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Jeremy Paxman’s claim about huge challenge for Royal Family: ‘They have no friends!’

Jeremy Paxman discusses British monarchy in 2007

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The veteran broadcaster made these comments during an interview on an American chat show about his book ‘On Royalty’. The interviewer, Charlie Rose, claimed that some people say, because royals are raised the way they are, they “can’t come out whole”. Mr Paxman asked what he meant by “whole”.

Mr Rose said that, if you are told from the moment you are born that you are special, different, royal and one-of-a-kind, that it might have an impact on you and “make you a certain way”.

Mr Paxman said: “Of course it can! It’s bound to have an impact on you! Bound to have an impact on you!

“And all sorts of subsidiary things too, for example friendship. You and I and all your viewers have friends.

“Friendship is a relationship of equals, in which people are perfectly entitled to turn round to you and say, ‘Charlie, you’re talking bull****.’

“No one can do that. If you have no equals, you can’t have that relationship of peers.

“So it’s all these things that make it very very difficult, and it’s very hard to grow up in that world.”

Mr Paxman also highlighted another significant difficulty for members of the Royal Family: a lack of privacy.

He quoted the Queen’s first nanny Marion Crawford, who reportedly said: “The only truly private period in the life of a royal person is in the womb.”

Mr Paxman explained that the public know royals “all their lives, really”, which is partly why they have such an emotional attachment to them.

Lack of privacy in their personal lives has been an issue for royals for many years, but has come to the fore most recently with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have criticised the press many times and Meghan emphasised in an unaired clip of her interview with Oprah Winfrey that she believes “everyone has a basic right to privacy”.

She insisted that it is about “boundaries” and “respect”.

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She has also recently won a privacy lawsuit against Associated Newspapers.

Meanwhile, Harry said that he feared “history repeating itself”, in reference to his mother Princess Diana, who was hounded by the press at times.

Prince Edward once said: “There is little escape for anyone in the public eye. And for the Royal Family, nothing at all.”

He had his own struggles when he was first dating Sophie Rhys-Jones, now the Countess of Wessex.

Jeremy Paxman discusses royals’ lack of privacy in 2007

He wrote to several newspaper editors, pleading with them to leave her alone, after numerous articles appeared speculating whether they would get engaged.

He wrote: “I am taking this unusual step of writing to you directly in the hope of stopping your reporters and photographers from destroying that part of my life that I am entitled to regard as private and more importantly, Sophie’s life.”

However, Mr Paxman argued that it is exactly this lack of privacy that perhaps endears royals to the public, implying that the monarchy’s longevity may rely on it.

The other reason why the monarchy is so popular and fascinating, he argued, is that there is only one monarch, making the Queen completely unique in her position.

When asked what makes people feel such strong emotion towards the royals, Mr Paxman said: “Of course, it’s partly because there’s only one of them, there’s only one Queen.

“And none of us can ever become a royal ourselves unless we choose to marry into that family, which is unlikely in most of our cases.

“I think there’s that, I think the fact there’s only one of her, that she is in a strict sense she’s unique, and it’s also true of Queen Margrethe in Denmark or Beatrix in Holland or Juan Carlos in Spain, there’s only one of them.”

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