EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Lady Antonia Fraser calls on King Charles to allow DNA ... trends now

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Lady Antonia Fraser calls on King Charles to allow DNA ... trends now
EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Lady Antonia Fraser calls on King Charles to allow DNA ... trends now

EDEN CONFIDENTIAL: Lady Antonia Fraser calls on King Charles to allow DNA ... trends now

When he addressed the nation for the first time as monarch, King Charles III expressed 'feelings of profound sorrow' at the loss of his mother, describing her as 'an inspiration and example'. 

But will he now demonstrate that, however intense his reverence for her, he will reign in his own distinctive style – even if that means taking steps which Queen Elizabeth considered unthinkable?

I ask because acclaimed historian Lady Antonia Fraser has called on the King to do something which the late Queen would never countenance – sanction DNA testing of the bones in Westminster Abbey which may or may not be those of 'the Princes in the Tower', Edward V and his younger brother, Richard. 

They are long believed to have been murdered on the orders of their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III, in 1483.

Lady Antonia, who has won numerous literary prizes since publishing her first book – about King Arthur and the Knights of The Round Table nearly 70 years ago – says she never managed to put the proposal to the King while he was the Prince of Wales.

King Charles (pictured) is said to have a 'different' view to his mother with regard to the testing of bones interred in Westminster Abbey

King Charles (pictured) is said to have a 'different' view to his mother with regard to the testing of bones interred in Westminster Abbey

Historian Lady Antonia Fraser (pictured) has called on the King to do something which the late Queen would never countenance – sanction DNA testing of the bones in Westminster Abbey

Historian Lady Antonia Fraser (pictured) has called on the King to do something which the late Queen would never countenance – sanction DNA testing of the bones in Westminster Abbey

They are long believed to have been murdered on the orders of their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III (pictured)

They are long believed to have been murdered on the orders of their uncle, the Duke of Gloucester, later Richard III (pictured)

The bones may belong to the two princes in the Tower (pictured)

The bones may belong to the two princes in the Tower (pictured)

Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, were held in the Tower of London and later killed

Edward V and his younger brother, Richard, were held in the Tower of London and later killed

Lady Antonia, 91, said the Church should not fear that an investigation would set a precedent

Lady Antonia, 91, said the Church should not fear that an investigation would set a precedent

'The great thing is now there is an opportunity,' she tells me, explaining that she has been intrigued by the fate of the young princes ever since writing her biography of Charles II, during whose reign the bones – supposedly those of Edward and Richard – were uncovered by workmen at the Tower of London.

'It was in 1674,' adds Lady Antonia, explaining that it was on Charles II's insistence that the bones were then re-interred at Westminster Abbey.

I disclosed last year that Tracy Borman, joint chief curator of Historic Royal Palaces, had explained that Queen Elizabeth steadfastly supported the Church of England authorities in their hostility to any possible investigation. 

Borman added that King Charles took 'a very different view'.

Lady Antonia, 91, tells me the Church should not fear that an investigation would set a precedent: 'I don't think there is another set of circumstances which is similar. I hope that King Charles will think it right to allow it to go ahead.'

Chelsea paid tribute to one of its biggest characters — and wealthiest landowners — yesterday.

A memorial service was held for Earl Cadogan — whose 93-acre family estate runs from Sloane Street in Knightsbridge to the King's Road in Chelsea, West London. He died in June aged 86.

His friend James Bruce got the biggest laugh during the tribute at St Luke's Church when he recounted how Charles Cadogan defended the right of prostitutes to live in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea, following complaints.

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