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Latest show in the chart-topping series looks back on the life of Britain’s longest-serving monarch, and asks what the world can expect from King Charles III

NEW YORK, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, September 12, 2022 / -- In a special edition of THE FIRM: BLOOD, LIES, AND ROYAL SUCCESSION, produced and distributed by Audology, the audio division of Empire Media Group (EMG), Queen Elizabeth II is remembered for her life of constant, selfless duty to the United Kingdom, Commonwealth and to the crown.

Throughout the chart-topping series that debuted in June, royal commentators have probed 500 years of royal secrets, scandals and constitutional crises. 

Now, in a previously-unscheduled episode released after Elizabeth II’s death on Sept. 8, investigative journalist Dylan Howard, who is the series’ Executive Producer, leads the tributes to Britain’s longest reigning monarch and explores what’s ahead for the monarchy. Listen to the episode HERE.

“As THE FIRM uncovered through its 12 episodes, senior figures at the Palace have worked to protect the royal brand for over five centuries,” said Howard. “And at Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this summer, the world saw how under her reign, that brand has never been stronger. 

“This was a lesson Elizabeth learned from her errant uncle Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne in 1936. If ever a king did not protect the institution, it was Edward VIII. Edward not only put his own interests above his duty to the nation, he very nearly destroyed the monarchy itself. It may in part explain why, even into her 90s, there was never any question of Elizabeth giving up the throne for Charles.”

In the new episode (available to download via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, and Google Play), the extraordinary life of Britain’s longest-reigning monarch is examined and celebrated.

“It was a life of selfless service for more than 70 years,” added Howard (whose other chart-topping podcast credits include Fatal Voyage: The Mysterious Death of Natalie Wood, The Killing of Marilyn Monroe, and Diana: Case Solved). 

“Elizabeth II dedicated herself to her role: as monarch, but also as servant. Part of her enormous appeal was the quiet constancy she brought to being Queen. While other royals fell victim to the temptations and pitfalls that wealth and privilege can bring, Elizabeth somehow remained free from any whiff of impropriety.”

In addition to celebrating the life of Elizabeth II, the special episode also examines many of the unique problems the new king, Charles III, will inherit, including:

 How will he adjust to being King, after waiting his whole life to wear the crown? 
How will the King deal with his immensely unpopular younger brother, Prince Andrew, and his rebellious youngest son, Prince Harry?
How will he live up to the impossible example set by his mother?
How will Charles III attempt to modernize the monarchy – possibly even by “slimming down” the royal family?

“The extraordinary sense of loss that has followed the Queen’s death is not only felt in Britain, but around the entire world,” adds Howard. “The death of Elizabeth II represents the end of an era for the British monarchy, but as our listeners of THE FIRM have come to understand, it will not be the end of the institution. 

“The monarchy will prevail; it will endure, it will continue, just as it always has done.”

Over its previous 12 episodes, THE FIRM examined the lengths to which the shadowy group of senior royals and courtiers known as “The Firm” have gone in order to keep scandals and inconvenient stories secret, from the reign of 16th Century Queen Elizabeth I, to the modern crises provoked by Prince Andrew and “Megxit” – with their priority being the survival of the royal brand… no matter what the cost. 

Using analysis and insight from a roster of royal experts, historians and those close to the family — including former Palace employees Stewart Pearce, Grant Harrold and Ken Wharfe, as well as Cele Otnes, Thomas Mace Archer Mills, Eloise Parker, Kinsey Schofield, Andrew Lownie, Jaclyn Roth and more — the series provided an eye-opening exploration of just how the institution has evolved and adapted, and how it continues to do so in the face of recent unprecedented challenges to its standing.

The chart-topping series dominated the Apple Podcasts’ history charts across the globe, and soon after its launch quickly seized the No.1 spot in Australia.

THE FIRM also shot into the top 50 on the Apple Podcasts history charts in the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, New Zealand, China, and the United Arab Emirates, marking the true global nature of the production. Across multiple categories, the series outperformed the likes of American Scandal (Wondery), British Scandal (Wondery), Slow Burn (Slate Podcasts ), You're Dead To Me (BBC Radio 4) and Sword and Scale (Incongruity). 

THE FIRM is written by Dominic Utton, produced by Douglas Montero, and edited by Sean Kravit. The series is hosted by Jonathan Lock. Executive Producers are Dylan Howard, and Melissa Cronin (Epstein: Devil in the Darkness).

Audology, EMG’s podcast division, launched earlier this year with podcast productions powered by artificial intelligence for EMG brands,, and


The Royal Observer™ takes you behind the high walls, gilded gates and palace façades and into the very heart of the most famous families alive. The website and quarterly print edition explore history and tradition stretching back thousands of years. We celebrate all the pomp and ceremony that drive and define the public lives of royal families around the world, while also venturing behind closed doors into the shadowy areas of the royal palaces the public does not get to see. With the latest coverage of the entire royal families, exclusive news, photos and insider details of events, The Royal Observer™ takes users inside a rarefied world.


Audology is an audio-first studio and premium podcast network with a mission to make podcasting part of people's everyday lives. As a division of Empire Media Group, Audology develops, create, produces and distributes original audio and launches digital initiatives. With unparalleled access to the world's most innovative creators, Audiology produces unique listening experiences across a wide range of interests and demographics. Audology is a full-service operation, offering financing, production, marketing, and monetization.


Empire Media Group (EMG) is the new media landscape, where bold and authoritative content meets innovative delivery for passionate audiences. An award-winning, global, and next-generation multi-platform media company, EMG encompasses a powerful portfolio of assets that serve highly engaged audiences through a rich assemblage of content delivery mechanisms: from magazines, live events, and digital media, to video, television, audio, book publishing, and more. EMG’s suite of 12 vaunted brands makes it one of the world’s largest and most diversified modern media conglomerates, with market share across entertainment, fashion and beauty, luxury, travel, and specialist consumer titles. At EMG, we do not just serve readers; we serve users. Divisions of EMG include television and movie production company Mystify Studios, podcast studio Audology, literary publisher Harland & Wolff Publishing, marketing firm Elevate Strategic, EMG Ventures, and the non-profit foundation, the Institute for Healthy Media Minds, which is focused on creating a positive culture of mental health across the journalism, media, and public relations industries. With these six distinct business units united under a mandate of preeminence in content quality and innovation, EMG is a 360-degree media business that is poised for the future — broadening the reach of storytelling into virtual and augmented reality, programming, e-commerce, immersive events, branded content, innovative advertising solutions, and beyond.

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