Is Prince Harry’s bungled PR evidence of incompetence or arrogance?


As I’ve said before, I really like The Daily Beast’s Tom Sykes. His royal coverage and royal analysis is usually pretty interesting, and his unnamed sources often provide the bitchiest quotes out there. Sykes did an analysis piece this week about Prince Harry, Meghan Markle, the royal press game and whether all of the signs are pointing towards an engagement sooner rather than later. Sykes analyzes the stupid press strategy around Harry and Meghan’s relationship, and calls out the younger royals for being so short-sighted with the press. You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

How Poor Jason lied to the press about Harry’s visit to Toronto: The naked deception marks a new low in the contemptuous manner Kensington Palace sees fit to treat the British press…Harry and his youthful press team are playing a dangerous game in telling outright lies to the press. Not only does such behaviour eliminate all trust, it is immensely alienating to reporters, whose jobs (and mortgages) depend on getting accurate information to their readers. It was also, needless to say, an open goal; the Sun got the story that Harry was visiting Meghan anyway, and the story of Harry’s flagrant disregard for protocol and abuse of taxpayer funds is now leading news coverage. The story was the “most read” item on even the patriotic Daily Telegraph’s website on Wednesday. The scandal has entirely eclipsed the wonderful, positive PR for the monarchy that the gruelling two-week tour of the Caribbean had generated.

The arrogance of the royals: How could Harry, and his advisers, have been so stupid? Part of the answer lies in the unattractive arrogance that is becoming a defining characteristic of the young royals. Another part lies in the inexperience of Harry’s underpaid press team and their well-documented inability to say no to their masters. Some insiders say that the press operation has been chaotic since old timer Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton left two years ago. This summer Nick Loughran, a former police spokesman, left KP for PR firm Freuds after he split up with his former girlfriend, Kate Middleton’s aide Rebecca Deacon, and started going out with Harry’s assistant, Clara Madden.

Why the PR around Harry & Meghan seems so bungled: There are only really three explanations; 1) the press team at Kensington Palace have lost their minds, 2) Harry is on the point of proposing to Meghan, or, even more intriguingly, 3) he already has. In the case of 2) or 3), the stop in Toronto suddenly makes sense; Harry may have judged the long game was worth the short-term criticism and negative headlines.

Sykes thinks an engagement is coming soon: As the furor surrounding the Toronto stopover shows, taking planes to go on dates isn’t really practical for a high-profile royal. If they got engaged, and she was prepared to give up her career, there would be no reason why Markle shouldn’t move into KP immediately. Given that she has already stayed overnight there, there is unlikely to be any objection on protocol grounds form the queen. Markle cannot be given taxpayer-funded protection unless she and Harry are actually engaged. Matters may come to a head over the forthcoming holiday period. Rumors are rife that Harry and Meghan are planning a winter vacation, and an announcement of an engagement in the New Year would be a delightful—but not entirely surprising—development.

[From The Daily Beast]

So much shade! And this was what I was attempting to point out earlier this week. While Harry might be a lot better than William in many, many ways, they have one thing in common: “unattractive arrogance,” especially in how they deal with the media. It pains me to say that about Harry too, but the whole lying-to-the-press-about-flying-to-Toronto thing was bad. If William had done it, he would have been thoroughly slammed, for good reason. And yes, it does feel like the Kensington Palace press office doesn’t know what the hell they’re doing most of the time. Even if you go along with the theory that Harry and Meghan are already engaged or they’re on the engagement path, that still doesn’t explain the Wales’ brothers constant contempt for the press. The same press that (for the most part) benefits from building them up and adding to their popularity.


Photos courtesy of Fame/Flynet.

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150 Responses to “Is Prince Harry’s bungled PR evidence of incompetence or arrogance?”

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  1. Talie says:

    Yeah, I think he is on the road to engagement — it might be a mistake going so fast, but it’ll probably happen sooner rather than later. He seems to want to settle down. And Meghan giving up her career won’t be so difficult…she’s got no movie career and she’s, what, the third or fourth lead on a basic cable TV show?

    • Hmmmm says:

      This couple just seems so odd to me. Not one picture of them together. He’s gotten a lot of negativity in the UK recently. I don’t see this “relationship” going anywhere.

      • Belle Epoch says:

        I don’t know anything about her except I’m pretty sure it was her sister who said terrible “just you wait” things about her. She sounds dreadful. What do we know about her? Why would she want to be princess in a country about which she appears to know nothing, with a royal family that will forever look down on her? Sounds like she has her head up her …

      • Odette says:

        A few questions:

        1) If you say you don’t know anything about her, how can you also say she sounds dreadful?

