Transcribe your podcast

Heads up, like all good interviews, this one has a lot of swearing. From London. I'm Brooke Zefram and I'm Marysia Skidmore's, and this is Even the Rich.


Over the last four episodes, we've been revisiting our series on Diana and Meghan, and I got to say, I'd forgotten how sad the whole saga was. Yeah, I built this whole Tiaro closet for nothing. You mean you didn't already have a tiara closet? How bizarre.


I, on the other hand, have ample space for my nonexistent jewels.


Isn't playing make believe the best? Make believe is definitely better than thinking you've found your fairy tale only to have it turn into a nightmare. A lot of the story of Diana's tragically short life is really just about unrealistic expectations.


First comes love, then comes marriage, and comes a horrifying tabloid disaster.


I know, right? But believe it or not, even on the second time around, we still didn't manage to fit in every juicy detail of Princess Diana's life. There are a lot of lingering questions and surprising details we had to leave on the cutting room floor. Luckily, we now have the chance to dig into some of them with none other than Michael Hobs. Michael is a senior reporter at Huff Post. He's also one of the hosts of the podcast You're Wrong About, which recently wrapped its own fantastic series about Princess Diana.


Michael's research for that show led him to some very interesting conclusions about the role of the royal family.


But don't worry, we're going to ask him the big questions to right. Like what was up with that revenge dress and what he thinks about the crown.


And does he worry about Prince Charles posture, too? Oh, this is going to be so much fun. This holiday season, give exclusive shows, early access and ad free listening with one Dary plus, my husband loves podcasts probably more than anyone else I know. So this year the choice is easy. Visit one to replace Dotcom, to receive ten dollars off an annual membership to share the gift that keeps on giving one dary. Plus, it's a wonderful gift.


Hey, Michael, thank you so much for joining us today. We're really excited to have you. Thanks for having me. Before we get started, can you just explain the premise of your show? You're wrong about to our listeners.


Yes. Luckily, we have a very descriptive title. It's basically all the stories that sort of in the back of your mind, you think you know them, you're like, oh, I think I remember something about Amy Fisher, like, wasn't she the worst? And like, she killed a bunch of people. And then we go back and we're like, actually, what you remember is kind of constructed from bad media representations and not from her own actual experiences.


And we go back and we're like, what actually happened here? And is Amy Fisher the worst? Or is she potentially like a misunderstood person who did something really dumb but also was like a human being in the midst of a complicated situation? So that's just one example. But I mean, we sort of wish that there weren't so many stories that we could include in our show. But it turns out a lot of historical events are not widely understood and we have to go back and retell them.


Yeah, you've also tackled a lot of serious topics on You're Wrong about the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, Human Trafficking Stonewall. Why did you decide to take on the story of Diana?


I mean, this was basically just like me in the middle of quarantine. And I you know, I'm a reporter for her post. I often cover her like child sex trafficking and Kuhnen. And it was just like a huge bummer. And I just thought, I just need something like light and easy, you know, eating disorders, no suicide attempts, something like that. And then I picked Diana and I started reading. And of course, it's like a much more serious story than I thought it was.


But I think it's nice to tell these human stories that have their complications. But like within the parameters of like it's not as bad as the real world right now. And that was it basically came about because of my own human frailty.


And I think for us, yeah, now in a lot of ways, Diana is seen as something of a secular saint. But you're wrong about really tries to demonstrate that she was, you know, just a person dealing with an impossible situation. And like you just mentioned, we touched on Diana's eating disorder on even the rich, but we didn't spend much time on her mental health struggles. And that's something that you address at length on your show. Why do you think that information is critical for audiences to have as part of how we understand her now?


I mean, I think that we all like complex stories and we like stories of humanity and what makes people people are their faults and, ah, the difficulties that they have and the things that they overcome. And there's something very sort of, interestingly, fish out of water of Diana being like a relatively normal person, at least compared to the royal family and being thrown into the deepest possible end imaginable, like all this insane protocol and like 32 Forks and the Belmont test and everything else.


And I feel like there's something very relatable about the fact that, you know, she it basically triggered or what we think happened is that it triggered her eating disorder. It triggered quite deep depression. It triggered all kinds of other you know, there's all this speculation online of like what mental disorder she may or may not have had. But it's clear that she was having real struggles. But those struggles, I mean, just hearing about what it was like for her and the insane world that she went into, it's impossible not to be like, well, yeah, like I would go nuts in that situation, too.


Yeah. Yeah, sure.


I feel like what a lot of people don't seem to know is that Diana had a pretty rocky childhood and I'm including myself in that her parents were very emotionally detached and she wasn't raised with a lot of affection. How do you think that affected her expectations for her marriage to Charles?


