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Old 06-21-2017, 09:11 PM
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Charles's Press and the Freemasons: A Question

Okay, I have had a hard time knowing which thread to post this on because it is far more than being about Charles' politics. It encompasses his marriage to Diana and it's eventual very public breakdown, and the media. It is an historical perspective and I am very interested in what people have to say.

First post will be a preamble. Please bear with me.

Background: I have been very curious about the Charles and Camilla tapes, and the Squidgy Tapes, from the end of the 1980's. They don't get much analysis as an event. The content was certainly analyzed (that was the whole point of them) but the fact that they were recorded, cobbled together from several conversations even, and then released (beggars belief, those two events) has always been a puzzle for me, especially given that they were (one of) the (considerable) pressures on Diana to come up with some defense of herself (and we know where that led).

I am of the unique opinion, recently acquired, that Charles' and Diana's marriage would never have unravelled publicly had there not been some other force(s) at work pressing in on the situation. I am not suggesting conspiracy; I am suggesting something far more subtle being leveled at Charles from certain quarters.

I think Charles and Diana had achieved a compatible aristocratic marriage arrangement by 1989/1990 and would have sailed on (happily) for decades (perhaps), but there was something undoing it all, from the outside. What was that 'something'? Who? Margaret Thatcher? These ideas have been floated before, by me, and others, but there is never an answer. To know how those tapes came to be there would have had to have been an investigation. There never was. Why? That in itself is interesting to me. There was an investigation into the William and Harry phone hacking, why not those tapes which were far more egregious and public.

So I started having conversations with various people tuned into the times back then, more or less. That whole period is very curious for it's 'tabloidism', but particularly how Charles was (and in many ways still is, though it appears to be abating as he nears his time of King-ship) treated by the press. Why, I kept asking my 'in-the-know' pals, why the venom towards Charles? It made no sense. Why pick up the scent of Diana at Charles' expense? The tabloids didn't have to do that. That was a choice. Pure and simple. Why that choice? Something was not adding up.

Well, in the last couple of weeks I have had a conversation with someone who spun me a tale that is written about even by historians. I had never heard of the Freemasonry connection. Has anyone?

This is my preamble. In my next post on this thread I will set before you what I was told and quote from what I was given to read. I hope everyone finds this as engrossing as I do.
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:11 PM
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This information emerged from history reading: specifically, regarding the late 1800's and the events leading up to WWI.

European Royalty back in the late 1800's was very much involved in politics, as you all probably already know. I both knew that but didn't remember that, or didn't pay attention.

What is relevant to my points are bolded in green: namely, how politically active Princes and Kings were back then, and the Freemasonry factoid.

I learned this in Renate Riemeck's book (English title): Central Europe: A Century in the Balance. She describes how the Prince of Wales' circle in the late 1800's, through the Catholic aristocrat the Duke of Norfolk, put a certain picture of the future development of the early 20th century across to both the French and the Vatican, which resulted in certain diplomatic overtures being made to the Vatican and France, impacting Germany (which I won't go into unless someone wants me to).

From another book I read: "It is worth pointing out (..) that these two individuals - Prime Minister Lord Salisbury and The Prince of Wales (who, from 1874 until his accession as King Edward VII in 1901, was Grand Master of Britain's Freemasons) were, according to the historian Renate Riemeck the leaders of the cabal of powerful figures in the British establishment that carried out a long-term and ultimately successful plan to effect a diplomatic revolution that would lead to the encirclement of Germany and was aimed at precipitating the First World War. [...]

"Riemeck cites czarist foreign ministry documents, first made public in 1932, which make clear that the process leading to the Franco-Rusisian Alliance had started in September 1887 when Lord Salisbury, a key member of Prince Edward's circle, and late Prime Minister and Foreign Minister from 1895 until 1902, met with the French diplomat Count Chaudordy and informed him of the plans for a Franco-Russian alliance.[...]

"Through his work with the Prince's Trust, his speeches, books and films which have stimulated many, both in Britain and abroad, to think again about various social issues, Prince Charles has shown himself to be, like his forefather Prince Albert, someone who happens to be Crown Prince and who is attempting to serve the good in the station in which he finds himself in life. One has the feeling that with such a man the fact of his royalty is really not as important as his character and what he is seeking to achieve. The same can equally be true on 'the other side', that is, one can be working against the ultimate interests of an institution like the monarchy and yet still be a member of it. [..]