        2) Why do you think she doesn’t know anything about the UK?

        3) Why do you think the royal family looks down on her? Or will look down on her?

      • Maria says:

        I’m not even sure the Queen would give them permission at this point. I read somewhere that she believes a couple should be together for 5 years before they marry into her dysfunctional family. Sophie lived with Edward for that long.

      • Lindsey says:

        1) I think they are saying it regarding the quotes from family members. There tends to be dirt if family members speak out at the modicum of press coverage.

        2) She took a couple British quizzes and knew almost nothing. They weren’t hard it was a surprising number of wrong answers. Not only that but she did even seem to care or keep it in her memory bank for the next stupid quiz.

        3) She is American. She knows less than even Kate about Royal tradition and protocol. I think they are sick of beating their heads against a brick wall and it causing them to underestimate Meghan I do think she is trainable, she seems to love the press, she seems social, and she has already done impressive charity work. She has things that she cares about because they matter to her not because she has to be dragged kicking and screaming for the PR.

      • Odette says:

        Thanks for the responses, Lindsey. I guess I just see it differently. For starters, I never trust shady siblings — especially ones that speak to the press. As far as the quizzes go, I hadn’t heard about it. So, I went and found it. LOL. That was hardly a history quiz; more like a gag quiz (out of these four crazy names, which is a real lager!). If people are judging her on that…wow. And, well, for the third point, I don’t think the British Royal Family looks down on people because they’re American. They’re essentially diplomats!

      • raincoaster says:

        Toronto does not have a lot of paparazzi. Even Vancouver has way more.

    • sienna says:

      Wow, why the vitriol for Meghan’s career?
      I was a lowly contract manager before leaving my job to hop across the pond to make my relationship work (spoiler alert: it didn’t). We lasted 3 more years but I never got over losing my sense of self and making a new life was much harder than I thought it would be. I hope they can make it work.

      I am currently watching the Crown and it shows how hard a young QEII worked to be a good monarch to her people. To watch her goodwill be flushed down the toilet by a generation who does not want the duty of royal life, but just the privilege, is sad.

      • Talie says:

        I actually like her and think she would make an interesting new Duchess. I’m just keeping it real…

      • Ramona says:

        Its not about her career, its about yet another British internet boyfriend falling for a woman other themselves. The vitriol is expected and I hope she knows to avoid it. I hope they have a big tacky f u all wedding and have a blissful happily ever after.

      • Ramona says:

        Sorry, wasnt singling you out Talie. Just the whole hater vibe whenever a an internet crush falls in love. You never see men pull this when their crushes meet someone.

      • Megan says:

        To each their own, but I think Meghan’s current life looks like a lot more fun than Sophie Wessex’s life (not going to bother comparing Meghan to Kate).

    • Jack Daniels is my patronus says:

      Does anyone else think that this may have been intentionally mishandled in order to detract from the talk about Kate’s mental health?

      I can’t help it… I see conspiracy theories everywhere in regards to the royals.

      • Sarah says:

        Well there is a saying that just because you are paranoid, it doesn’t mean that someone isn’t out to get you! I wonder if all this KP stuff isn’t to deflect from something about Will and Kate – something bad.

  2. AT says:

    Oh please Tom Sykes the one who LOVES the Cambridges and slams Harry for everything and anything? Just a few months ago he practically called him an alcoholic.

  3. Alix says:

    I’m going to give Harry a pass here, because I think when it comes to introducing someone important into their lives, both brothers go all DEFCON1. I don’t think Harry has a fraction of contempt for the press that William does (or the arrogance, for that matter). But he’s got to stop taking pages out of Wills’ playbook.

  4. jmo says:

    The thing with Prince Harry is, he is dumb. – charming but dumb.

    • Odette says:

      I always wonder about this. With William, too. I mean, everyone has different talents; and lord knows intellectual snobs can be intolerable (as can ignorant people). But, yeah, I’ve always wondered about those Wales / Windsor / Mountbatten (which is the last name?) boys. A few years ago, I read a book that insinuated William didn’t receive grades in university; something about professors feeling “uncomfortable” giving him grades, or some nonsense. Ever since then, I’ve wondered. I mean, were his college years just a PR exercise? No grades? Talk about special treatment. Imagine being able to attend one of the top university’s in the world, not have to worry about grades, and then get to claim a degree? And what IF he is, actually, just not at all intellectually competent? Same goes for Harry. Life, it sure isn’t a fair game, eh?

