These “shrug-offs”, the royal reporter suggested, might be an indicator that Charles is not as popular as his late mother, Queen Elizabeth II, citing the star-studded line-up at her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
In a withering account of the tensions within the House of Windsor, which reportedly remains divided following ruptures caused by the Duke and Duchess of Sussexes resignation from the royal family, Scobie told The Independent: “I don’t think that this is the end of the monarchy, but I do think we’ve reached a pivotal moment where it’s perhaps the end of the monarchy as we know it.”
Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival was released in the UK on 28 November.
The controversial book claims to pull back the curtain on royal life in the run up to the Queen’s death. This includes Princess Kate’s allegedly frosty relationship with Meghan, an alleged rift between King Charles and heir to the throne, Prince William, as well as Princess Anne’s reported part in having the Sussexes evicted from Frogmore Cottage.
In one section, he suggests that the new king “just doesn’t have the requisite gravitas” to drum up public – and celebrity – support, adding that his coronation concert at Windsor Castle ultimately “proved a challenge for the organisers” because of the “long” list of acts who turned down the opportunity to perform at the show.
“With the country facing economic crises at home and reputational bruising abroad, large sections of the public are increasingly less tolerant of royal extravagance and family dramas,” Scobie writes.
“Even finding entertainment for [King Charles’s] coronation court at Windsor Castle proved a challenge for the organisers. The list of acts who declined the invitation to perform was long and included Sir Elton John, Harry Styles, the Spice Girls, Adele, Taylor Swift, and Ed Sheeran.
“Contrast that with the line-up for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee: Queen (with Adam Lambert), Alicia Keys, Sir Rod Stewart, Diana Ross, and, more than happy to clear his schedule for Her Majesty, even Sir Elton,” he continues.
At the time of the coronation concert on 6 May, Swift, 33, was in Nashville, Tennessee, for her Eras Tour shows.
Scobie notes that while these refusals “may seem frivolous”, they are also a sign of “something deeper at work”.
“Charles just doesn’t have the requisite gravitas, which is understandable, given he’s spent a majority of his life in the wake of the grand-class cruise ship of his mother’s reputation,” he adds. “In fact, positive opinion of the royal family in the United Kingdom dropped from 68 per cent to 54 per cent within four months of the Queen’s death.
“In our era of celebrity obsession and pop culture icons, if Elton and Harry Styles can’t be bothered, why should we be?”
The Independent has contacted Buckingham Palace and representatives for Swift for comment.
The stars that ultimately performed at the concert included Katy Perry, Lionel Richie, Andrea Bocelli, Welsh bass-baritone Sir Bryn Terfel, singer-songwriter Freya Ridings and classical-soul composer Alexis Ffrench.
An ambassador to Charles’s the British Asian Trust foundation, Perry said she was “grateful” for the invitation to perform at the concert.
“He asked me to sing and it all aligned,” she said. “I was so grateful to get the honour.”
Neither Buckingham Palace nor Kensington Palace have previously responded to the claims in Scobie’s book.