I just think she didn't know on any level what she was getting into. I think she did. The thing that a lot of us do where it's like you meet a guy and he's nice and you kind of paper over the other stuff, you know, this family seems a little weird and like he has this weird job, I guess, but like, whatever. He's cute and he's rich. And it's this very like all of the information is in front of you, but you don't draw the sort of obvious conclusions from it.


You don't really think through the implications. I think one of the central themes of the royal family in real life and in the Crown is that they don't know how deeply weird they are and how absurd their entire situation is. Like we're bringing somebody into this insane, like protocol, dense, rule bound society, but we're never going to, like, sit them down and be like, look, we are bananas. You need to know the parameters of our bananas.


And it's like, I'm going to walk you through it. Here's like who you curtsy to first. And here's like how all these rules work. And here's the chairs. You're not allowed to sit in like they never really did that. And so I think Diana, very understandably, was just sort of charmed by this like handsome, charming guy and this kind of weird family and just didn't think like, oh, this is my job for the rest of my life and I cannot escape this.


Then it is a constitutional crisis. Yeah. I try to get divorced and leave this family, much less kids, which of course provides us entire other. Level of complexity, so I don't think any of us would have understood what was really involved in joining the royal family at age 19, so young.


So you just mentioned their ages. They got married when Diana was just 20 and Charles was 32. How much of that do you think factored into their problems in their relationship?


So much. I mean, she was a young 19 and he was an old 32. Yeah, that one of the most interesting things about his childhood is the fact that he really didn't get along with any kids his own age and he was bullied at school, which is always really interesting to me because you'd think all the kids would want to be his friend. But it sounds like he was really ostracized by other kids his age. So for most of his life, he spent it a preparing to be king and B, hanging out with a bunch of old people.


So I don't know what the cultural references would have been at that time, but I imagine hanging out with somebody who's 32 now and is like really into like Perry Como and like Frank Sinatra and like Clark Gable, all of his cultural references are like the cultural references of old people. And then you've got Diana, who is yet 20 when they get married. You know, she was a high school dropout. She had never really lived on her own.


You know, her parents bought her an apartment in Kensington. She had some sort of odd jobs, but she had never been financially independent. She had never really had an adult life. So she's also just super shuttered and like kind of traumatized by her, like weird cold childhood. And then you really the only thing they had in common was the fact that they both had these, like, parallel crappy childhoods.


Well, then, do you think there was ever a universe in which Charles and Diana could have worked? I mean, they both desperately wanted affection and validation, but they salvage their marriage that they communicated better or were they always doomed?


I think they could have done it. I think the problem was there isn't like this sort of weird generational liminal space between an arranged marriage and a love match, because, like, there's there's an aspect of an arranged marriage, obviously, but then there's also aspects of a romantic relationship. And they could never quite figure out like where they were on that spectrum. And the central problem to me seems to be that they were just they were very different, but they never, like, leaned into their differences.


So, you know, Charles was never particularly good in front of cameras. It wasn't a particularly charismatic speaker. He wasn't great at, you know, visiting hospices or visiting homeless shelters. And she was great at that. Yeah. But instead of being like, honey, you're good at this. I'm good at the behind the scenes stuff. I'm good at raising money from, like, odious billionaires. So, like, why don't you go to the homeless shelters and like, I will go raise money for the homeless shelters behind the scenes.


So, like, you have your thing and I have my thing and we team up and then we sort of reach our mutual goals. But neither one of them were mature enough to do that. Like she thought that he was really lame for not being able to do that stuff. And he thought that she was really frivolous and ridiculous, were like, why are you wearing outfits and stuff?


So they weren't mature enough to see like, this isn't really a romantic match, but we can make the marriage work by just like parenting together. That was one of the only things that they did well together and also just like having separate spheres.


But I mean, I do think that it was doomed in the sense that it never would have been a love match, like they never would have been in a functioning romantic relationship, but they could have been in like a reasonably decent professional relationship, which is what a lot of those royal marriages are.


You know, I don't know. It sounds like if you're wrong about ever doesn't keep going, you could make it as a couples consultant.


I mean, I just wonder because you're right, because so much of, like, relationships can be like partnerships. And there were a lot of opportunities there for sure.


I also think I mean, pop culture gives us so few examples of like mature conflict resolution. Yes. And like, yeah.


You know, because conflict, like, you know, what we see on, like, Real Housewives are like any any fictionalized portrayal of relationships. It's like this banana's reality show contestant behaviour where just everything escalates. Yeah. Because mature conflict resolution is super boring. It's like I feel hurt when you say this. Oh, I'm sorry, sweetie. I didn't know.


So we're not supposed to scream and throw drinks. Is that what you're trying to tell me? Because I didn't get that message.


OK, I always think about the Real Housewives thing where she's like you, Beest, like that's supposed to work. Right?


OK, so I want to talk about Charles and Camilla for a second. In particular, tampon gate. Can you explain to our listeners what that was?


