The writer and the Prince


This is an ABC podcast in the middle of our life's journey. I found myself in a DOC would with direct way was lost. That's the beginning of Dante's great epic poem the Divine Comedy Dante was writing in the fourteenth century. Free but his sense of being lost in. Life's journey echoes the experience of my guest today. Hilary mcphee. Hillary has had a distinguished. Career is a writer editor and publisher along with her late friend. Diana griddle she founded mcphee dribble which published writers who were at the time unknown including including Helen Ghana and Tim Winton then a few years ago. When Hillary was in her mid sixty s with grownup children and a long marriage to an interesting man when things started to unravel at harm out of the blue she received a curious job offer from prince in Jordan in in saying yes to that Adventure Hillary also ended up saying yes to living alone in a village in Tuscany which was not at all how she expected expected it to be Hillary's? New Memoir is called other people's houses. Hi Hillary welcome to conversations. When did he first traveled awful to the Middle East? Hillary actually million years ago. When I was first married and I went on a cargo boat? Those were the days when you hop goes into a no other passengers. What was on your boat was taking cars and live sheep to the Middle East? When the Middle Eastern countries were quite small Kuwait? Wait was tiny. I do remember very vividly. Arriving in Kuwait we hard care which had a record player in the car with forty fives being as as we bounced along and these very bumpy streets incredibly hot if you're bumping along the Cadillac Cadillac's through the days my husband was able to go right is into the desert. But because I was a woman was expected to stay on the boat with the captain's wife and that was a irritating but we did get ashore in the major ports well A few lifetimes after being on on that boat to you were living in Melbourne and were contacted by a woman. You'd last saying as a teenager. How would hugh to Nonni top? I had no idea who this one more she gave me her name and waiting for me to recognize it and I didn't but then when I met her arrange to meet her in mar she said we've been together. I'd had a year at college high school. And that's when we met and we'd been in the same hockey team. What was the name of your hockey hockey team was the caller battles was a fabulous man for Coakley team and soon as I saw her sitting in mirrors are recognized and she started telling me about her laugh which had been spent the last? I think the last ten or fifteen years in the Middle East should be moving for Princeton in a man and we he had a strange kind of conversation swap notes about husbands and children all the things that have happened to us in that probably forty years since I'd seen her before but She said the rather mysterious was. You may get to hear something from the pelous. Thought what and she said. Mysteriously I can't tell you more but Jamais here's something. Did it feel like she was making you a job offer. No she was she wasn't she definitely wasn't made me a job off because she was so definite about the offer coming from her boss. who was? She said called City Hassan. You may hear from city Hassan's manager or someone in the palace may get in touch. It was very mysterious. Something that does does not happen to you if you live in Fitzroy and just wondering along one day and you have this strange thing so I forgot Abacha's and life went on for me later. No this woman know that I was. I was going to be in London just in case and then the next phone call was from someone in London from the Office of the of his role harnessing in Jordan and they were just as mysterious to and did what what did they say just just said we would like to suggest that you come to a man and talk about a project. The writing project was how it was described. Describe what's a about a man or or Jordan I mean what about the modern motorcycle by this time When when they started bringing ringing me in London I went to the British library? Looked up because I knew very little and I knew if I if I did manage to get too much and I thought Oh great on my way her mall. Poppy poppy. And let's see what this is all about so I looked them up in the British Library and discovered that I knew a bit more about this row family than I realized because King in Hussein of Jordan was a very famous character he had four wives. He was very glamorous. He flew airplanes and he was a playboy and western waist magazines adored him and adored his wives and there were always very beautiful and always very photographed. So I had to go on and I looked at up in the British Library and discovered discovered that the big story was he had died a few years before and the succession was fought by. Everyone needs to be going to his younger brother. Prince her son and her son is of course. The city has some that have been told about back in moment but on these bid King Hussein gave the succession to his son and his son is now the prison king and of course the US to be in a shattering and the press. Were absolutely a God with this drama. They in the British library. There are all kinds of magazine articles about and Song but all of them said they admired Prince Hassan very much. Because he'd given no interviews. He maintained a very dignified pod silence and other people gossip tobacco so I thought this was rather imprison. Look this up so I knew a bit about this and then started