      • jmo says:

        Prince Harry needed help with his exams:

        Prince Harry, a weak student who was helped to cheat in exam, says ex-teacher

        I think their last name is Mountbatten-Windsor.

      • LAK says:

        That teacher’s claims were debunked.

        Harry had poor school record until it was finally discovered that he had dyslexia when he was 17yrs old.

        When he joined the army, he consistently finished top percentile in any tests they had to take including the months he spent in America training to be an apache pilot. The Apache programme is not one anyone can coast and you can’t use connections for it. Exam results aside, Harry has emotional intelligence which has helped his adult life.

        From the minute he landed at St Andrews William has been coasting at best and being handed everything at worst. He has no emotional intelligence, no charm, clearly not clever at all yet he thinks he thinks he does.

    • perplexed says:

      I think Harry has emotional intelligence like his mother did. I think being able to relate to people on a mass scale requires skill of some sort. Kate clearly doesn’t have that knack. Even if they weren’t rich or royal, I think Harry (and Diana) would still have skills that could take them places in regular life whereas I’m not convinced William or Kate could succeed without being royal or rich. I don’t think William or Kate would even know how to handle customer service or retail.

      I don’t think Harry is an intellectual or academically inclined, but I’d be hesitant to say he’s outright dumb.

      I’m not sure what gifts William inherited though. He used to have his looks, but that ship sailed pretty early.

      • jmo says:

        I agree with William and Kate, they always seem to be cold when they meet people. All I can see is forced laughs etc.

      • susanne says:

        Not everyone is intellectually gifted. Willfully ignorant is what I find most annoying.
        What I see with Harry is warmth and a connectedness with people that is incredibly charming, and is used for a lot of good.
        I so want this to work, but am a bit concerned that it is all happening so fast.

    • Talie says:

      This isn’t talked about a lot, but yeah…they got through good schools, not on merit but status. I mean, William supposedly really struggled at university.

      • jmo says:

        Harry also struggled. Maybe they didn’t want to learn because they knew that they would pass their exams anyway.

      • LAK says:

        Not saying that Harry is bright, but he struggled because he had undiagnosed dyslexia. Finally diagnosed at 17.

      • Silvia says:

        academia can be very hard for Dyslexics, the whole system is just not geared to the way Dyslexic brains work – you can be ‘trained’ to a certain extent but the way its set up rarely lets a Dyslexic blossom.

        And so tired of Dyslexics being called ‘lazy’

      • Kori says:

        Same with Beatrice–late dyslexia diagnosis. You wonder how it can go for so long–very unfair to the sufferer.

    • valkenburg says:

      Harry was a pilot in the military. They don’t let dummies fly multi-million$ helicopters. He’s not dumb.

  5. Psu Doh Nihm says:

    I would think their contempt stems in part from the death of their mother at the hands of the press/paparazzi.

    • Ava says:

      Yes, I think their contempt is certainly tied to their feelings about the role of the press in their mother’s death.

      • Megan says:

        I think Harry despises the press as much as William, but he is far more adept at using the press when it furthers his work, like Invictus.

      • bluhare says:

        I agree, Megan. I think Harry hates the press too. But he’s better at using the media to further his work aims.

      • Judy says:

        Harry is like his mother. They use the press when they want and then get upset when the press follows them. Diana mostly disliked the press when she didn’t call them first. An engagement in the New Year would NOT be delightful. Harry has been with some very beautiful women women in the past – women with far better backgrounds then Megan. Personally, I don’t see what he likes about her. Yes, she likes being in the public eye. That is why she likes Harry.

      • Tina says:

        @Judy, what makes Chelsy’s or Cressida’s backgrounds “better” than Meghan’s? Chelsy’s father has some very dubious business connections (there’s a rumour about Mugabe). Cressida’s family is aristocratic, but both her parents certainly put it about a bit. Meghan’s family is educated and accomplished (her mother has a master’s degree in social work and her father has won an Emmy).

        Is there some other factor that makes their backgrounds “better” than hers?

    • cindy says:

      That’s what I am thinking too. Can’t say I blame them.

    • Pedro45 says:

      She died because she wasn’t wearing a seat belt in a car driven by a drunk driver. The press had nothing to do with it.

      • Maria says:

        No?The press was in hot pursuit which made the driver go too fast. Seatbelt or not,drunk driver or not, they were trying to lose the press, who were relentless.

