King Charles was reportedly “dismayed” when he learned his mother had granted her close aide Angela Kelly permission to write a series of books focused on her life with the Queen, it has been claimed. Royal commentator Richard Kay described Her Majesty’s move as “unusual” as he analysed the close bond between the late monarch and her dresser.
In a comment piece for the Daily Mail, the newspaper’s editor-at-large wrote: “Charles was dismayed when Miss Kelly, now a 70-year-old grandmother, was unusually granted permission to author a series of books about her life with the Queen, which were billed as providing a unique insight into the ‘true and lasting connection’ between the two women.
“Although the books were confined to Angela’s area of expertise — namely the Queen’s wardrobe and her clothes — and were largely innocuous, Charles was horrified by some of the informal photographs that were used to illustrate them, including one in which the Queen was seated on a chaise longue with her feet up.”
Mr Kay also reported a source saying the then Prince of Wales’s concerns were focused on “protecting both the dignity of the Queen and the Crown”.
The insider, described as a friend, went on to claim that, since the death of the Queen, the new monarch is even “more determined to defend her reputation and her legacy.”
Miss Kelly first met the Queen and her husband Prince Philip in 1992, while the royal couple was on an official visit to Berlin.
At the time, the Liverpool-born was a housekeeper to Sir Christopher Mallaby, then British ambassador to Germany.
Her Majesty’s stay in Berlin created the opportunity to get to know Miss Kelly who was later contacted and offered a job as a dresser at the Palace.
Three years after she was hired, the talented aide was promoted to senior dresser.
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The close relationship she had with the Queen was exemplified in 2001, when the late sovereign made Miss Kelly her first-ever personal assistant.
As the Queen’s dresser, Miss Kelly was in charge, among other things, of buying what the late sovereign needed for her outfits and designing some of them.
In her second book, titled The Other Side Of The Coin: The Queen, The Dresser And the Wardrobe, Miss Kelly shared a few anecdotes including how she replicated the Honiton lace gown used for decades by members of the Firm for the royal christening.
In the same book published in 2019, Miss Kelly added she also broke in the Queen’s new shoes to make sure the late monarch was always as comfortable as possible.
In an updated edition of the book released in May, the royal aide also revealed she became the Queen’s hairdresser during the coronavirus lockdowns.
The first book written by Miss Kelly was released in 2012 with the title Dressing The Queen.
It focused on Her Majesty’s Diamond Jubilee wardrobe.
Her Majesty’s aide has rarely given interviews, respecting the Queen’s privacy.
However, she once provided a glimpse of her conversations with the late head of state, saying: “We are two typical women. We discuss clothes, make-up, jewellery.”
Miss Kelly was one of the loyal members of the Queen’s staff who was at Balmoral Castle in her last days before her death on September 8.
The Queen reportedly thought about Miss Kelly’s future after the end of her reign, as she is understood to have allowed her dresser to remain for life in her home at Windsor.
On Monday, Miss Kelly attended the state funeral at Westminster Abbey, sitting next to two other close aides of the Queen – Paul Whybrew, nicknamed Tall Paul, and Barry Mitford.
The first served as the Queen’s page of the backstairs for decades and even appeared in the 2012 skit filmed by Her Majesty with Daniel Craig for the Opening Ceremony of the London Olympics.
In 1982, he was one of the first people to provide support to the Queen after Michael Fagan had entered her bedroom without triggering the security.
Mr Mitford, on the other hand, was the late sovereign’s Serjeant-at-Arms.