I was not a fan, so I mean, I feel so bad for them at the point where this phone call, this salacious phone call, quote unquote, salacious phone call was surreptitiously recorded. They had been, you know, having an affair off and on for like fifteen years. At that point, they were very comfortable with each other. And I really I don't think any couple who has been together that long, I don't think any of their dirty talk or even small talk would like hold up if it was attracted to.


This level of scrutiny, like I'm 100 percent sure if you recorded me and my boyfriend talking on the phone like any conversation, we would say just ridiculous to each other because you have like a sort of shared common language. Sure. And so, you know, that conversation, it's a long conversation, a lot of sexual logistics. It's like, whose house can we have sex in this weekend? What about David? What about Lori? So that stuff is mostly boring.


So that always gets cut out of the transcript. And there's this brief period where they're like, it's hard to think about them being like hot and heavy, like it's obviously the wrong term. Yeah, but but they're talking, you know, in this sort of sexual logistics, it's sort of like I miss you. I miss you, too. And like, as it does, it sort of escalates. And at one point he says, you know, if I just lived in your panties, this would be so much easier.


And then she's like, well, like a tampon. He's like, do you betcha? You know? And I thought it was kind of cute. I don't know. I mean, yeah, there's this there's this thing, if you like, people see other people's, like, dirty talk and we sort of pretend to be shocked by it. Yeah. But it's like I've had dirtier conversations and that I think a lot of people have dirty conversations and that and so I just feel like I can't talk shit on their dirty tongue unless somebody talks shit on mine in case one of mine ever leaks.


Like, I'm just going to be magnanimous about this just in case.


Can you just give us an example of one of yours so we know. Yeah. We got to come here. I have the transcript next to me. Perfect. Perfect. Well, reenact it like we did even it. But you're basically saying this talk was actually an example of mature conflict resolution.


I mean, it kind of is. And it's it's an example of like what Charles really wasn't getting at home, which is not the sex stuff, but just like someone who likes him and someone who he likes, like they're teasing each other. At one point Camilla is saying like, oh, you're going to deliver a speech tomorrow. I can't wait to read it, like, you know, do you mind sending me the transcript of the last speech that you gave?


And that's something, you know, one of Diana's real faults was that she never, like, nourished Charles's intellectual hobbies. Yeah. He was someone who I think wrongly considers himself an intellectual. But like that is something that's really important to him. And part of being in a relationship is like finding out what other people are passionate about and like giving them what they want.


You know, like you're someone who thinks that you're giving really good TED talks and like a lot of your doctor, like bordering on eco fascism and overpopulation and all this bullshit, but also like we're in a relationship and sometimes you just got to be like, that was a great speech, honey. I don't think he ever got that. And, you know, Diana never got that either. Like, neither one of them were capable of recognizing what the other was good at.


And that's so toxic to a relationship. Yeah, really. I don't know your love language, you know. Yeah, Partan. OK, Brooke, it's time to talk about our sponsor ring. That's right, it's the holidays, a.k.a. Doorbell's season, the busiest time of the year at your front door. And that's definitely true at my house right now, there are more deliveries than ever. And now even fun little surprise drop offs from friends and family.


And with ring, you can keep an eye on all of this hustle and bustle no matter where you are right from your phone. If someone stops by or something's going on, ring lets you know. And with a ring video doorbell, you can see and speak to whoever is there from anywhere. They've also got indoor and outdoor cams, plus their ring alarm, a powerful, affordable whole home security system. You can easily install yourself. Now, this holiday season, we're not traveling at all.


So we're not seeing our parents, but they are sending gifts. And my mom has like this whole system down for how to send us gifts without us seeing what's inside. So it's really convenient because she's worried that we're not getting them. So she's always checking in with my ring doorbell.


I'm able to see exactly when they show up so I can put her mind at ease.


And for a limited time, your mind can be put at ease. Go to ring dot com forward, slash rich for special holiday offers.


That's ring dot com forward. Slash rich. Tech entrepreneurs are in an all out race to cash in on our collective addiction to social media. It's a fight that started in Silicon Valley that's now gone global. Hi, I'm David Brown, the host of Wonderings Show Business Wars. We go deep into some of the biggest corporate rivalries of all time. And in our latest series, we track the war between Chinese and American startups as they duke it out for our eyeballs.


But tastes are fickle. Join us for Tick-Tock versus Instagram. Listen on Apple podcasts, Spotify or listen ad free by joining Sundari Plus in the Wonder App. Now, a lot of us have lifetime movie associations with the idea of royalty, we think glamour and we think fairy tale, but as you say on you're wrong about, you look at royalty and you think human rights abuse. Tell us what you mean by that part.


This is my own stuff because I worked in human rights for 11 years. So I'm definitely coming to this with my own personal baggage. And I also think because people have, like, yelled at us like my email inbox and they're like there's other reasons for the royal family to be abolished. And like, yes, like we all know the debates. We all know the reasons. Like there are you know, these people are not democratically elected, blah, blah, blah.


