News, Culture & Society

The Queen has responded to the challenges of 2020 ‘with confidence’

The Queen has responded to the challenges of 2020 with ‘dexterity and confidence’ and saw herself as an ‘anchor in a time of trouble’, historian Sally Bedell Smith tells Vanity Fair

  • Sally Bedell Smith predicts Queen’s speech will be dominated by the pandemic
  • Monarch has faced challenges with Covid-19 crisis, Prince Andrew and Megxit 
  • Historian says Her Majesty handled these issues with ‘dexterity and confidence’
  • Says she’s been able to better connect as she communicated over video calls  

The Queen has responded to the challenges of 2020 with ‘dexterity and confidence’, an expert has claimed.

American historian Sally Bedell Smith said despite the multitude of difficulties faced by the royal family this year, the monarch has quickly and efficiently adapted to changes, and saw herself as a sign of stability during the pandemic. 

Speaking to Vanity Fair, the historian praised Her Majesty’s firm but fair handling of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle stepping down as senior royals, and how rapidly she rose to the challenge of attending royal engagements online. 

The Queen has responded to the challenges of 2020 with ‘dexterity and confidence’ and has been ‘measured and swift’ in her responses. Pictured, Her Majesty paying a virtual visit to KPMG

‘The Queen has managed the myriad challenges of 2020 with admirable dexterity and thoughtfulness’, said Bedell Smith.  

‘She has always been adept at moving imperceptibly with the times, following the “Marmite Theory£ of Monarchy. But this year she has not only been measured but swift.’ 

She added: ‘When Covid hit, she seemed to recognise the wartime analogy and positioned herself as the “sheet anchor in the middle for people to hang on to in times of trouble,” as David Airlie, her former Lord Chamberlain, once described her to me.’

Earlier this year, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their plans to step down as working royals, with the Queen agreeing to a 12-month trial period, leaving the door open for Harry to return to the royal family.  

Ahead of their step down, the couple were told to drop their ‘Sussex Royal’ label as the Queen and senior officials were believed to have agreed it is no longer tenable for the couple to keep the word ‘royal’ in their ‘branding’.

Despite the multitude of difficulties faced by the royal family this year, the Monarch, pictured  at London's Westminster Abbey in November, has quickly and efficiently adapted to changes

Despite the multitude of difficulties faced by the royal family this year, the Monarch, pictured  at London’s Westminster Abbey in November, has quickly and efficiently adapted to changes

It was decided that Harry would retain his military ranks of major, lieutenant commander and squadron leader but will not use his honorary military positions. Harry has also remained sixth in line to the throne. 

Bedell Smith called the Queen’s handling of the royal row ‘decisive and firm’ but also ‘humane’, and believed that the measured response is similar to that of Her Majesty’s reaction to Princess Diana’s death in 1997. 

Among the myriad challenges faced by the royal family was the scandal surrounding Prince Andrew’s friendship with billionaire paedophile Jeffery Epstein. 

Buckingham Palace announced that Andrew would be stepping back from royal duties for the ‘foreseeable future’ in November following his disastrous attempt to clear his name in a BBC interview. 

The historian also credited other members of the royal family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, pictured at at Windsor Castle, with stepping up during the pandemic

The historian also credited other members of the royal family including the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, pictured at at Windsor Castle, with stepping up during the pandemic

When the pandemic hit Britain, Bedell Smith claims Her Majesty saw herself as a source of stability for the nation, and once again praised the speed at which the monarch adapted to the challenges the Covid crisis brought. 

She says that much of the work the Queen does behind the scenes goes unnoticed, and that oddly the pandemic has given a deeper understanding of the monarchy, with ‘intimate’ Zoom calls from Balmoral and Windsor.  

Bedell Smith predicted that the Queen’s speech this year will be dominated by the pandemic. 

It is expected to heavily focus on the nation’s response to Covid-19, and will probably see the monarch praise the efforts of all sections of society from frontline and key workers to communities, the Armed Forces and charities.     

She heaped on praise for Prince Charles, who has become more liked since his recovery from Covid in March, and Camilla for her work for those affected by domestic violence. 

The historian also credited other members of the royal family including the Wessexes and Duke and Duchess of Cambridge with stepping up during the pandemic. 

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk