Last week, Today‘s Jenna Bush Hager got an up-close look at King Charles III‘s last day being a prince. Hours before the world learned of Queen Elizabeth II‘s passing, Hager was set to interview now Queen Consort Camilla. Returning to her show, Hager recounted the story to her peers.
Hager Traveled To Scotland To Interview Camilla
There’s no doubt Jenna Bush Hager will be telling this story for years to come. On the September 12 episode of Today, Hager dished to her co-workers about her recent trip to Scotland.
Hager was set to interview Camilla Parker Bowles for her book club, Read with Jenna. The meeting was a year in the making—a highly anticipated collaboration with the now-queen consort’s own book club, The Reading Room. Upon arrival, Hager was immediately met with a hitch.
Bowles’ flight to Scotland was delayed and she wasn’t going to be able to make it to dinner that night. The hiccup was unfortunate, but Hager still got to sit down with King Charles III the night before he would ascend to the throne.
Of course, her co-workers ask what the atmosphere was like, prodding for any indication that Hager and Charles sensed the storm that was brewing. However, Hager insists no one there had an inkling.
“It was a lovely meal,” Hager says. “He first said, ‘My darling wife is so sad (about not making it to dinner).'” Hager jokes that she then turned to her husband and asked, “Will you call me your darling wife from now on?”
She goes on: “We had a wonderful evening full of conversation that felt joyful … So, I think that this was sort of a surprise.”
‘It Was Living History’
The next day, Hager and her team traveled to the Dumfries House—a home in Scotland that Charles and Camilla oversaw the renovation of before gifting it to the public. They prepared the beautiful library for the interview that was set for that afternoon.
“The interview was supposed to start around 2 or 2:30,” she recalls. “I was supposed to meet with the now-queen consort around 1:30. At 12:30, we heard sort of running up and down the halls.”
Camilla’s team then requested silence as Charles took a call in a neighboring room.
“They came in and said, ‘Can you please be quiet? There’s a call,'” she says. “We were right by then-Prince Charles’, now King Charles III’s, office. They said, ‘He’s on a call can you please be quiet.’ Then, all of a sudden, we heard a helicopter.”
It was then that Hager and her team received the news: They would have to postpone the interview as Charles and Camilla had to rush to the queen’s side.
“They said, ‘The queen is ill, and they have gone and rushed off to be with her,'” Hager notes. “We just said our hearts are with them.”
Of course, the weight of what transpired wasn’t lost on Hager. “It was living history,” Hager remarks before Hoda Kotb makes a poignant observation. “That will be the story that you will tell for a long, long time to come,” Kotb notes before closing out the interview.