We all know the reasons officially why the royal family should be abolished. And I agree with most of them.


But also, I think it's just worth noting that this is totally indefensible on a personal level, that none of these people have any choice in what they do in their lives. Like if it was any other family that was being raised and the government just said like, no, no, this is your job. You have no freedom of movement. You have no freedom to choose your role. You have no freedom to quit your job ever. You have to do this for us.


Like we wouldn't accept that. Right. It's it's really only the money and the privilege that makes that acceptable. And again, I think there's this, like, performative naiveté where we're like, oh, how could they possibly be sad with a lot of money? Like, do you know anyone with money? Like money doesn't make people happy. Like, again, there are other and better reasons to get rid of the royal family. But it's also just it's totally indefensible as a thing to do to people like none of them can do anything else with their lives and they're all really miserable.


So in our series, we talked about Meghan's emotional ITV interview where she admitted it was really hard to be in the royal limelight. Diana herself seemed to have a very love, hate relationship with the press. Michael, can you speak to how much the limelight made her life difficult, but also allowed her some measure of control over her situation?


I don't think any of us truly understand what it's like to have literally up to 40 photographers following you everywhere. Yeah, and to the extent where, you know, we all have sort of hardships in our life, but you get the sense of like you can kind of take a break from them or you can go in your house and be away from them, like Diana literally couldn't go anywhere or do anything in public ever without this phalanx of journalists following her around.


And a hugely, I think, debilitating thing for her was the fact that she couldn't trust anybody around her. Like at one point her therapist sells her story to the tabloids.


Wow. So can you imagine someone ask, oh, my gosh.


Therapist that all of a sudden it's like, oh, the things that I told my therapist are now in the goddamn newspaper.


Oh, that's mean that, you know, we talk a lot about how Diana was really paranoid and Diana didn't trust anybody. And she had this idea that people were spying on her. And it's like, yeah, they objectively were like her phone was bugged and like people were literally following her and people were selling literally selling her secrets. You know, she was crying or she was having a bad day or she was walking around the palace in sweats or whatever.


Imagine if, like, your worst habits showed up in the newspaper and the entire country was talking about them a couple of days later. So, like, yeah, of course, she was petrified.


You have to be paranoid about it.


So in that note, something we weren't able to cover about Diana's story was her Panorama interview with Martin Bashir, which only happened because he lied to her. Can you fill us in on what happened to get her on camera? Some of our listeners probably don't know the full story of that.


You know, Martin Bashir, this journalist who was like kind of a nobody at the time, he got in touch with Diana, I believe, through a mutual friend or like his cousin or something. Somehow he got in touch with her and he worked on her for months trying to convince her to do this interview. And one of the things he did and the BBC has admitted this, that they got one of the graphic designers at the BBC to forge a check to make it look like one of Diana's employees had been selling her secrets to the tabloids.


Wow. And this was a real like as I mentioned, this was a real thing that happened. And so Bashir told her, I believe that it was like one of my contacts at MI6, one of my national security contacts, which he did not have. Like, that was a lie.


And, you know, I mean, he was playing on her paranoia, right? He was he was exploiting something, you know, a very real fear of hers. And like as a journalist, like I've done things to get people to agree to interviews, but like, I've never done that. Like a straight up lying to somebody to get them to do an interview is like really bad.


And the BBC had an inquest originally about this, I believe, in 1996 or sometime reasonably short after the interview. And they determined that he had forged the checks, but they hadn't affected her decision to do the interview, which I think doesn't absolve him of moral responsibility at all. Like I broke into your house, but I didn't steal anything. Yeah, it's not bad to break into something. Yeah, right. This is not that difficult. Do you think that Diana would be.


Remembered as fondly now, if that interview hadn't happened, I mean, that interview was a nuclear bomb. Yeah, British culture. I mean, you know, for a lot of people, they talk about it as the first time they'd ever heard her speak French because she was always this distant figure. She was always, you know, she's on the cover of magazines. She always looks so amazing. Right. She's so radiant and she's always in this designer stuff.


It was the first time that she just talks about herself in this ordinary way and she talks about her relationship in a way that a lot of us can relate to. And she talked about her bulimia and she talked about her suicide attempts in like a really moving way. And, you know, they talk about how diagnoses of bulimia in the U.K. spiked hugely after she started talking about it. And, you know, I've done work on eating disorders for various articles over the years.


And one of the most sort of affecting things when you have an eating disorder is finding out that you're not alone and finding out that what you're going through, like what you thought was this deep, dark secret is actually a pretty standard component of an illness that other people have. And you can start to talk to people about it. And a lot of people really saw themselves and saw their struggles and Diana and it humanized her. And it's also very interesting that it had exactly the opposite effect on the royal family, because they have these absurd, like, you know, 15th century social mores about, you know, you're never supposed to reveal anything about yourself to the public.