"Unlike his grandfather, George VI, who was an enthusiastic Freemason, and all previous Princes of Wales reaching back to Frederick Lewis in 1737, Charles has avoided Freemasonry. The Duke of Edinburgh did not wish to become one, but was pressured to do so by his father-in-law, and has since taken a very minimal role in Freemasonry. There are those that have speculated that Charles' refusal to enter the ranks of Britain's premier traditional secret society has not a little to do with the hostility with which he has been treated by sections of the media, notably since his well-publicized remarks about modern architecture and the professionals responsible for some of it."

Isn't this fascinating? Suddenly there was my deus ex machina to the Charles vs Diana tabloids problem, and Charles puzzling bad press for ridiculous things amidst his considerable work. Freemasons?
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:18 PM
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BTW I am not in any way suggesting a conspiracy. Not my thing at all.

Rather, I am trying to figure out why certain parts of the press decided to systematically go after Charles. They didn't have to. They could have written a very different story, and the public would have believed that as much as they believed the other stuff.

What a very different social/cultural world (even psychological world) it would have been had the press chosen otherwise. (And I include the US in that as during that period all the Clinton/Lewinsky stuff was going on). Smoke-and-mirrors perhaps.

Fascinating to me. Any opinions out there?
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:33 PM
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Confused TBH. Interesting.

Have you evidence that the owners of the UK press are freemasons?
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Old 06-21-2017, 09:43 PM
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Confused TBH. Interesting.
I was typing fast and may not have been clear. I will edit later tonight.

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Have you evidence that the owners of the UK press are freemasons?
I have no evidence whatsoever. I was quoting from a book that suggests that 'there are those who believe' that Charles' refusal to get involved with the Freemasons (and possibly he engaged in public criticisms of those involved in Freemasonry) cost him generous press coverage. It's a thought. Would explain a lot. But it could also just be plain and simple republicanism. Something was going on.

I still haven't a clue about the tapes. Is no one intrigued by those tapes?

Anyway, the whole Charles/Diana debacle doesn't make sense. It doesn't. Tons of holes in that whole narrative. I think I 'see' that because I literally read the whole story in 'one go', over several months. The story that emerges is very different (I have a suspicion) than the story those 'on the ground' experienced in 'real time'.

Lots of questions. I could write a book.
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:28 PM
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You are assuming that there was some sort of conspiracy to undermine Charles. I don't think there was except by Diana herself.

The press were into Charles from about 1983 when the cracks in the marriage were already on show e.g. the tour down under where he was subtly criticised for making some of the comments he did about Diana and the public's reaction to them (which she then also used against him). Even at the time they were seen as him being jealous of her - the beautiful young wife who was way more popular than he was.

In 1984 there were the stories about the separate bedrooms when on tours and also at home most of the time and by the end of 1984 the suggestions were already coming that they were living totally separate lives and hardly ever saw each other.

The tapes came after the press had already started to paint Charles as a poor husband and father e.g. leaving the hospital when William was injured = Charles a bad father and Diana a loving mother (ignoring the fact that he knew William was ok and he had a duty to perform).

The press didn't start to go after Charles in the late 80s but in the early 80s - almost immediately after the marriage.

The simple issue was that Rupert Murdoch was a republican and had no love for the BRF or the British themselves and was happy to publish anything that would harm the BRF from the very beginning of his ownership of British media outlets. His papers were largely the ones that outed Margaret in the 70s and her affairs and he moved the press away from being so deferential.

The Charles - Diana debacle, to me, makes perfect sense. They were totally incompatible with virtually no interests in common and they barely knew each other when they married. Had they been able to have a proper courtship they would have broken up by the summer of 1981 - remember both have subsequently said that they went to their respective families and said that didn't want to go through with it in the weeks leading up to the wedding but were talked into continuing.

No conspiracy - nothing sinister, other than Murdoch and his push to destroy the BRF.
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:47 PM
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I have to admit that I find the tapes absolutely confounding. Why were they not investigated? Why were there never any charges? That whole situation was dodgy from to get go so why were there no clamourings for the truth?
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Old 06-21-2017, 10:58 PM
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I assumed they were investigated and, though they are one person's account, they might not be wholly true. They don't paint every aspect of Diana's failures; they are very biased, as one would expect from just one person's viewpoint. They also indicate, to me, that Diana seemed to have deep phychological problems. It perhaps was kinder to not illuminate the tapes again. I don't know why they are being brought out now? Is it to promote sales of another print of the book?
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:00 PM
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I think at the time the BRF was still in the "ignore it and it will go away" mindset. They did not want to bring more attention to the story.
I too think that Rupert Murdoch was a big factor in the press looking for, even by illegal and underhanded means, ever more salacious stories.