      • LAK says:

        Maria, they had the option of staying in the hotel because the Fayed family owned it AND they had a permanent family suite of rooms within the hotel. The paps were not in the hotel, not even in the forecourt.

        The decision to go from hotel to Paris flat was stupid and made AFTER everyone, including regular driver/team, had gone home because the day was done.

        Further, that summer, Diana teased the press relentlessly. She told one journalist that she had a big surprise for them which prompted every news editor in the world to send teams to France. She openly cavorted with Dodi to make Hasnat Khan jealous, refused all precautions from the palace, and stunt queen-ed her way through that summer, including calling several journalists and briefing them about her activities.

        I’m sorry she died, but it wasn’t the media’s fault and she refused to take necessary precautions.

        And whilst i think death will get you if it is your day, there is the chance that if Diana, Dodi and the driver had been wearing their seatbelts, they might have survived because the one passanger who was wearing a seatbelt, seated in the front seat that took the brunt of the impact, survived the accident.

      • TheSageM says:

        @LAK I still wonder what that “big surprise” was.

      • Pedro45 says:

        Yes? Would you take a chance riding in a car with a drunk driver and without a seat belt?
        Also, the tunnel where the crash occurred was a well known accident site with many fatalities.
        The “press killed Diana” myth has been entirely debunked.

      • Joannie says:

        Lak it was a the medias fault. I find it hard to believe you are trying to blame it on her. Yes the driver had been drinking and yes she wasnt wearing her seatbelt but if the press hadn’t been chasing them the accident would not have happened at all or at not such a high speed. To disregard that is only telling part of the story.

      • Megan says:

        Rational explanations make sense, but to two children whose mother died in a car crash while being chased by paps, it looks like ithe press literally hounded her to her death.

      • LAK says:

        Joanie: i see it as a culmination of bad decisions most of which could have been avoided.

        She put herself in situations that were dangerous and refused any help offered.

        No one could have predicted the horrible ending, but it was unsurprising given all that had gone before.

        That car chase wasn’t the first time she had been chased through the streets. On foot and in a vehicle, she was chased through the streets of London and any city she was in. There is footage of her RUNNING through airports, streets etc being chased by paps, visibly distressed. There is footage of strangers trying to help her. The palace offered several times to help her to keep the paps away from her. And she refused.

        We teach our children NOT to play with fire because of the obvious reasons, when the fire burns the child because the child went there despite warnings do we blame the fire? No. We hope the child learnt the lesson and doesn’t do it again. Yet Diana wilfully refused to learn the lesson and that Paris crash was the one that finally did her in.

        William at that age hated her teasing the press and refused to holiday with her because of the ensuing feeding frenzy and if we believe Paul Burrell told her off for teasing the press because it created a feeding frenzy.

        As much as i think his privacy fetish is ridiculously OTT, at least HE learnt tge lessons of his mother. He might blame the press for her demise, but he is also not teasing the press and throwing caution to the wind to create a feeding frenzy.

      • Nic919 says:

        If there was a lawsuit related to the accident, liability would be assessed as follows: 75 to 85% on the drunk driver and the remaining would be contributory negligence on the passengers who did not wear their seat belt. The media was not chasing the car with machine guns and there was no reason to drive like a maniac.

      • A says:

        I think this is an instance of facts vs. association. The factual evidence on the ground, as seen by a someone striving to be neutral, shows that the press was not at fault. To a pair of grieving children, who are confronted with one of the worst tragedies that life can ever offer them, the temptation to grasp at the simplest, often most visible conclusion is not that difficult to understand. Even if William and Harry had the capacity to ever understand that no, it wasn’t the press’s fault at all, a part of them will always adhere to that conclusion, if purely because this was their mother. The tragedy likely precludes the reality, and the emotional response overshadows whatever honesty there should be when examining the situation.

        I can’t say I blame them. I don’t think their assessment is correct, but I don’t blame them for making it. Logically, when you stand on the peripheries as a spectator, you know what a person’s response should be, and you can see better than they can what the consequences are when they don’t see it with the correct perspective. In this case, what’s happening is that they’re losing the battle with the press by a large margin, and that’s going to hit them pretty hard. I don’t think the press escapes here either, and I do think they need to be willing to understand certain boundaries. But the rules for that need to be established by mutual respect and consent, which Willy definitely does not display. I think he’d find the press much more amenable to work with if he didn’t treat them all like lepers.

