“White Queen” author and Executive Producer Philippa Gregory, who has built a lucrative career writing historical novels about British royalty, surprised the journalists assembled at the Television Critics Association press tour in Beverly Hills today by saying that, while she is happy that the Duke and Duchess — William and Kate — had a baby, she is “utterly indifferent” to the birth and she believes the child is going to have a terrible life. And if it had been a girl, it would have been worse.
In an exclusive interview with XfinityTV, Gregory clarified her comments, saying that it isn’t the royals who will be to blame — after all she does want to be able to return home, but rather she is commenting on the difficulties that lie ahead because of the intolerable level of scrutiny Prince George Alexander Louis, who is third in line to become king of England, will undergo.
“Basically, we are now all broadcast journalists everywhere we go,” Gregory said. “I think he will face an intolerable level of scrutiny, but I think for a woman, particularly with the issues people have with a woman’s looks, weight and decorum, that would be extraordinarily hard. I think it would be tough for anyone, but worse for a girl.”
Gregory, who realizes that some people will consider her comments to be blasphemy, provides an example of her concerns, saying, “Look at the way people speak about Princess Beatrice and Princess Eugenie. It would break your heart how they are described in the media because they are normal-looking girls. It appalls me how we scrutinize and speak of young women in the media. All women actually, but more so when they are there by virtue of birth, not by wanting to be there, or trying to be there.”
The press has always followed the royal family, but back in the early days of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, she was followed by a very deferential press corps, who took photographs of her in black and white. She wasn’t followed by everybody in the country taking pictures of her with their phones.
“Diana was a principal architect of this open access, but also one of the greatest victims of it,” Gregory says.
“The White Queen” premieres on Saturday, August 10, at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Starz.