I think there may be two or three sets of tapes being discussed here- the Camilla-Charles recordings, the Diana squidgy recordings and the Diana-Settelten recordings.
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Old 06-21-2017, 11:50 PM
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My view, for what it's worth, re the Freemasons, is that Queen Victoria's sons, King George V and his brother and sons got something from Freemasonary, the family tradition, camaraderie, a feeling of doing good, whatever, from belonging to the organisation. (The present Duke of Kent is a leading Freemason.)

Prince Philip didn't feel that way. There was no tradition of Freemasonary in his father's family, he had enough ritual in his life as a Royal and he just didn't feel connected to it. He probably made his feelings known to Charles and therefore Charles never felt the need to join. I don't think there was anything more to the Prince of Wales's choice than that.

Freemasonry, in my opinion has always had a rather unfair reputation because it is a secretive organisation, albeit one that raises hundreds of thousands of pounds/dollars for charity each year, world wide. It was certainly powerful in the 19th century and right up to more modern times, with members who included judges, lawyers, leading business people, civil servants and royals.

However, that power and influence, in the sense of really changing national life and even animus towards Charles in influencing public opinion about him, was rapidly fading by the 1990's. It was the British tabloids that attacked Charles and 'the Dirty Digger' Rupert Murdoch's Sun newspaper was primary among them.

I don't know for certain but I would lay odds that Aussie-born Murdoch is not a Freemason. He enjoyed drama and a good story that would sell newspapers, just like the other Press Barons of the time. It was good for business. They (and/or their editors) decided individually on the narrative of the beautiful but unhappy Princess Diana who wore fantastic outfits that could brighten up their front pages (and yes I know she wasn't a Princess) against a rather unattractive- looking middle aged man in a suit, Charles, who talked to plants and had a (relatively) plain older mistress.

They ran with this because it sold newspapers not because the newspaper proprietors or their editors were all Freemasons and they were angry that their future king wasn't. IMO.
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Old 06-22-2017, 12:58 AM
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I assumed they were investigated and, though they are one person's account, they might not be wholly true. They don't paint every aspect of Diana's failures; they are very biased, as one would expect from just one person's viewpoint. They also indicate, to me, that Diana seemed to have deep phychological problems. It perhaps was kinder to not illuminate the tapes again. I don't know why they are being brought out now? Is it to promote sales of another print of the book?
It was not the content I was interested/concerned about. It was the fact that the calls were recorded illegally. That was never addressed and the charges laid by William and Harry over their voicemail being hacked makes it even more strange.
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:06 AM
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A note about Philip and freemasonry - he promised George VI that he would join and did so, in 1953. The King had been dead for over a year when he joined but believing that having made a promise he had to keep it he decided to join. He went to one meeting - his initiation and hasn't been since.

Charles was more influenced by Mountbatten who was very anti-Freemasons - one reason I have heard was that he was blackballed from joining a lodge and so turned anti although his father and brother had both been members. Not sure exactly how true the story about the blackballing is but it is certainly one I have heard from my masonic friends.
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Old 06-22-2017, 01:57 AM
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Thank you all for posting. I've gotten some great perspectives here. Will respond in more detail. Thank you all again.

BTW I want assure that I am not indicating anything 'sinister' or conspiratorial. The suggestion in the book seemed to be saying that by not becoming part of the 'in-group' of 'good old boys' Charles might have been in for some bad press by those who felt he was not favoring Freemasons like he would have done were he one. Not that Freemasons as a group would be doing such, just individuals here and there, some of whom would have been in journalism.
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:07 AM
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I think at the time the BRF was still in the "ignore it and it will go away" mindset. They did not want to bring more attention to the story.
I too think that Rupert Murdoch was a big factor in the press looking for, even by illegal and underhanded means, ever more salacious stories.
Also, you have to remember, the tapes were all exposed in the second half of 1992. The British pound fell out of the European exchange rate mechanism in mid-September. John Major and his government were getting totally eviscerated by the press, and they weren't in a position to actively support the Crown and push back at the media, much less launch a big multi-tentacled Squidgygate or Camillagate investigation.
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:26 AM
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You are assuming that there was some sort of conspiracy to undermine Charles. I don't think there was except by Diana herself.
No, I am not assuming a conspiracy. I hope I've made that clear.

