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NTAs: Trevor McDonald says he always had a drink before hosting
The legendary newsreader returned to screens last night with a compilation of his greatest TV moments in And Finally – With Trevor McDonald. The 81-year-old, who was knighted for his services to journalism 22 years ago, has also talked openly about the Royal Family. Speaking about the monarchy’s future, he pointed out how Prince Harry’s treatment in the Commonwealth often “didn’t make sense” as he has been met by “rapturous” welcomes while republican sentiment has still been high.
Sir Trevor is a longstanding admirer of the Queen and admitted he could “never” in his “wildest dreams” have imagined receiving a knighthood.
Sir Trevor documented his thoughts about the royals and how they had survived through the centuries.
He admitted to having a deep respect for the Queen and felt “fortunate” to have met her “many times”.
His family, who lived in Trinidad, were extremely “proud” too and displayed a photograph of their first meeting in the Sixties.
Trevor McDonald analysed the treatment of Prince Harry during an overseas tour
Trevor McDonald said he felt ‘fortunate’ to have met the Queen ‘many times’
The journalist quipped in his Daily Telegraph column: “I think they took it as a sign that their son hadn’t entirely wasted his life.”
Sir Trevor claimed the Queen – who has spent 69 years on the throne – was “the world’s most recognisable monarch… and perhaps person”.
He was impressed by Her Majesty’s ability to “become a modern Queen while observing the traditions of the institution”.
Trevor McDonald witnessed difficulties posed to the Royal Family during six decades of journalism
In the 2012 documentary Trevor McDonald’s Queen & Country, he described how she had “played” her role “with great skill”.
He thought “the most, most marvellous thing” about her reign was her ability to “maintain modern relevance”.
However, in the wake of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s departure from the Firm, a number of questions have been raised about the “institution”.
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It followed the Sussexes’ claims to Oprah Winfrey in March that they felt “trapped” and “silenced” while serving the Royal Family.
Another shocking claim to emerge was that there were “conversations” about “how dark” their son Archie’s “skin might be when he was born”.
In response to the allegations, a statement from Queen noted “recollections may vary” from those of the Sussexes’ account.
She said all of their claims would be “taken very seriously” and would “be addressed by the family privately”.
Trevor McDonald was knighted by the Queen in 1999 for services to journalism
Harry and Meghan’s comments risked the “worst royal crisis in 85 years” – since the abdication of King Edward VIII.
The Sussexes weren’t the only ones to raise a concern about the difficulties within the Royal Family, as Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson made similar claims.
In the wake of the allegations, some will have reconsidered how they felt about the Royal Family and others have called for it to be abolished.
Sir Trevor also addressed the issue of the monarchy’s future during a live studio debate in 1997, following the death of Princess Diana.
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While he couldn’t recall “much about it”, he remembered there was “a lot of shouting and screaming from both sides”.
In his 2012 Telegraph column, Sir Trevor acknowledged there had been “talk of republicanism” for a long time and claims “of the monarchy going out of fashion”.
However, during his journalistic career, he had “never really seen much evidence of” physical opposition to the Royal Family beyond the odd conversation.
Sir Trevor recalled Prince Harry’s trip to Jamaica that year, when the public was “talking about becoming a republic”.
Trevor McDonald felt the claims to become a ‘republic’ were at odds with Prince Harry’s treatment
Despite this, he noted the then-28-year-old royal “received a rapturous welcome” and was embraced by the public during the trip.
Sir Trevor continued: “Those two things don’t seem to make sense but that is what happened.”
He believed the ongoing support for the Royal Family had “a lot to do with the way the Queen… is regarded” and “respected”.
Sir Trevor thought her unforgettable pledge to the nation on her 21st birthday, endeared her to the UK and overseas territories.
Trevor McDonald has spent more than six decades as a journalist
In the 1947 radio address, the Queen said: “My whole life, whether it be long or short, shall be devoted to your service.”
Sir Trevor argued “it looks as though, quite extraordinarily, she actually meant it” – this year, she has reigned for 69 of her 95 years.
He continued: “I think people realise that and have reciprocated the warmth that she has felt for them.”
And Finally – With Trevor McDonald is available to watch on ITV Hub.