checking ask the the state of Jordan and what how big it wasn't saw. How big is it's ninety about the size of Tasmania not very big at all? But there are lots of people there and refugees refugees. Pour in every time there's a war and during the Iraq war there were seven hundred fifty thousand Iraqis poured in now Syrians of course. And it's just been the. The Palestinians have been pouring in across the Border Cincinnati in forty eight. So it's a it's a country that manages refugees and has a royal family that was installed when Transjordan was created by Churchill. Way Back so it's a an odd little place with odd boundaries but bounded by orrock bounded by Syria bound by Saudi Arabia bounded by Israel. So it's a country that I've been started finding quite interesting so there you are in a the British library reading up about this royal family finding out details about this country the size of Tasmania right in the heart of the Middle East. What happened next? Twenty to get the teak is I kept bringing me saying the tickets are on their way I was. I was about to go home and KIP getting messages to say that the tickets will be there. The air tickets never arrived finally got so crabby. There's I'll lift London without the tickets and without telling them where I was going. But somehow they found the in Vienna so as far as Vienna and the tickets arrived got a phone call in the middle of the night from the days of the hotel we were in saying and there's an email from Jordan. They read it to me saying if you present yourself to the Royal Jordanian Airways they will give you first class tickets to a month so down. I went in the morning and got the tickets off. I win this is just before Christmas in two thousand five. Did you have any idea what to expect tiller. Nobody no but I was determined to go and find out by the stage. I was thoroughly tantalised and I'd read lots of stuff in the British library. Mas was sticking out on stalks so I really wanted go but I was very pissed off with the way the whole thing was taking forever. How were you treated at the airport? What was the experience of flying? I caused the PORTA was ushered should into something called Crown class which I'd never been anything called Crown Class Before C. R. O. W. N. E. and it was very pot with blue rather smoke filled because everybody smokes smoke fooled blue couches with cushions offered all kinds of teas and very little bits pits to eat and saw. Did you need a special passport or visa. Nobody's getting all I was being brought in crime. Class means that you're brought in a spouse like diplomats formats. It just means that you brought in under the ages of the crown and your guest of the Royal Household. That's what technically main. So you know which is against Berol household and was driven a car to the hotel where I was searched because they just had the first Suicide bombing in Jordan. I need a few weeks before and everybody was utterly shattered of course so I was searched every time I went in. It was a very nervous place but I was in. Ah Brow the Porsche Hotel with a very large suite much bigger than my house. It was enormous spa belt and all that stuff and I was met there by charming young woman who was the research assistant of Princess on so I felt rather relieve when I met her. She was lovely and she was going to pick me up in the afternoon and take hike me and she couldn't answer any questions she said. Leave it you. You'll find out more when you get a winston had a SPA bath. I think certainly a race and was picked up in the afternoon afternoon when I was taken off to the pels taken off to the palace who was there to meet you. We were taken to a guest house in the grounds which is a very beautiful little building with was was winter it was winter. December was very very cold so there were open fires burning and lovely gleaming. Parquet floors with medicine was lovely was absolutely absolutely beautiful and first of all. I was met by the princes daughter. Princess Padilla who I think was checking me up to make sure I was suitable to introduce her to her family then her mother breezed in. who was gorgeous marvelous Pakistani city? He Sabat I've got used to calling she. She said now you must ask my husband anything you like he has to do this. Bulky must do it clearly shea wanted the story and I I suspect he didn't. What impression did he I make? He sidled into the room after between his wife was still there and he was sir of Quality Short Man Gray head brace suit very dignified but very depressed could tell he was miserable. He walked in miserable fashion. Sean just stood there rather miserably and his wife introduced him to me and she then was the way saying ask him anything you like off. She wins and and off the doors and wind just leaving me and prince her son and we had a perfectly fun conversation. But he didn't ask me any questions at all about me Just popped up as person that was going to help him with a book could he talk to you about what sort of book him. I want you to work work with him on the conversation with with his wife and daughter were about at autobiography and I wanting to help from me to help him write his autobiography. which is a very peculiar? Quest is that is what our con- tried hard to quiz him about just to get a sense of how prepared he was to to spill the beans to spill some beans. I mean I didn't particularly want to go into all the the shock horror stuff like a women's magazine had already done in London. been because I'd already said he