Anthony Holden: Palace said he would be 'cut dead' if he revealed Queen breastfed Charles
Autobiographer Anthony Holden recently revealed that the Buckingham Palace threatened to cut him dead if he wrote in his book about the Queen breatfeeding Prince Charles. Holden had just finished the first of his trilogy of biographies of Prince Charles in 1979. Before he could hand over the finished manuscript to his publisher, however, he invited Prince Charles to read it. "He was welcome, I said, to make any comments, but the final decisions would remain mine. Despite these insolent terms, he agreed," Holden wrote for the Daiily Mail.
Holden had a meeting with Prince Charles' press secretary John Dauth. He was hoping the meeting would go well as he had requested for the opportunity of a ride in an aircraft with the Prince of Wales at the controls, which would add some glamor to his book. "But it certainly did not start well," Holden wrote for the Daily Mail. "As I reached across the desk for my precious manuscript, on which I could see copious scribblings in the margins, Dauth pulled it away from my anxious grasp, saying: ‘I’m afraid I can’t let you have your manuscript back, Mr Holden. He took it to Sandringham over Christmas and New Year – and they’ve all read it. The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh, Princess Anne… and they’ve written comments all over it.'"
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Holden quoted Dauth as further saying, "As you know, we don’t allow the Royal handwriting out of the Palace. So your manuscript will now go straight to the Royal archive at Windsor, where future biographers and historians will be privileged to pore over it after the deaths of all relevant parties." "He was grinning as he spelt out this last sentence – but I, clearly, was not," said Holden.
Holden found that the scribblings on his manuscript expressed the concerns and dissent of the palace as well as several inaccuracies in his script: 'The Queen has no memory of the incident involving the rabbit, the canary and the corgi'; 'Prince Charles has no memory of encouraging Barbary apes to jump on Princess Anne in Gibraltar'.
"But the real problem came on page 52. I had written: ‘For the first few weeks of his life, the then Princess Elizabeth breastfed the infant Prince," said Holden. When he asked Dauth what in that claim was wrong, he replied, "If you insist on keeping that in, Mr Holden, we will have to withdraw all future co-operation." "But it’s a fact! Are you saying it’s inaccurate? Or that it’s in dubious taste? Or simply that one does not mention the Royal, er, breasts?" Holden had Dauth, to which he said, "I think you could say the latter, Mr Holden." Eventually, however, Holden's request for a personal flight with Prince Charles was successful.
It took years for Holden to finally finish his trilogy. In his words, the "dogged trilogy seemingly consisted of books about three completely different men." "The first was a lonely, confused bachelor, still living at home with his parents as he entered his 30s, while the second was a driven but troubled husband, the father of two sons and two-timing a wife he had never loved," Holden said. "The third was a divorced widower, suddenly looking older than his years, and facing a stark choice between his children, the love of his life and the throne – or, by trying to have all three, threatening the very future of the institution that gave his tortured life any meaning."
The third referring to Prince Charles' marriage to Camilla Parker Bowles. Holden writes: "The Church of England has never crowned a divorced man as King, and so supreme governor of the Church, let alone one who has publicly confessed to adultery – with the relevant woman, also a divorcee, sitting beside him, expecting (whatever the Palace may say in the meantime) to be crowned Queen."