Tom Parker Bowles is the Firms new secret weapon, a replacement for Harry

Congrats, British peeps, you’re getting a new princeling and he’s a pale 48-year-old divorced dude with a very sketchy past. Over the past week, we’ve heard a lot about Queen Consort Camilla and how this will be HER coronation too, and she’s insisting that her children and grandchildren be included front and center in the Chubbly proceedings. It’s a signal that Camilla’s long game has come to fruition, and it would not surprise me at all if her adult kids, Tom Parker Bowles and Laura Lopes, are now in line for titles and royal apartments and positions within the Firm. Speaking of, the Times of London had this hilariously obvious piece: “Tom Parker Bowles: the Firm’s new secret weapon? The Queen’s first born is about to gain prominence in the royal family. All signs are that he’s an asset, says Andrew Billen.” Step aside, Countess Sophie – the Windsors have a new secret weapon!

Prince Harry only mentioned Tom once in Spare: Tom appears in but a single paragraph. Harry, angry at press stories about his hunting trip to Germany in 2017, complains that he believes they had been offered by the Palace “in exchange for greater access to Pa, and also as a reward for the suppression of stories about Camilla’s son, who’d been gadding around London, generating tawdry rumours”. Talk about tabloid smears.

Holy sh-t: Now, however, at the coronation in May it seems that it will be Harry who is little more than a face in the congregation. Instead it is reported that the son of Tom Parker Bowles and his sister Laura’s twin boys will have a formal role at the ceremony, probably, I understand, as pages. “The Sussexes,” one royal commentator opined, “will now have to watch on as Camilla’s family steal the limelight, a nation’s hearts and millions if not billions of clicks and likes.”

Tom Parker Bowles is the new Prince Harry: As a royal inexpert, however, I do have one other thought: if indeed Harry is deposed in favour of TPB, it may not be a bad swap. Where the professional spare brings discord, the professional eater brings harmony.

Inclusive royals: The royal historian Hugo Vickers told a paper that the move to include Camilla’s grandkids was indicative of the growing “inclusivity” of the royal family. Socially, admittedly, it may not look that way. Even Sara Buys, Tom’s ex-wife, an English-Zimbabwean magazine editor, would sometimes puzzle over something he said and did, concluding: “It’s a toff thing, isn’t it?” But in Wiltshire they breed hardy, county, down-to-earth toffs. Tom went to Eton but was threatened with the local comprehensive if he did not buck up and do some work. The family ate Sainsbury’s ready meals and Camilla’s signature dish, as recorded in his recipe book Let’s Eat, was roast chicken with a single twist: “My mother insists that chopping off the dangly bit above the cavity and putting it on top of the bird improves the flavour.” Oh, and take it out when it’s done.

What a crazy paragraph: In his youth, he was in any case inducted into the democracy of human pain. He boarded at seven in a paedophile-inclined prep school and then, at Eton, although happier there, endured the press’s vilification of his mother. He was 18 when Diana named Camilla as her husband’s lover; 19 when Charles’s tampon fantasy about his mother became public. Aged 24, he found the press coming after him too. He admitted snorting cocaine at Cannes. It was nothing to do with the pressures of his situation, he has said, “I just loved raving.”

Wow, Giles Coren gets around: “He is not all cloistered. I think he’s seen the worst that the press and the media and public opinion can do to a person and reckons he can cope with everything hereon,” says Giles Coren, who lunches — martinis, two bottles of wine, a Poire Williams to finish — with Parker Bowles at least twice a month. He counts him as not only his closest friend among the restaurant critics (“not much of an achievement”) but a friend to whom he will trust his darkest confessions. “You get an impression of indiscretion but that is because when he talks about his family, he’s talking about the King. So it sounds a bit indiscreet but it never is. He keeps a secret better than anybody. He is incredibly respectful about his stepfather, whom he refers to only as his stepfather, and obviously to the Queen, but he tells funny stories about them and does their voices.”

Tom is still friendly with his ex-wife: “They’re still mates, still tight. They were married young. They were both posh, fun, party people, clever and sexy and funny and naughty and all that. I think that can lead to great fun, exciting marriages and then you have children and things will get a bit more grey, but they’re still great friends. He still stays with them at Christmas. I don’t think he ever went to Balmoral.” Coren believes Parker Bowles’s childhood alone would have been enough to turn someone else “bitter and twisted, which is obviously one of the things Harry must be”. Yet it has not.

[From The Times]

These people can’t help but inflict and project their insanity onto other people. It sounds like Tom is incredibly indiscreet, especially given that his BFF Giles Coren was one of several British toffs confirming Prince William’s affair with Rose Hanbury. It also sounds like Queen Camilla is promoting her ghastly large adult son as a “replacement prince” for Prince Harry. Goodbye, charismatic ginger and hello to a face only a horse would love. Speaking of, my mouth is still agape at this line: “The Sussexes will now have to watch on as Camilla’s family steal the limelight, a nation’s hearts and millions if not billions of clicks and likes.” GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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