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Originally Posted by Iluvbertie View Post
The press were into Charles from about 1983 when the cracks in the marriage were already on show e.g. the tour down under where he was subtly criticised for making some of the comments he did about Diana and the public's reaction to them (which she then also used against him). Even at the time they were seen as him being jealous of her - the beautiful young wife who was way more popular than he was.
It was a choice the tabloids made, and in retrospect, it was a destiny making choice that really impacted that family. You summarize the situation with the press very well, Iluvbertie.

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The press didn't start to go after Charles in the late 80s but in the early 80s - almost immediately after the marriage.
Okay, correct. The press was a problem early on but my mention of the late 80's has to do with the Charles/Camilla tapes and the Diana/Squidgy tapes. I am positing that by the late 80's the Wales marriage was settled into the groove of an aristocratic marriage. Something happened at that point that propelled Diana to do the Morton book. Am I wrong on this? I put it to the tapes.

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The simple issue was that Rupert Murdoch was a republican and had no love for the BRF or the British themselves and was happy to publish anything that would harm the BRF from the very beginning of his ownership of British media outlets. His papers were largely the ones that outed Margaret in the 70s and her affairs and he moved the press away from being so deferential.
Okay, one factor. I can agree with that. It was obvious, but there still seems to be something more a-foot. Those tapes. Was that tabloid shenanigans? We don't know because there was never an investigation. There was no outcry of indignation at the intrusion into such intimate moments (lover talk). The salacious aspect seems to have wholly blanketed out the larger over-arching issue: where did those tapes come from? The newspaper was sitting on them for months.

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The Charles - Diana debacle, to me, makes perfect sense. They were totally incompatible with virtually no interests in common and they barely knew each other when they married. Had they been able to have a proper courtship they would have broken up by the summer of 1981 - remember both have subsequently said that they went to their respective families and said that didn't want to go through with it in the weeks leading up to the wedding but were talked into continuing.
That's all the personal content that we all know very well, but that's not the issue I'm raising in regards the tapes and Charles' press coverage. I'm looking at the whole event and asking why it was occurring. Diana was reacting, and she was a gift that kept on giving in that way to the tabloids. There was juicy stuff, but even so not all the juicy stuff was told (and still hasn't been). What we 'know' is a very narrow band of purported 'facts' that are actually nothing more than Diana reacting to pressure. Not that 'whoever' was applying the pressure (as with the leaked tapes) knew that Diana would be a piñata of raining-down drama.

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No conspiracy - nothing sinister, other than Murdoch and his push to destroy the BRF.
I agree about Murdoch as one element, but would you say he was the only element, Iluvbertie? Was it Murdock who went to all the trouble to assemble the tapes? Isn't there something unusual about the tapes that suggest government involvement? Or were the tapes just one lone individual getting 'lucky' over the course of months?
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Old 06-22-2017, 02:43 AM
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I have to admit that I find the tapes absolutely confounding. Why were they not investigated? Why were there never any charges? That whole situation was dodgy from to get go so why were there no clamourings for the truth?
Exactly my point!

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It was not the content I was interested/concerned about. It was the fact that the calls were recorded illegally. That was never addressed and the charges laid by William and Harry over their voicemail being hacked makes it even more strange.
Right there. Voicemail gets addressed but tapes of calls, nothing.

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Also, you have to remember, the tapes were all exposed in the second half of 1992. The British pound fell out of the European exchange rate mechanism in mid-September. John Major and his government were getting totally eviscerated by the press, and they weren't in a position to actively support the Crown and push back at the media, much less launch a big multi-tentacled Squidgygate or Camillagate investigation.
Is this the answer? That failure to address a serious breach of privacy (unheard of up till then) was due to a distracted government? Hmmm.

The tapes were being held back by the newspaper. Something precipitated their being published or made known (transcripts and recordings made available). The Morton book came out and then the newspaper released the tapes. Diana somehow knew about the tapes.

