King Charles Honors Retirement of Journalist He Once Called ‘Awful’

King Charles III, Nicholas Witchell.
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King Charles III put aside any bad blood with Nicholas Witchell to celebrate the journalist’s retirement.

The monarch, 75, reportedly surprised the now-former BBC reporter, 70, with a congratulatory video message at his recent retirement party in London. According to the Daily Mail, Charles discussed the pair’s “ups and downs” in his tribute, with one attendee telling the outlet his message was “generous and warm-hearted.”

Charles’ celebratory video came nearly 20 years after he was overheard insulting Witchell during a 2005 photo call with sons Prince William and Prince Harry while on vacation in the Swiss Alps. Upon being asked a question by Witchell about his upcoming wedding to Queen Camilla, Charles said under his breath, “Bloody people. I can’t bear that man, I mean, he is so awful, he really is.” (Charles and Camilla, 76, tied the knot in April 2005.)

Witchell recalled being shocked by Charles’ comment in a July 2014 interview with The Belfast Telegraph, stating, “There has never been an apology, and why should there be? He was probably quite right. You know, awful man. You could take the view it was the best thing that happened to me, because it showed that it is our job as BBC journalists to report fairly and accurately, but not to seek approval. We’re not there to be liked.”

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The duo reportedly buried the hatchet in 2019 after Charles became a patron of Witchell’s Normandy Memorial Trust, which worked to open a memorial for fallen British D-Day troops. Charles helped celebrate the memorial’s June 2021 opening with a pre-recorded video message.

While Charles offered his retirement congratulations to Witchell via video, he stepped out with Camilla, Princess Anne, Prince Andrew, Sarah Ferguson and more royals at the family’s Easter church service on Sunday, March 31. The outing marked one of Charles’ few public appearances since being diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer in February.

Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

“During The King’s recent hospital procedure for benign prostate enlargement, a separate issue of concern was noted,” Buckingham Palace announced in a statement that month. “Subsequent diagnostic tests have identified a form of cancer.” Royal reporter Omid Scobie later revealed via X that Charles’ cancer was not prostate cancer despite his January prostate surgery.

Charles resumed his royal duties last month while continuing to undergo treatment. He has hosted several events at Buckingham Palace, including meeting with Baroness Patricia Scotland of Asthal on March 13 and holding a private audience with several veterans of the Korean War in celebration of 70 years since the conflict’s end on March 19. Camilla has continued to fill in for Charles at numerous events, including a recent two-day visit to Northern Ireland.

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Prior to the death of Queen Elizabeth II, King Charles III had been the heir apparent to the British throne for seven decades. Charles held the position longer than anyone in the monarchy’s history. While waiting for his ascension, he served his country as the Prince of Wales. After serving in the military and founding […]

Charles’ cancer diagnosis coincides with news that Princess Kate Middleton has also been diagnosed with an unspecified form of cancer following a January abdominal surgery. “My medical team therefore advised that I should undergo a course of preventative chemotherapy, and I’m now in the early stages of that treatment,” she shared in a March 22 social media video.

Kate, 42, and William, 41, did not attend Sunday’s royal family church service in the wake of Kate’s health news, instead choosing to spend Easter at home with their kids Prince George, 10, Princess Charlotte, 8, and Prince Louis, 5.

“His Majesty is so proud of Catherine for her courage and speaking as she did. Following their time in hospital together, His Majesty has remained in the closest contact with his beloved daughter-in-law throughout the past weeks,” Charles said in a statement last month. “Both their Majesties will continue to offer their love and support to the whole family throughout this difficult time.”

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