mail even closer." Further, per BuzzFeed, Charles and Camilla hired a former Daily Mail executive as their new communications secretary, which could be an issue since Prince Harry and Elton John have joined forces to sue the Mail's parent company. Harry's upcoming book could derail their PR blitz, though. 

Despite articles claiming both Harry and his older brother Prince William like the queen consort, Insider shared how Tina Brown alleged in "The Palace Papers" that the princes never warmed to Camilla. "They tolerated her at best," Brown claimed. But it doesn't sound like she tried very hard, either. According to Brown, "In his early thirties, Harry was still complaining bitterly to friends that Camilla had converted his old bedroom at Highgrove, Charles's Gloucestershire estate, into an elaborate dressing room for herself."