And they're like, oh, this mortifying woman speaking about her struggles. And of course, that's what everybody likes about her, is that she's human. That's what the royal family hates about her. Yeah. Yeah. And so this to them was like the last straw, like, oh, let's get this woman out of our lives. Like she's this nutcase who's talking about mental illness on the airwaves. That to me perfectly illustrates the break between the understanding of the royal family that the public had versus the understanding of the royal family that the royal family has.


Like they have the completely wrong idea about their own jobs. Right. Also, can I give you guys a fun fact?


Yes, please do. Because you know, her like her makeup in that interview is iconic, right? Like this is what everybody talks about. It's like very smoky black eyes.


Yeah, yeah, yeah. Because it was done under such a veil of secrecy. Her press team didn't even know about it. The palace didn't know about it. The BBC hid it from their own board of directors because they were so afraid of the royal family would find out to kill it.


She did her own makeup. So like that. Look, that's like a Diana look.


I think it's fun that that is really fun.


Speaking of Diana looking amazing, which we know she was an icon. We didn't get to talk about this too much on our show. We teased about it a little bit, but we were fascinated by the story of Diana's revenge dress.


Yes. Why was this little black dress such a huge deal? Can you just tell us why it was such a media sensation at the time?


I mean, part of it, just like she looks amazing. Let's. Oh, yes, that's right. It just like a knockout outfit. And I mean, part of it was, you know, it's this encapsulation of how she became much better at dealing with the media throughout the course of her life, that she wore this to a art gallery opening on the night that Prince Charles was starring in a BBC documentary about himself. Right. And he had spent 18 months working with the BBC and they followed him hunting.


And he was like doing his little TED talk shtick. And he thought, like, man, I'm really like I'm really going to endear myself to the British public. Like, this is my big coming out. And then Diana originally wasn't going to attend this event, but when she found out that this BBC documentary was airing, she's like, oh, fuck this, I'm going. And so she puts on this, like, banger of a dress and she shows up and all she does is like, get out of the car, shake some hands.


Like, she doesn't really do anything. But then Prince Charles gets the newspaper the following day and what's on the cover, not him. Diana, she deliberately did this to take the spotlight off of him. And he's like, I'm finally going to like be this like special person for the British public.


And she's like, look at these shoulders and no one cares about Charles Petty. Diana is my favorite. Diana I seriously love.


So, I mean, yeah, the dress itself. I mean, I don't actually know that much about fashion. I think it just like looks great. Yeah. And I think she hadn't appeared in public for a while. I think it's less about the actual dress and more about, you know, her going to the opening. And she hadn't done very many public events that year. But all I know is that the dress looks amazing.


Oh, great. So do you think Diana changed what we expect from royalty? Did she force future royals to become celebrities?


I think it's interesting because in some ways she profoundly delegitimized the royal family because everybody could see how terrible they were to her and how terribly they reacted to her death and house or cold and obsessed with protocol, et cetera. But on the other hand, she was a member of the royal family and she was really popular. And so in some ways, that ends up entrenching the royal family and it actually makes it harder to get rid of the royal family because you're like, hey, some of them are cool.


And so I don't know how much of that sort of bounced off and ended up improving the standing of the royal family generally. I mean, I think she changed the nature of celebrity or she was emblematic of a change. It what people want now is authenticity. People want messiness on some level, you know, we want people to express who they are. We want people to be themselves. And that was something the royal family never really got. But I do think that, like the next generation of the royal family does get that on some level.


Michael, you mentioned that a lot of people were really upset about how the royal family didn't really speak out after her death. Can you talk a bit more about the public backlash about that?


Well, so after she died, they basically didn't say anything for days. Their perspective on it was always like, well, she's not a member of the royal family. You know, she divorced from Charles at that point. They've been divorced for like 15 months or 14 months at that point. And so they were like, well, you know, she's out of the royal family. She doesn't have her title. There was this entire long bullshit thing about the title.


And it's like, well, it's this lady who was nice, but like, I don't see why, you know, we should make an official statement. And sort of in their defense, some of the backlash against them was ginned up by the tabloids because after Diana died in the car crash, there was a lot of hatred of the tabloids because the narrative was like the paparazzi killed her right there chasing her on their motorcycles and they drove the car into the pool, which isn't really true.


But that was the narrative that was forming. And the tabloids wanted to deflect attention. So they made this big deal about like the flag on Buckingham Palace wasn't flying at half mast, even though that's not a flag that flies like it had never even flown the British flag. It's like a dumb royal protocol flag. And also the royal family really wanted to protect William and Harry. So part of the reason that they were out of public life was William and Harry had just lost their mother and they wanted to sort of keep them up in Scotland and really take care of them and really focus on themselves as a family.