maintained dignified silence in the face of the catastrophe. Orphee as it was to him and he wasn't appointment heating become king that part of the story I want the story of his being Crown Prince. There he'd been crown prince for thirty years he been when he was very young man. Nothing eight nothing can just going up to Oxford. He was educated in England. The war broke out and he was whisked terms so his brother could be in charge of the army and the city has saw good start doing the work of a crown prince running the affairs at home. teed been certainly as as crown prince in charge of building very important institutions in Jordan they have very interesting educational institutions and women. Women have been educated for a long time things like that. I knew enough of the basics to well not making a complete fool of myself basically but to ask the questions that would tease us. What kind of book do you think he was making a view? Hillary no idea. Obviously I would have been vetted there was nowhere. I was just going to be flown in because someone in London sent me some tickets. I was going to be visited and I would have been visiting probably out of camera. I don't know how these things work but he didn't ask me any questions. He named. Drop too bitch he said Gareth Evans comes. Sometimes and pizza singer comes here sometimes. They were men admit. He said he'd been to Australia on his honeymoon. which was in the early seventies during Whitlam's era and he'd driven ridden ridden? He was a horseman a very very good Polo player. I knew this and he'd ridden horses around the ten and he said they're very frisky police horses but managed. He was bit boastful about physical stuff. So we had that kind of conversation but no questions of me. How did you and Princess Onfan Gills in a car together the Nicholas? I was sent away after this first meeting with one hundred pages to read so beca went to the hotel with one hundred pages and how rid them overnight and then return the next day with my opinion of them and that opinion was delivered in his very former office where he looked like a prime minister rather than a king. I was relieved to see because prime minister's fairly familiar things but I didn't know about kings and princes at all I didn't know thing and it wasn't wearing a crown he wasn't he wasn't wearing a crown he was either a business suit. He had a month-long pain line and a flag behind his desk. Lots of photos and we just sat at a very informal of coffee table and so he wanted to know what I'd made of. I think he called it his dizzy or his wife called his one of them did he is which meant the know how it would have been called his video. He's going off in the morning to record his D. So the what I had were the transcripts of interviews that someone had done in the past. I never even really discovered several people. have been involved in transcribing things. So they weren't very good but they had some fabulous materials so when I return the next morning outside the bits I'm really interested in our about your childhood about the crowd being Crown Prince about the wars about how you manage to build various things in Jordan and I was very enthusiastic because indeed. I was very much wanting wanting to do this project providing the backup was going to be there and that was swap was not discussed at that meeting but was vaguely discussed when I went and had lunch. which was a happy end up in the car together from this point house after lunch? I was asked if I'd like tour and of course I jumped at it and because it was clear I was going to be showing the places that were most important to princess on and off. He went off to get warm coats and I was handed a burger to input on later and we hopped into a at the front of the of the Family Palace which was a very beautiful house had pulled up this enormous motorcade with a huge. Didn't know the names of these cars but enormous army me jeep vast with guns on the back and Prince Zomba's driving it and he said to me hop up next to him so that he could show me the places as as we drove through the streets and you drive off at the front of the motorcade he. There were several cars behind but as we drove out of the palace many many more. AH THEY DO motorcades in Jordan. All the time and very long motorcade so there were lots of cars jeeps pulling up with with guns so off winch bench and I could hardly believe this is happening. But it was thrilling and princess on kept driving into he said I hate these motorcades. He said to me I hate them but they insist they being the king prison king though insist I have them so he kept sucking up roads at the motorcade. Couldn't go in to show me bits where there were stairs going up where his mother used to come down to buy bread from the baker and we waited talk up. The motorcade found that cemented we appeared in into streets. Were widened wide enough for these vehicles to go down. What stories did he tell you? Childhood stories as we went along which were about where he was born. His mother had a midwife. The hostile hospital hadn't been built by the so he he had interesting interesting stuff to say about midwives he said the midwife came to my mother and they were friends. And she. You know stuff really made me prog- up my ears. And he showed showed me. The coffee shop is to go to as a child places where people brought things and people knocked on the window of the car as we were going up these neurons speech and wave waved at him and he would wander on the window