Trevor McDonald defended ‘durable’ Royal Family before Megxit: ‘She’s a modern Queen!’

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The veteran broadcaster, 81, has spent more than 60 years as a journalist and is one of the nation’s most beloved newsreaders. Sir Trevor, who was knighted 22 years ago, respected the Royal Family’s ability to reinvent itself and adapt to modern times. That issue has been called into question in recent months in the wake of the Sussexes’ interview with Oprah.

During the tell-all, Meghan and Harry made a series of claims regarding race and mental health aimed towards the Royal Family.

Harry also alleged that Prince Charles and William were trapped within the Firm. 

The Queen said the Sussexes’ claims would be taken seriously but “recollections may vary” from their accounts. 

The remarks, which were broadcast to 49.1 million people in March, have caused some to reevaluate the Royal Family.

Others have questioned whether the monarchy is still needed in a modern world.

Sir Trevor, who first met the Queen in the Sixties, has witnessed calls to abolish the monarchy before but nothing materialised beyond conversations.

In a 2012 Telegraph column, he explained: “Of course you hear talk of republicanism and of the monarchy going out of fashion.

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“But I have never really seen much evidence of it.”

Sir Trevor recalled Prince Harry’s 2012 trip to Jamaica at a time when the nation was “talking about becoming a republic”.

Despite this, the Duke received “rapturous applause” from the public.

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The journalist added: “Those two things don’t seem to make sense.”

In a reflection ahead of his 2012 documentary, Trevor McDonald’s Queen & Country, for Sky, he claimed the monarchy was constantly adapting.

Sir Trevor was impressed by how the Queen had maintained the monarchy’s traditions while also bringing it into the 21st Century. 

He said: “In other words to make it modern – she’s become a modern queen while observing the traditions of the institution, which it gave birth to.

“I think that’s the most, most marvellous thing about her… years on the throne.

“To show how durable this institution of monarchy is and what a great role she has played with great skill in maintaining its modern relevance.”

Sir Trevor believed Her Majesty made public appearances to ensure younger and older generations felt affection towards her.

He said: “She’s terribly aware of that relationship between the monarchy and the public.

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“[The Queen] has done a great deal to reinforce that relationship by making herself more visible when she goes to all of these places…

“She takes it all very very seriously, it’s the life of a modern monarch.” 

Sir Trevor revealed his parents, who lived in Trinidad until their deaths, were fans of the royals too.

He said they were proud after he was photographed shaking the Queen’s hand in the Sixties – during their first interaction.

Sir Trevor quipped: “My parents proudly displayed [the photograph] in their front room until they passed on.

“I think they took it as a sign that their son hadn’t entirely wasted his life!”

The journalist also praised the Queen’s dedication to her public engagements.

Last year, a Savoy Stewart report found Her Majesty was the third hardest-working member of the Royal Family.

The 95-year-old carried out 136 engagements in 130 working days.

Above the Queen was Princess Anne who managed 148 engagements and Prince Charles with 146.

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