They were being human in that moment on some level. On the other hand, she was a member of the royal family, like, yeah, your job is like, sorry, you need to give it a decent human statement. Yeah. Like this woman who's the mother of the heir to the throne. Right. Fucking died. And we should say, like, that's bad. Yeah. And like, we're sad that she died. It's not that hard.


And so on some level, like some of the criticism was overblown, but also like, come on.


Well, you're right. This is serious right now.


I know you said that you didn't get into Harry and Meghan too much, but we have to ask, do you think Diana's influence is part of the reason that they're so popular? Probably.


I don't know. That's a good question. I haven't thought about it. I think that they're just of a generation. I mean, first of all, Diana and Charles actually really did their best to give William and Harry like Samii normal childhoods. They didn't want them to have these cold and distant like dad eats in a different room every night, childhood, like for no reason, like they wanted to give them as normal of a childhood as they could and keep them in touch.


And, you know, famously, Diana brought William and Harry with her when she visited AIDS hospices and homeless shelters. And she tried to drill into them that like sometimes people are down on their luck and it doesn't mean anything about their character. They had a bad day and we need to provide them help when they have a bad day. So some of that probably rubbed off. And then there's just the generational thing that, you know, the mores around power, political power, royalty, et cetera, they just changed so much.


And so somehow that must have trickled down to William and Harry somehow. Just people don't want to have these super formal relationships to people in power anymore.


OK, so we have to talk about the crown, of course, have to undergo.


So after the latest season of The Crown premiered, the UK's culture minister called on Netflix to explicitly label the show as fiction. We definitely rolled our eyes at that because obviously Prince Charles is not that cute in real life.


Yeah, but after your research into the family, do you think enough of the story was changed to warrant a disclaimer like is it enough to be spiritually true even if it's not historically true?


I don't know. It's weird because the show fabricates a ton of factual stuff. They made up this whole arc where Diana and Charles go to Australia on this sort of official six week mission and they fabricate this thing. We're like at the beginning of the trip, she's bad with the press and she gives this disastrous press conference. And then over the six weeks, she learns and she grows and bites and she's good with the press. And it's like, no, she was kind of always good with the press.


And like, if that happened, it happened over the course of like years.


But what's interesting about it, in a lot of these arcs, they fabricate these arcs for Diana. We're like they end up at the right place. Like that episode ends with her like she's good at the press and Charles resents her. And like, that's true. It just all this stuff about her, like fucking up her lines and, like, crying from all that stuff's fake. I think some of that is done on a various spectrum of responsible versus irresponsible.


But in general, if you watch the show, if you watch the whole season, I think you get like a pretty true idea of what actually happened and especially, I think, a true idea of who these people. Are you can argue that that's on some level responsibly, if you get to the right destination, even if you're fabricating the way they got there?


I mean, I think it's a mix. Honestly, it would be so weird to add the disclaimer to it.


I don't know. It just seems like, yeah, people sort of know it's a TV show.


Yeah, it's Hollywood also.


And we all watching that show with fucking Wikipedia on our phones in our hands. All right. This is what I was doing for earlier seasons.


I didn't do any research on sort of the royal family in the 60s. And I was watching season three like second screening the whole time, like, oh, mining disaster in Wales.


When did that really happen? What really happened when the queen went there? It's like we're all doing this. I don't know if we really need to be debunking these, like, self debunking.


Yeah, watching. I got on so many rabbit holes, like I go on like you look up something and the next thing you know, it's like I've missed two episodes because I'm still figuring out, like, how hard are diamonds? I know there's nothing to do anything really.


So then do you have a favorite moment or episode from the season?


I love the episode where she's roller skating around Buckingham Palace. I mean, that's another episode where they fabricated stuff that, you know, they fabricated this whole thing where she moves into Buckingham Palace and then immediately Charles fucks off to Australia and then he basically gets back like the night before their wedding. And over there, you know, according to the show, for basically their entire engagement, he was absent, but their engagement was five months long. And he was in Australia for, I think, four weeks.


And the lunch between her and Camilla was great. That episode to me is very interesting because you're basically watching somebody who's, like, sort of depicted as normal and sunny and has this crush on this prince that she just met. And you're just watching that sour and like turn to poison over the course of that one episode where she realises kind of what she's gotten herself into. That's a journey we've all been through in relationships and that's a journey we've all been through with people like, oh, this person sucks.


Eventually realize it. Most of us aren't rollerskating through Buckingham Palace. But that like I just thought, that episode and that experience of hers is like super relatable.


So it's been nearly 30 years since Diana became a princess and it's been more than 20 years since her death. So we want to end on this question. Why do we still find her so fascinating?


The cynic in me wants to say, like, she's a hot white lady, like part of it. You know, some of the worship of Princess Diana I think goes overboard, where it's just like, yes, she wore nice outfits and she's like a wealthy white lady. And that's about it. I think a lot of that sort of surface level stuff, that's basically what it is. I think on a deeper level, I think it's a fish out of water story.


