My Dinner With Charles the Night Before He Became King Was ‘Joyful’

Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Evan Agostini/Getty Images

Jenna Bush Hager, the daughter of former President George W. Bush, has said that she had dinner with the then-Prince Charles on the eve of the queen’s death—and reports that he was “joyful” that night, leading her to surmise that her death therefore came as a “surprise.”

The remarkable insight into the private dinner with the now-monarch on Sept. 7 will fuel speculation that the queen suffered a sudden and catastrophic decline in the hours before her death. On Tuesday, she accepted the formal resignation of Boris Johnson as prime minister and invited incoming PM Liz Truss to form a government.

Johnson has said that the queen was “bright and focused” at the meeting, and photographs taken of her with Liz Truss showed her beaming broadly for the camera.

Bush Hager, 40, the London Times reported, was in Scotland to conduct an interview for NBC with Camilla, which was subsequently abandoned.

Bush told NBC’s Today that she had dinner with Charles and her husband, Henry Chase Hager, on Wednesday evening. Camilla had planned to be there but was not present as her flight had been delayed.

Bush told NBC: “He [Charles] said: ‘My darling wife is so sad… she can’t wait to sit down with you tomorrow.’

“And so, you know, I think it was a surprise. I mean, we had a wonderful evening filled with conversation that felt joyful… and so I think this was sort of a surprise.”

The following morning, Bush said, her interview with Camilla was dramatically canceled.

“The next morning we were setting up the interview, we were at their house,” she said. “We were there at 8:30 a.m., the interview was supposed to start around 2 p.m. or 2:30 p.m., I was supposed to meet with the now-queen consort around 1:30 p.m.

“At 12:30 p.m., we heard sort of running up and down the halls and it was her team and his team… they came in and said can you please be quiet there’s a call. We were right by then-Prince Charles’s, now-King Charles III’s, office… And then all of a sudden, we heard a helicopter. They said the queen is ill and they have gone and rushed off to be with her.”

The account of the intimate activities inside Prince Charles’ home on the day of his mother’s death is unlikely to please the palace. A spokesperson declined to comment to The Daily Beast.

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