press a button. Donna would go and he would know the man name and it was he was giving me a glimpse of a man who was very at ease in small amount and the pop in was old downtown. which is a small part? The rest of a man is now enormous with hideous card of buildings on shopping centers going out to miles so wanting just to say hello or they make. He's you them and ask them how their families word would all of this. They obviously loved him so he was giving me a a tour of people loving him as well which was very harbouring and splendid. What about that tradition of petitioning? Not Sharing that happens in in parts of the Middle East where you go to the powerful posted in alleys out of being a child at school in the man prince he was at the local school school. The man before he was sent off poor thing to harrow. But when he was a little boy he'd be He'd have his school bag stuffed with petitions from people wanting them to go back to his family. And things like you know. My child can't get the education he wants. All we've had an accident or someone's being killed and we need money or something so the petitions were a problem and remain a problem. The that is how that will tends to work way. Did you end up on that day. The only thing driven around on we went to see his his sportscenter. The News Sports Center in the MOM which indeed is hugely in Brazil where to milestone astonishment said. I'm not going to play a game of squash. And he his he was a there was some kind of festival of young people on at the sports center. There's been bussed in from all over the Middle East to play squash and princess and the rugs and announces that he's going to play a game of squash and and the base person presumably was chosen to play him at Scorpion indeed. He's a brilliant squash player and his the sports master kept saying to me. He's not only a brilliant squash wash player. He's got a black belt in judo and he's this amazing Polo player. And all of those things so sport is very big factor so I said there was introduced as to his cardiologist and his sports center manager and his publicist and then we all bundled into the car and went down to have coffee in a in an old friends. Place in a man. Nie Nie Way He'd been born child so busy mazing for me at Amazing Day. I was stunned. I couldn't understand most most of the conversations of course but every now and then they translate something fabulous me and I feel for it. Landon sinker what were you fooling for. I was falling for the sense that there was a really terrific story that needed to be told he hadn't told us also. I was fascinated by the city the way the when he was growing the fact that of course the war was just over the border and how they were coping and we talked about those things in I know Berry rushed terms terms but I was. I was completely smitten by this project. So beca go to the hotel and start packing and telling my family emailing families are must stewart then the phone rings and the receptionist was very very excited. Voice said I WANNA put through princess on from the palace so he came onto the lion and said had I had a good day and Mazda interested in proceeding with this project so I said yes indeed. I am and I will come back in a pool and we'll start our workout how to do it when I'm in Australia. So that disease so I flew back to Australia feeling and this was the most marvelous thing not having worked up money or any sort of resources for the project but yes to the adventures to the thing killary as this. This new exciting adventure is opening up for you in Jordan. What was happening with your life back home in Australia? My Love Pick Hamill starter. Absolutely lutely fallen in a heap are came back from the Jordan Seduction and husband of twenty years announced that he wants to keep moving. He'd been in America Rausing Book and he wants to so I was completely shattered by this moving. What is what is that going back to America? I knew he was to finish working. But that he he he wanted to end the marriage and that was a gobsmack events. But I didn't want to argue about his Decided if he was prepared to say something like that after longtime together. I wasn't prepared to argue and I was just going to keep moving basically and because this project jabeen offered me in Jordan I and I was going to go back there in April Then texted my friends and said this is what we're going to do is splitting up and I'm going back to Jordan. You want to talk to you. The tells of that they did. But I didn't want to talk about and nobody thought I was. Pleased about it spurs. I was not wanting wanting to confide I had grown up children. I had a life. That was You know we we've been through a hell of a lot together and it felt like really catastrophic way to Indus so dealing with that kind of catastrophe was what I went back to Jordan with thinking. This is a fabulous project. I know how to make it happen. I'd quoted them on on the job. A modest carnival stolen amount of money and went back to Jordan and Started working on the book. And once you begin working on the Balkan in having these these lengthy conversations with prince has sand well how did you address him like. Was it a former kind of conversation you have to has it. It was formal enough in this. He would come to a special place where we would talk. which was a pavilion where we worked and we were the only the the other Australian? I the woman the been at school with playing hockey with. We're in this little pavilion. Wouldn't have said that at