It has like dark, but it has like romantic comedy elements of this, you know, semi normal person who goes into this completely abnormal situation and it changes her and she changes them and eventually she escapes. And then she has this sort of this tragic death of this tragic death that doesn't really you know, it's not like Marilyn Monroe or something where she ends up killing herself or something like, you know, every death obviously is tragic.


But like, it's it just kind of like this random freak event that happens and ends up killing her. And so you can almost tell it is like a happy story.


And obviously, she died too soon. On some level. That makes it easier to celebrate, I think. And also, she was a hot white lady with, like, great shoulders, great dresses. What do you guys think it is?


I don't know that I ever had this fantasy, but there's a common fantasy of, like, little girls wanting to become princesses. And so to have a princess basically take the shine off of it, it's just like, oh, shit, this is kind of cool to see that it's not as glamorous as we've all made it out to be in our heads. And I think there's some kind of obsession with that. Just real people being real and human.




It's the contrast between what's on the surface and then what's underneath. Yeah, I think those stories always yeah. They're always really compelling. Yeah.


I mean, all of us want a distraction from this thing. Yeah. It's also like, OK, give me give me some rich white ladies and the cool outfits man. Like on some level I think talking about a princess in the middle of the year, we've just had I think a lot of people really. Yeah.


Yeah, yeah. OK, Brooke, we've got like three weeks left till 2021. What are you most looking forward to?


I'm looking forward to hopefully seeing the bottom half of people's bodies again, not just their upper torso, but God, I'm also looking forward to eating better and spending less time and money at the grocery store, thanks to today's sponsor.


But your box but your box is the meat delivery subscription that gives us more time for what matters most. Each month they send a box of the highest quality meat for a better price in the grocery store, which gives you more time to spend cooking and eating delicious meals.


Yeah, I got to say, with the holidays, it's been absolute chaos, even though we're in a pandemic. And I love knowing that I have really good meat in the freezer that I, I remember in time take out at the beginning of the day. Otherwise just defrost in the microwave and I end up with such good food. Plus all butcher boxed meat is free of antibiotics and added hormones. Each box they ship right to your door has nine to 11 pounds of meat, enough for 24 individual meals.


It's packed, fresh and shipped, frozen and vacuum sealed. So it stays that way.


And there are so many delicious options, like 100 percent grass fed and finished beef free range organic chicken heritage, pork, wild caught Alaskan salmon and sugar and nitrate free bacon.


Right now you can get two pounds of salmon absolutely free with your first box. Just go to a butcher box. Dotcom rich. That's a butcher box dotcom slash rich. So, Michael, for our last segment, we're going to try something new and hopefully verified. Congratulations, you're our guinea pig are going to play Twister. How are we going to do this?


Yes. And we play virtual twister. So, I mean, we are going to take it back to middle school. Oh, no. Here.


So we're going to do a would you rather royalty reaction? OK, so I'm going to ask you both some easy questions.


And all you have to do is make your choice and then just defend your answer to the death.


All we have to do is tell you how to do so. All right. First one, would you rather marry the heir or the spare? Do you wanna go first?


Definitely the spare. You're still getting the royal treatment and you're getting those bonuses, but you're not actually going to have to be leading a country and dealing with all that shit that they deal with, OK?


When I was a kid, you know, I like kids fantasize about like being actors and models and stuff like that.


When I was a kid, I fantasized about being a writer who wrote novelizations of existing movies, but that was my fantasy. So for me, the answer is always whichever thing puts me out of the public spotlight the most, whichever role doesn't have to ever give a press conference or be in front of a camera in any or have any responsibilities at all. So I think that puts me for the better. Yeah. Yeah, right. Yeah, yeah.


All right. I love that you say that as someone who hosts a very popular podcast.


Well, no one can see me. This is people. That's true. I yes. If I can rule Britannia without being seen. Absolutely. That's that's OK.


Next one, would you rather be raised by Prince Charles or Prince Philip?


I feel like this is actually easy. Do you. Yeah. OK, yeah. Shall we say at the same time. OK, yeah. Right. Three to one. Prince Charles. Yeah.


Yes. OK. Oh my God. I agree.


That's like the easiest because he would be so manipulable, so sensitive and it's easy to get away with stuff hunting all the time.


So I mean.


Exactly. Do whatever I want and you're like, Dad, can I stay up late?


And he's like, no. And you're like, but I love eco fascism.


And I'm like, OK, OK, next one. Would you rather do laughing gas with Prince Harry or drink Nazar's with the Queen.


Oh man. OK, I want to do XYZ with the Queen.


I want to get her drunk. I know. Wouldn't she be fun to see drunk. Yes.


I would just want to get hammered and talk about corgis. Yeah. Yeah. I would also quiz her on like European capitals so I feel like she like to go. OK, next one.


