Welcome to this week’s edition of Royalist, The Daily Beast’s newsletter for all things royal and Royal Family. Subscribe here to get it in your inbox every Sunday.
Royal sources on Harry and Meghan demand: Err, nah
If you sat through the seemingly endless six hours of Netflix’s Harry & Meghan it will come as no surprise to learn that Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are still not happy. Specifically, according to a juicily detailed report in the UK Sunday Timesthey now want “to sit down with the royal family” to discuss all their “issues,” and receive an apology too for what they see as the shabby treatment they have received.
The new demand reportedly comes after the couple saw the engineered palace sit-down between Black charity boss Ngozi Fulani and former lady-in-waiting Lady Susan Hussey, who repeatedly badgered Fulani at a recent reception demanding to know where she was “really” from .
Following the incident, Prince William condemned racism, and by extension his godmother. The two women were brought face to face this week in a highly publicized make-nice. Harry and Meghan say the meeting shows “double standards,” the Times says. A source close to the Sussexes told the paper: “Nothing like that was ever done when Harry and Meghan raised various concerns—no meeting, formal apology or taking responsibility or accountability. That is hard to swallow—100 per cent yes they’d like to have a meeting.”
The couple would like this meeting before King Charles’ coronation, which they are likely to attend, the paper says.
Buckingham Palace’s response to this demand? A senior palace source said: “If they want to get in touch with the King, they know where he lives.” This pretty much follows in line with the business-as-usual royal calendar of this week, capped by an all-smiles carol service. They hope a non-response to the Sussexes speaks volumes. A broker told the paper: “We are deliberately keen to send a message by being voiceless. Our duty is to get on with the job. It isn’t to answer.”
The Times also reports that Harry’s memoir, spareout January 10, “includes claims about the monarchy that are more incendiary than those made in the Netflix series.”
“Things have been very strained for a while,” a friend of William’s told the paper about the brothers’ relationship. “There is sadness at where things currently are with his brother. . . and there’s a memoir coming.” Another close friend of Prince William told the Times: “The whole thing is mad.”
Royal sources said Harry’s characterization of the queen sitting “quietly” taking it all in as the Sandringham Summit unfolded, or going “on the advice she’s been given” was untrue. “It’s outrageous,” a broker told them Sunday Times. “Harry never wanted to admit to himself that it was the Queen who said, ‘no, you’re out.’ He couldn’t fathom that he wasn’t the cheeky chappy who was going to sweet-talk grandma into getting what he wanted.”
“The narrative has shifted from Prince Harry on the Queen. It was always ‘my commander-in-chief, the boss’. But when he was not getting the support from her he wanted, she is represented as a diminutive figure sitting in the corner,” another courtier told the paper. “That is another manipulation of the narrative to suit the outcome as felt by Harry. Advisers made recommendations to Her Majesty, but there was only one person making the decisions. To look the truth squarely in the eye, to realize your relationship has been damaged and to know it was his commander-in-chief who decided he couldn’t have the half-in, half-out role he wanted, is probably too painful for him to accept.”
The paper sketches a picture of two deeply entrenched camps—the royals versus Harry and Meghan—with little desire to negotiate or meet in the middle. “Harry is convinced his view is correct,” a friend of the royals tells the Times. “He’s a man on a mission to change things in a way he thinks they need to be changed. It’s a true quest he’s on. The rest of the family think what he’s doing is hugely damaging. It’s two ideologies clashing in the quadrangle where neither can give ground.”
A friend of Harry’s competition. “People ask ‘why air your dirty laundry?’ Everything Harry does and says is rooted in wanting to try and change things for the better, even if not everyone agrees with that. If the outcome of all of this is an institution and a family that operates in a more modern way, then so much the better. . . if there is a chance to improve things for the next generation, that’s a positive.”
“They’ve fired all their ammunition and keep shooting the same bullets. Their business model must rely on them making money from something, what will it be if not to rely on this narrative of victimhood?“
— Royal source
A friend of King Charles called the Netflix documentary “a disgraceful betrayal of trust, an unwelcome distraction in the short term and very hurtful to the family. But it’s not as damaging to the monarchy as we feared. Most sensible people will see it for what it is—self-indulgent, one-sided and exploitative… I’m sure Harry will come to regret it unless he’s lost to the world.”
Another source told the Times: “They’ve fired all their ammunition and keep shooting the same bullets. Their business model must rely on them making money from something, what will it be if not to rely on this narrative of victimhood?”
If spare does dish even more, and damagingly, then relations will likely deteriorate further. Still, a source close to the Sussexes tells the Times that after Harry’s book, the couple will “focus on their service work” rather than “anything personal—they’re looking forward to people being interested in what they’re doing beyond all the drama.”