the call at that. Lowes assange on your sitting room. She was fabulous. She was a real ozzy working in the Middle East. There are quite a few of these incredible creatures so you and her and the prince would be there depressing come when he could fit in an interview that became the problem. He was very much in demand he was because the war was on. Those people wanted to talk to him. All kinds of people would come through a man wanting an appointment with Prince Assad and he would be invited to gun talk here there and everywhere so our bridgeview stations tended to be cancelled. Always get maybe twice a week. Maybe we'd have an hour and then suddenly he'd be called away It became quite frustrating. The interviews became more and more interesting to me and I could see the shape of the book happening it was ah very westernized environment in a way and they were immensely friendly and pleased to have me. I think and we got on very well and very funny. They're amusing people. We had lots of laughs and they were by this stage quite comfortable with me. I was with them. This was a new experience for you. Although Hillary having as your boss a member of the Royal Family Prince did that make things out in any way where we will use trailing enough just for it not to even really feature a look there courtesies involved obviously and and you stand when the prince comes into the room there those kinds of things and he is is almost invariably accompanied by someone carrying things carrying his papers or carrying his files or carrying his what he fancies to drink in the way have coffee or tea or whatever. Could you tell people what you were doing that. No that was open so most irritating thing the whole exercise this hockey playing. I kept saying you cannot talk about this. So it's not I don't know why not I don't know why it was ridiculous was absolutely ridiculous. There was the kind of paranoid air about the whole project. And she would answer for me if she was with me which he was quite a lot because she was the one who was transcribing tapes. People would ask her in my prisons. What are you doing what? Why is she why she in Amman? Or ask me directly and I was told to say we're doing special sure project for predecessor so I was being told to fudge all the time podcast broadcast and online. This is conversations with Sarah cannot escape on. ABC Radio So Hillary you're traveling between the princess royal compound in Amman in Jordan. Alan and your home in Melbourne did easily come into the picture. Once the once the word got asked my marriage had fallen over. I got of course. All kinds of lovely sympathetic phone calls from friends. All over the place and one of them was my old friend. Dear Friend Common Khelil who is a publishing titan in England. She's amazing and she started Virago and then she ran. Jonathan Cape Chatto winterson. Every damn thing. She rang me and said I was taking the Hashemite project and she was not very pleased about this because she city Hassam was quite famous on English television. So people in England knew all about him. No now on in Australia but in England they did and she wasn't in favor of me doing this project she said. Why did you do rot? Something else don't do that but I was by the stage stage thoroughly seduced so I said I told her that the marriage it collapsed and I was thinking of living somewhere else for awhile and instead of going going back to Australia after a taping session with city Hassan and working on the book at home and dealing with jet legs. Thirty eight hours of flying. Yeah I would think I was thinking of maybe going to Italy where I'd been before. And she said she thought she had a friend who might be able to help me. So that's what happened. She her friend unfound gave me the a delightful little apartment in court. Toner for a the lot full of rinse could manage and I I would go from a man to call turn to rust and it was only four hours from a man to call Tony Rome and it was fabulous on the train with all my bits and pieces and unwrought where you didn't hear planes going over all the time. Cortana is in Tuscany. How I would imagine village in Tuscany to look? It's it's where Francis Males wrote that execrable book about how Wonderful Tuscany Malls and she was very unpopular. In Tuscany. I have to inequality Turner I have to tell you. So many tourists came to Koto because of her there and they all wanted to go and see her house but didn't really want anything else so and she'd Pantley tried to stop public swimming pool because it made too much noise in into her backyard or something or other but this is the epitome of romantic pastoral laying. Play a love story and I was going to quote not because of a love story but because of a broken heart so obviously I was a very different candidates and I looked miserable and I felt miserable miserable. I didn't feel miserable in Jordan because I was working that was what was a fabulous about having this job it was totally engrossing and it was only when I got on the train to go back to Italy and I wanted to get the air I was going to rush and do all the work on the book there and it was a deal little apartment and and love the town but I was lonely. I was solitary there in an easily. There is no good word. Solitude I discovered there is not it's so Solo Romeo. It's terrible and they see that you're on your own in a cafe and they don't serve you all they give you a terrible table. Tell me a bit more about the town. Hillary how old is that. How old is oh gosh it