Would you rather take a camping trip to Botswana or do a summer regatta on the royal yacht Britannia. Botswana?


I'm easy, I'm saying. Oh yeah.


I was going to say I was not going. Oh, man, are you a camper? You like to camp?


I mean, I haven't been to Botswana, but I like that part of Africa and I like safaris. And the idea honestly of like being trapped somewhere with these people is like I get it's like looking at the girl from the ring. It's like that's my like the cold chills go down my spine. The idea of being trapped with these, like, etiquette obsessed weirdos in, like an enclosed space. Absolutely not.


OK, would you rather bench all of suits or all of the crown?


I OK, I guess I'd say it suits only because it's fun and fake, which is nice. Yes.


Have you guys notice the thing? I get exhausted when I watch the Crown because the episodes feel longer than they. Yes, they do. Uh, it's not bendable to me.


I we had like a one one episode per day limit hot household. You're watching it. It's like I don't know if I can do another one of these.


So does that mean you choose suits? Yes. Oh, absolutely. OK, this is the final one.


Would you rather make the royal family more emotionally intelligent or abolish the monarchy altogether?


I'm gonna let you go first because mine's really obvious. Yeah. Get rid of the monarchy. I mean, come on. Yeah, it's twenty twenty. It means Sarah had a whole thing that we didn't include in the episode. We cut it for time. But this thing about how the monarchy is basically like the metric system. Everyone agrees that having the metric system is better and like everyone agrees that abolishing the monarchy is better, but also the process of switching to the metric system sounds like a fucking nightmare.


You know, how would you do it? And you have to change all the rulers. And then it'd be like old people who don't know it and young people like that. The transition would be a nightmare. So the can keeps getting kicked down the road because no politician wants to, like, spend all their political capital on, like, changing to Colombia. Or whatever. Yeah, and at the same thing with the monarchy, like we all know, it would be better if Britain just like did the democracy thing like every other country and just do just don't have these random people in charge of your country.


But it would be like a pretty big deal. Yeah, like in the process of getting rid of it, there's like weird financial implications. There's constitutional like things would come up in that process that like I think a lot of people just like don't want to touch it. It's easier to leave it in place, even though it's. Yeah. Totally indefensible.


That's a great analogy, too. Yeah. Really. It's like, oh, screw it. It's too hard. Yeah, exactly.


Like there's other problems in Britain right now and they're like, well everyone just like will abolish the monarchy tomorrow. And they've been doing that for 40 years. Yeah.


All right. Well, that was it. Michael, thank you for playing along. And we have an honorary title for you. Oh, no. I hereby pronounce you his royal highness, doyen of even the rich. Congratulations.


I give you a duke. Come on. OK, well, we can make you a duke, but thank you so much. This. Michael, this was a lot of fun stuff.


Thank you for letting me rant about Diana. Yeah. This is what I like to hang out with. For example, people just ask me about Diana.


Like I said, no, I'm not upset about it. I love it.


Thanks again to Michael Hoppes. Oh, my God, how amazing is he so amazing. He's our new best friend.


OK, so Erica, we are so close to the holidays. Aren't you excited? Yeah.


The only person who loves Christmas more than me is Mariah Carey. Yeah, well, things are going to look a little different for a lot of people this season, but we couldn't possibly let the year pass us by without checking in on our super rich imaginary beasties.


Oh, my God. Does this mean what I think it means? You betcha.


Holiday special. That's right. Next week for our very last episode of the year, we're going to bring you a little holiday magic, even the rich style.


We might not be able to see your beautiful faces, but it doesn't mean we can't have some fun. We'll have a special guest maybe to a little trivia and some other fun things you're going to love.


I might actually be trembling with anticipation. Yes.


Same now, guys, if you like our show, please give us a five star rating and a review and be sure to tell your friends you can subscribe on Apple podcast, Spotify, the one free app or wherever you're listening right now.


Join Monetary Plus in the Wonder app to listen at Free. In the episode notes, you'll find some links on offers from our sponsors. Please support them. Another way you can support the show is by filling out a small survey at one read dotcom survey. I'm Erica Skidmore Williams.


And I'm Brooke Ziprin. This episode was produced by Caleb Bissinger, Natalie Sheesha and Kate Young. Our interview producer is Michelle Lance. Our audio engineer is Sergio Henriquez. Our executive producers are Stephanie Gen's marshmallowy and Hernan Lopez for wondering.


Hi, wonder listeners, I'm Carla Hall, I'd love for you to check out my new podcast, Say Yes. This week I talked to the one and only Rachel Ray. Like so many of us, Rachel's had a really tough year. But we talk about favorite family memories and how she found unexpected honesty and connection even in the midst of loss. Plus, Rachel shares what holiday mash up song is at the top of her list. Subscribe to say yes on Spotify or download the Wonder app to listen ad free on one degree plus.