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  Opinion   Columnists  06 Mar 2023  Kishwar Desai | More royal family drama looming as coronation nears; Jemima shines...

Kishwar Desai | More royal family drama looming as coronation nears; Jemima shines...

Kishwar Desai, is the chair of the Arts and Cultural Heritage Trust, which is setting up the Partition Museum at Town Hall, Amritsar.
Published : Mar 6, 2023, 12:55 am IST
Updated : Mar 6, 2023, 12:55 am IST

Jemima Khan has never been out of the public eye.

King Charles (DC File Photo)
 King Charles (DC File Photo)

It will be coronation time again after 70 years!  London will be the place to be in May. Preparations have begun and the Palace is putting it all in place. So Camilla, the Royal Consort, has already started planning. As it is, despite being a divorced woman and the King’s second wife, she will have her place in the procession. That is a very 21st century innovation. But normally she would walk under a canopy carried by duchesses chosen for the occasion.  Instead she has decided that her grandchildren, all five of them and from her first marriage, will be carrying the canopy. Traditionalists will notice that none of the grandchildren are royal. As a compensation, George, a proper royal grandchild and a future monarch will also figure in the line-up. How they will explain the arrangement to Charlotte and Louis, George’s siblings, is anybody’s guess.

But that will not be the only problem William and Kate will face. Harry (“the Spare”) has asked for an apology for what happened to Meghan and him in London. He is obviously not satisfied with the millions of copies his book has sold. He wants to make more news. At least that will keep the tabloids happy as they can blow that up as big news.

That apart, families are not quite content with just being fed stories of the royal wedding. Other constant pleasures of our lives are under threat, as inflation bites into energy costs. The Sunday roast has become a rarity for families. It is not the ingredients but the cost of roasting anything in the oven which is the problem. Even a dish as traditional as Yorkshire pudding is under threat. Households are starting to use the microwave to cook it. For many —“no-cook” food is not an option.  But others like me will make a daily meal of salads and smoked salmon.

Jemima Khan (Goldsmith as she once was and daughter of a very rich man) has never been out of the public eye. Never more so than when she became wife to Imran Khan. Of course, she divorced him and moved back to London some years ago.

But now she has done something more daring. She has written a screenplay, What Has Love Got to Do with It. It is all about (surprise, surprise) an assisted marriage — or, what we call an “arranged marriage.” Directed by our very own Shekhar Kapoor, it tracks a British filmmaker who is documenting her best friend’s “assisted marriage”.

The film is making waves everywhere — with a star cast that includes Emma Thompson and Shabana Azmi. Jemima, who certainly would know a lot about “arranged marriages” after the time she spent in Pakistan,  said she did not want to ask anyone else to help her with the screenplay — as everyone would give the credit to her co-author. So she has just proved her own many-sided talents.

Indian readers would feel bereft without some news of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. Well, the good news is that he is still there, holding the fort. He has a rowdy political party to keep under control so his hands are full. He has tried after long time to sign what is called the Northern Ireland Protocol. This is the tricky bit of Brexit. Have patience —while I explain.

The UK wants to be out of the EU. But Northern Ireland which is part of the UK has a border with the Re-public of Ireland which is happy to be a part of EU. So goods coming from England or Scotland to Northern Ireland cannot be allowed to go on to the republic without undergoing special inspection as to whether they satisfy the EU regulations. The border however cannot be closed since an international treaty was signed to keep it free. So goods coming across the sea have to be separated as to whether they are for the “republic” or the “province” as we call these entities.  

The Democratic Unionist Party which used to be the friend of the Conservative Party hates the Protocol because it reminds them once again of the divisions within Ireland. They are against any inspection on their side of goods going across the border. Rishi thinks he has squared the circle or jumped over the fence (de-pending on your choice) and fixed the problem.  But the DUP is not happy. In the wings waits Boris who thinks he can satisfy the DUP and the EU. He is trying a comeback even now. As does Liz Truss who says her short tenure was her fault neither, if everyone else’s. She has to be kept quiet. As they say in the House of Commons, your opponents may sit across from you but behind you sit your enemies.

Tags: jemima khan, rishi sunak british pm, king charles