trust can I mean it goes way way back with huge walls and stones and the history written in the stones? It's amazing amazing. Tell me the story of the patron saint of Cortana Santa Margarita outside the boundaries. She was a single mother really. She ran away from her he may have been her husband. Omar bin her love. It's not clear but anyway she. She lost her protector and she tricked back to her family. Who didn't want her with her baby? In the snow these sorts of stories and found a way to Cortana where the Franciscans who just you started their their their monastery talker in which was astonishing She was a young woman with a young son and she became Religious person in quarter and started her own Orders for the poor poor poor women in particular in that part of the world so and the medical thing about Santa Margarita was that she is still in Colorado at a tiny coffin in the church at the top of the time she's in uncorrupted. She's a saint. Her little body is lying. The in her robes in a glass lock snow white and the glass coffin and people trek up the the mountain and see her and I did that too. It was she was amazing. The hazing so you were in a little apartment. What kind of you did you have from allies? Where you did your writing row over the plains rise over the plains where the Tuscan armies marched and you could hear? The train's going down balloon so it was a fabulous. Ah Permanent Sky on the for big big scars and big. Weather's you'd see where the rolling in across the plane and have to learn to deal with your washing was if you didn't Sabine would be billowing. All the time which happened to me a couple of done did it snowed. It snowed in the winter. In the winter it was of course. Horrific lonely took me a while to work out. There were two of everything in China so that the Green Grocer one of the grosses could take their holidays so there was always voice supplies. You weren't going to perish but when the snows came at they filled up the lanes on the roads which are tiny and the snow. Plows would eventually released you but you were. You know you will contain snow for many many hours sometimes in the winter and you had very big snow coats and boots and all of that kind of gear which I acquired quad The other villages make a view they thought was really weird. A weird for the US not not someone they wanted really do get to know it was an old woman in the apartment Niimi and he invited me in for a coffee one day and kissing on must invite her back in a Mustang back back in and she sought as writing romances. That I thought I've actually thought I probably should have been writing man's by this stage because I was starting housing to realize that the book was getting to the point where it was very hard to be the one I wanted to tell me about one friend that you made made a friendship with an old woman called Nella who shave Nilo McNary. She was a she lived. The top of Italian. The most beautiful house awesome ever seen in my life with a Linden tree on the courtyard and an astonishing house built into the side of the mountain and Nella was very rich but she was also very main lot of rich women are and she does all her clothes at the charity shop and she was always telling me I was too extravagance than shoes. She she would use me to hold her car. She had an old bomb of a car and she'd go charging across the plane to take a piece of furniture to be fixed up in a town on somewhere other and she'd have me holding the piece of furniture and the car door shut while she and she was very old Neyla much older than me but very fit because everyone in auto owners fit. Because there's so steep they walk up pills down those so I had a great fun with Nila and she taught me a few tricks about house gates on and off trains which was terribly had the water. What did she teach you how to have a She thought I had a very submissive. Australian men that she despised Australians. Basically Taylor made it very clear that we have no interest whatsoever. But you don't know how to find someone to help you on the train. which is indeed true? I had very big bags going backwards and forwards to Jordan with with posh clothes and computers and all of that stuff and she show me how I could identify young men on the station who will from good families and instruct them to come and help me with the right tone of voice so she cubs remember how to do very useful scary indeed. I helped on and off the train from then on very grateful to Nila. How are you trying to to learn? Italian hilary while I try to try very hard to learn Italian and I went to Italian classes where you had to make up stories about you. Tell the Story Arabia love but my mom's so awful. I didn't tell anyone so I made up a fancy story about everything that was happening to me. Hadn't happened to me and and I by telling was terrible at I would make little lists in the morning of things too so I can go shopping and song and I was hopeless as and I think it was because I was so miserable all all it was coming back to me was a bit of fried reasonable French and school goal German and and they would come pouring back into my brain and my attention was non-existence absolutely non-existent until my family started arising arriving and my granddaughter speak like Italian Asshole to pull myself together and ultimate baiser given that that you'll someone who's made their life in words it must have been very disconcerting according to not be able to speak in the when you add terrible terrible to be to be silenced is