Stop laughing at the back.
Anderson Cooper to interview Prince Harry
Your next royal media appointment may well be Sunday January 8. For on that day Prince Harry will reportedly appear on CBS’ 60 Minutes show to be interviewed by Anderson Cooper, according to a report in the Mail on Sunday.
The choice of interviewer makes a lot of sense; Cooper is a veteran (like Harry) and has also won praise for helping break the taboo around suicide, speaking out about mental health issues. He has disclosed that his brother took his own life in 1988.
Harry’s book is due to be published two days later on January 10.
A television source told the Mail On Sunday: “Mr. Cooper has won Harry’s trust. This would be a coup for Mr. Cooper and fits well with Harry’s campaign to promote mental health.”
While there has been a general sense of relief at the palace that the Netflix documentary appears to have not damaged the royals, there is greater anxiety that Harry’s memoir could yet make damaging revelations.
In 2018, Cooper said: “I was at the royal wedding, covering it for CNN. Our correspondent Max Foster said, ‘You should wave at Harry because Harry is going to look up at the bright lights and I bet he’ll wave at you.’ The carriage makes a turn. I start waving. Harry looks up at the tower, we make eye contact and he waves. I almost died.”
“Megxit” reportedly damaged the Queen’s health
The stress of Harry and Meghan leaving the royal family had a “detrimental effect” on the late queen’s health, a “well-placed source” tells the Mail on Sunday.
The source says the queen’s health was already declining “for reasons that had nothing to do with Megxit,” but added: ‘It really affected the Queen’s health. It had a detrimental effect on her health. Yes she was elderly and there were other issues with that but nevertheless all the Harry and Meghan claims certainly contributed to that. I’m just so glad the queen isn’t around to hear all about this latest program. It is the very opposite of duty, unity and sacrifice—everything that she was brought up to believe in and which she embodied.”
Subscribe here to get all the latest royal news and gossip with Tom Sykes and Tim Teeman.
Jeremy Clarkson thinks extreme attack on Meghan Markle
British outrage specialist Jeremy Clarkson has penned a vicious, misogynistic column for the Sun (unlinked to here) about his hatred for Meghan Markle.
“At night, I’m unable to sleep as I lie there, grinding my teeth and dreaming of the day when she is made to parade naked through the streets of every town in Britain while the crowds chant, ‘Shame!’ and throw lumps of excrement at her,” he wrote in one of the more insane passages.
There has been much condemnation of Clarkson’s comments, which appear to be a riff off a Game of Thrones scene—which was itself deeply misogynistic.
Clarkson has a penchant for inciting controversy, but the decision of the Sun to publish a column inciting violence against women is even more grist for Meghan and Harry to make their case about the disgusting extent of the abuse she has suffered at the hands of the British media.
As biographer Omid Scobie was quick to point out, Clarkson was at lunch earlier this week with a famous domestic violence campaigner named…Camilla Parker Bowles.
Royal friends gather with William at ex Rose Farquhar’s wedding
Prince William brushed off the troubles of the week by attending the wedding of his old girlfriend Rose Farquhar, Saturday. Attired in classic black tie, the Prince of Wales “looked relaxed,” the Mirror said, as he arrived at the snow-dusted nuptials, not far from his father’s home in Gloucestershire.
Rose wore a stunning satin wedding dress with a luxurious fur collar to keep out the winter chill for her marriage to George Gemmel, the heir to a construction fortune.
Rose dated William in 2000, the two having met at the Beaufort Polo Club in Gloucestershire, the Mail says, adding they were once “caught by a farmer canoodling in a field.”
Of yesterday’s nuptials, the Mail reported: “Things almost went awry when their wedding car broke down en route, but Rose and her father Captain Ian Farquhar managed to arrive on time in an Audi instead.”
The Mail adds that Ian was formerly equerry to the Queen Mother and “was once arrested for crashing his car as he left the wedding of Princess Margaret’s son Earl Snowdon.”
Another William ex, Olivia Hunt, was also present as was Harry’s old friend Tom ‘Skippy’ Inskip, who is understood to have been excised from Harry’s inner circle after he advised Harry not to rush into marrying Meghan.
This week in royal history
On December 19, 2019, the royals gathered for the queen’s traditional Christmas lunch, with William and Kate bringing all their kids, then-Prince Charles and Camilla, Princess Anne, Zara and Mike Tindall and Princesses Beatrice and Eugenie. And Prince Andrew.
What is in Harry’s memoir that could be damaging to the royals? What will King Charles say in his first Christmas Day speech a week today?
Love The Daily Beast’s royal coverage? Sign up here to get Royalist newsletters sent straight to your inbox.