In fact, if anything from the past needs to be dug up again and looked at, it's the story of those taped conversations. Inquiries can be mounted, even newspapers can do investigative reporting. But nothing. Total silence.
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Old 06-22-2017, 03:06 AM
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I've read (in Tina Brown's book) that in August 1992, when The Mirror hit the streets with Fergie's topless toe-sucking, The Sun's editor Kelvin MacKenzie was furious at being so badly scooped by The Mirror and he told the Sun reporter who had the tape to go ahead and publish what became Squidgeygate. Who knows, it might have sat in the reporter's drawer forever if the Fergie/Johnny Bryan story never ran.

I don't know what brought on Camillagate.
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Old 06-22-2017, 03:09 AM
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I'm just waking up now and still have fuzz on the brain and only a half of cup of coffee in me so I'm going by what I remember.

There were differences between the tapes made of Charles and Camilla's conversations and Diana's with James Gilby (Squidgy tapes) and William and Harry's hacking. The conversations were picked up by ham radio hobbyists and recorded. The phones weren't hacked. It was the early days of mobile phones.

They also weren't published right away either and locked away in the safe of one of the tabloids (I can't remember offhand which one right now). If memory is serving at all right now, it was a period of years before they became public.

The only place I really remember reading anything really in depth about these tapes, how they came about and how they were used is in Ken Wharfe's book "Diana: Closely Guarded Secret".

There has always been interest in the Freemasons and their goals. From being a brotherhood society to aim for the good to being the Illuminati and propagating a New World Order has been rampant for years. There are multitude of books out there that propagate the British Royal Family as being other than they are including (if memory is waking up) David Icke's suggestion that's they're not quite human (he's coined the name Queen Lizardbeth) with an agenda. The book list that suggest these underlying forces in our world today be they Freemasons, the Illuminati, the different other secret societies would fill a huge library just by themselves.

Personally, I believe that the only forces that were working against Charles and Diana's marriage were the two people involved in it in the first place. The press had enough to feed on because, frankly, Diana went public. They didn't have to look for underlying "sinister" or other factors concerning these two people.
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Old 06-22-2017, 03:39 AM
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Thank you, Osipi, for the information on the tapes.

Regarding my mention of the Freemasons please do not conflate the current popular theories of secret societies with what I am touching upon, which is very banal and simple.

Most Princes of Wales (going back to 1737) have been Freemasons and this tradition has been broken with Charles. Freemasonry is a fraternal organization where each member helps other members, whenever a Freemason encounters a brother Mason. That said, a Mason does not criticize a brother Mason. It is suggested that not only did Charles refuse to join this fraternal brotherhood that has long roots in his family, he perhaps made speeches that criticized certain individuals that happened to be Masons. This (maybe) initiated some payback for that by way of bad press. That's it. That's enough but that's it.

I found the suggestion compelling given what I consider to be the unusual nature of Charles' press coverage. It seems to me that there has to be more to it than just Rupert Murdock. I could be wrong, and several have so stated. Thank you all for the array of views on this subject. My mind is cogitating. I likely should do more reading.
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Old 06-22-2017, 03:50 AM
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Thank you, Osipi, for the information on the tapes.

Regarding my mention of the Freemasons please do not conflate the current popular theories of secret societies with what I am touching upon, which is very banal and simple.

Most Princes of Wales (going back to 1737) have been Freemasons and this tradition has been broken with Charles. Freemasonry is a fraternal organization where each member helps other members, whenever a Freemason encounters a brother Mason. That said, a Mason does not criticize a brother Mason. It is suggested that not only did Charles refuse to join this fraternal brotherhood that has long roots in his family, he perhaps made speeches that criticized certain individuals that happened to be Masons, this (maybe) initiating some payback for that by way of bad press. That's it. That's enough but that's it.

I found the suggestion compelling given what I consider to be the unusual nature of Charles' press coverage. It seems to me that there has to be more to it than just Rupert Murdock. I could be wrong, and several have so stated. Thank you all for the array of views on this subject. My mind is cogitating. I likely should do more reading.
There's an ancient expression that I've found that has been accredited back to the time of Thoth, the Egyptian god of knowledge. It states "The closer I get to the flame of knowledge, the further from me it goes". Our minds are wonderful things that we keep feeding and the more we feed it, the hungrier it gets. I'm an acknowledged bookaholic.

Your insights here may inflame others to want to know more about this certain angle and how a break from Freemasonry by Charles may have had an affect on things. Ideas are to be expanded on. Its one of the wonderful perks of being human.
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