awful thing and it made me of course immensely sympathetic Zeke to other strawberry who were strangers in that place and no one spoke to them. You say that you were very lonely. How do see we have lifted loan before no I hadn't? I was astonished to work out. I'd never ever lived alone. Yes ever and how you treated as a a single woman In Khotan Tana. Oh I was just ignored. Have to insert myself to make something happen. I think I think I looked terrible. I think I looked very miserable. Trudging through the snow or trash off the street with my little bag of food for that day and I don't think the Bob that was coming off me was particularly appealing. But I made an effort. I went out to eat and I went to the OBAMAS. Very terrific buzz and terrific coffee shops and all that sort of stuff so I would go and then realized I'm being ignored and not know how to insert myself with my rotten Italian so so I had another friend who was Linda Passerini and she was much much kinder to me than Nila was Nelson Car Nila. Nila was rude to me and made me laugh a lot but Lindahl showed me the ropes. She'd lived there for many issues and wonderful. left-wing contests are actually but she never used the title and she'd lived in Katerina for forty years and it was her apartment. I was in for some women living alone. Particularly after a lifetime of looking after children and husbands can can be Glorious and liberating. Why do you think it was so not that way for you? I Ah I think because Oh my son was my son who was working in London with with drug affected. Kids used to ring me up to make sure I was okay. And he said what's wrong with your mom is the job blaming yourself for everything which is true. I was and he said I'll send you a book. He sent me one called feeling good which I had to read a bit of every night didn't but it is very nice to get bus kids. Were you surprised we taken aback backbone. How hard you found living alone? Absolutely devastated about shocked by it It's very shocking to realize how vulnerable this what happened to me. It happens to many many women of my age and it's a everything stops. You think nothing will ever start again in. I mean it just but I was very fortunate because I had work and I had worked. I was engrossed in friends. Visited me sometimes on their way through to somewhere else and that was beat to. Did you confide in any of those friends. I didn't I didn't because they were from here. And and they were tactless rob sometimes and so. I saw your husband with the book. The book launch this all. I didn't want to hear anything like this at all just wanted to be kind of cut off. I think anyway anyway it was a hard. Tom Are recovered. When you look back at it now do you think that that difficulty that Greif even was at all about your marriage or was was it just that being alone let things come to the surface? Maybe for many many years of many different things that hadn't had the chance to. I think I think lots of things come up when something big like that happens to you and I. I really realized that I was extremely depressed and not coping very well and things are things that happened to me. Of course I mean I was in my mid sixties so I had many many things happened about had three children and the baby before my three children who was born prematurely and died after a couple of days which had always shattered me at that. Tam of MEA abusive lighter April and that surfaced again always surfaces and other things that happened to me surfaces surfaces world. So when you very learn new face your own guilty face your own complicity and things that you've done new face the good things in the the loss of the good things and some of the bad things so it was a very hard time and I was. I think I was very very fortunate. Position to be able to deal with all this Belan Harwood. If I've been somewhere with our been back maybe other things were coming to a head with the Prince's book as well what feedback where you getting from him. The the I four the first chapter are left behind. He didn't like because there were too personal. And I found extrordinary He didn't want his any information about his childhood. All you didn't mention of his mother he had the most marvelous mother who I felt. I knew I'd seen gene so many photos of her. I knew that there will be some stories. He wouldn't want told but I wasn't prepared for him to say this is this is forgotten them word he used to dismiss it but it was was too soft for him. He didn't he was much more interested in doing a book about politics about policy Z.. About being Crown Prince about institution building. That was the one we started to do. Did you increasingly get the sense that there were other people with their fingers in the pie around this book that may be decisions. Were being made elsewhere in the family to it took me a long time to realize the family the family. I really wanted to certain kinds of books. There's no doubt that the princess wife who I liked enormously would come offer herself to be interviewed about things. She wanted in the book but the things she wanted were not the things that he wanted and similarly the doors did the same thing princess body but Princess Badia the Wanted him to say more about women and I did too. So that was that was. We're on the same page there but people were telling me stories. I was getting much more in tune with the family and also aware of both the complexities were so I had a strong sense. That the only kind of book we you could do was the con that he was happy to do. Laid you into decide to withdraw from the project. What happened for you to say? I can't not work on the city. So pathetic now and when I looked back at all Documentation the notes are made at the time of everything. I'm astonished that AH DID WITHDRAW The book. I finished the ball hours just alone in the in the place where I work there because most of the foreign people who worked for the Mogollon on holidays it was very hot with June and the family were in London and I was almost wasn't entirely alone but I was finishing the book and I started getting phone calls from London from members of the family wanting changes made and made ones change inge. Major be perfectly reasonable and then I heard from the housekeeper. Who'd been the woman who ran me originally? Hey princess arm was sitting in the garden with his daughter looking very press she said looking very depressed. My heart sank anew anew what was happening happening near the Garden Bayden Emma Sophia doing some Interviewing him when he was in London and I had the strong sense that the book was it was being got at to simplify the book to change. Some of the things he'd once said to me in one of our interviewing sessions which are gone extremely me will he turned to me and he said. Don't let them sense to me and I didn't ask him who they were. I didn't have the faintest idea. But this is what came back to me when I was getting these phone calls. And they were getting more and more adamant and there were becoming instructions. I'm ordering you. These are other people in the royal family. Not The criticism of the princess. Was the Princess Princess Body who was bringing me and she said she was a very young woman and she said I'm ordering you to make these changes changes in our said but I can't make the militia. Father tells me himself that he wants. It's his book and he has to instruct me himself and and she went away and didn't hear I didn't hear he didn't ever bring me and instruct me and she rang again and say I am instructing. This is what must happen. This is what must be done. They were changes to the tone of the book. Though making it much more obsequious I think but the things about the succession changed as he had wanted in in a very modest kind of way they would turning it so that it was is not the book that he wanted are felt quite sure of that so I said Account make them and not just lifted that hung up. I and I finished the project and lifted in printed off in the office lifted in six little piles. I don't know why six but I did leave six and copied all roll onto a USB stick of course and and I got the office to get me a a plane ass and are GonNa play and just left just left and nine lift and are all the way back on the train plan on the train kept on doing the right thing about doing the right thing. I go back to coach Turner Log. I was sure I was doing the right thing. And I'll send long email explaining why I couldn't finish it but offering to finish it for them to get get it to the point where they were happy and I would see it through the publisher in London where I was a loss and the odd sit up a publisher they for them. I was wrong and persuasion regime was tried and are still said no no no. I couldn't take that. I think I'd still be there really arguing. If and because he didn't come until me himself why he wanted those changes. It was not possible. Is it being spoken to rudely by young also rather officer was being up my my Australian. This rose up just told her count copying spoke to like this. It was something to do with Maliki. Did you ever hear hear from Prince. Hassan himself Ardila. Got A stupid course. A wonderful big envelope with a rid seal arrived in the mail in quota and and I'm big red seal with a lovely letter from him saying that he'd values and made him think very hard about his work and good things like this and I was very pleased about this and I didn't of course here from anyone else ever again. Has He got onto publish version of the book that he will wear the publisher's website and hoping it would pop-up and there would be probably with photos editon because we're going to have photos so lovely photos to include and with a bit scouser how they want to cut up but never appeared so I suspect it was a form of therapy for prince her son and it was. It was a form of therapy for me. Eighty two. I think it was a very. That's only just the good to me this moment but it was a project is I think he enjoyed doing at asset Ni Phil Fabulous subduing enjoyed it very much. And they gave me a wonderful time and there is no book so I had failed marriage and a fail book that I came back to Australia. It was quite a hard thing to do with those two. Things came back to Australia with this realization. That living alone maybe wasn't the right thing today. For Hilary mcphee. So who lives with you now. Who's in your house with our when I came back tolstoy Musicians might be the answer because various people advise meet to get rises to live in the house which I thought I had Rosa living in the house husband Rosser and the two rises hopeless so not a writer and and it. It was a particular out of house rather thick walls and wooden floors and saw so A young musician for son of a friend of mine in London leashes leashes came to me one day and said this house is perfect for musicians. He went upstairs and he checked it. All earthern has suddenly thought. Of course I thought has get musicians. ZANU manage

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