        At the end of the day, I think Harry definitely has a better understanding that they’re a necessary evil. And I think one can only hope that they at least tolerate the press. No one needs to buddy up to them, and I don’t think the discomfort will ever go away for William and Harry, but a sort of respectful tolerance is all that’s needed.

    • graymatters says:

      I don’t think the boys want to admit to how much of the press intrusion into Diana’s life was her own fault. I also think they are always aware of the phone-hacking that went on some years ago, that caused them to distrust their friends. Still, though, lying to the press is childish — and unprofessional. And after ten years in the military, Harry should be willing to put up with inconvenient rules that don’t make sense (not being allowed to detour to Toronto after a successful tour).

      • PHAKSI says:

        This to infinity! Diana was baiting the press, trying to stick it to Charles and then to make Hasnat Khan jealous

      • susanne says:

        Diana was not perfect. She had mental health and ED issues. It probably took her a long time and a lot of struggle to figure out her place after the divorce, and she didn’t do it gracefully all the time.
        Doesn’t mean she got what she deserved, or anything like this. I get rubbed the wrong way when narratives are so swayed in one direction or another, placing of blame and all that.
        This isn’t directed toward any particular comment.

      • Adele Dazeem says:

        Agreed. We tend to put people who have died (esp early and tragically) on a pedestal. A lot of her last years’ antics have been whitewashed. She was definitely spiraling out of control.

      • Kori says:

        Charles spencer immortalized the press hounding narrative in his eulogy and it stuck. I remember how he was cheered for it at the time. I don’t think it’ll ever fully be shaken even with all the facts out there.

    • Shirleygail says:

      precisely what I thought when I read that. Further, c’mon – the ‘press’ is human, the princes are human, stuff is gonna happen. Losing their mum is going to make them hyper-sensitive to the press. forever. period.

    • valkenburg says:

      Except that it’s been confirmed so many times during Diana’s life and after her death that she used the press and the paps for her own purposes. She actually called them many, many times. She called the press when she was on the yacht with Dodi to be sure she would be photographed. Her whole purpose of the brief affair with Dodi was to make Hasnat Khan jealous. She also fed lots of stories (negative stories about her husband or Camilla) to the press.

  6. Meow says:

    Run Megs, before this crazy repressed family eat you alive!!

    • Olenna says:

      ITA! Between his immaturity, the press, the crazed haters and the BRF itself, I think she needs to dig down deep and find her natural instinct for survival and run like hell.

      • Maria says:

        Amen. They have hardly spent anytime together. Maybe she is as keen as him, but she needs to have a hard think before she joins this circus. Boys Chelsy and Cressida spent years as his partner, and they backed off.

    • Pri says:

      I think we all underestimate Meghan. 1. Her constant Pap shots in TO. Toronto is not a Pap haven, yes there are a few, but they usually know where to be. 2. The Union Jack Insta post 3. Going to Whole Foods in the Daily Mail building, and then the Daily Mail gets an exclusive on that trip….I think she knows what she is doing.

      • Olenna says:

        There is no doubt in my mind she thinks she knows what she’s doing. Just look at the shell of a woman who is now Duchess of Cambridge. But, that’s no reason to slate her because she post things that make her happy or doesn’t feel the need to become a recluse because the public wants to dictate her behavior and insist she conform to their idea of royal courtship etiquette. How antiquated. If any one of the those naysayers or crazed haters were in her shoes, they’d probably being doing more or worse.

      • Lady D says:

        Just to note: The Union Jack pic was showing her new rescue dog wearing a hand-me-down from a previous pet. Saving animals gets huge respect, and gratitude.

      • Emily says:

        “Toronto is not a Pap haven…” Well, maybe not. But if I’m a papparazzi in Canada, or have a way of getting to Toronto, knowing a potential future princess might be there…that changes things. Plus, lots of shows/movies are shot in Toronto so it’s not like it’s an entertainment desert, or it would be a total waste of time for any pap.

      • Sarah says:

        I think everyone IS underestimating Markle. She is smart and media savvy.

        But I also think she is seriously underestimating what it takes for an outsider to “make it” inside the world of the uber-rich like the royals and how much of a push back there will be from that world. Not fun.

      • suze says:

        @Sarah – I agree. I think Markle is a smart and sophisticated woman, but she hasn’t been in Harry’s orbit near long enough to understand the ridiculous demands of royal life.

        And he has definitely been acting like an *ss since he met her. Not to her – to the rest of the world.

      • valkenburg says:

        He’s marrying a girl just like dear old mum. She knows how to use and manipulate the press!

      • A says:

        Yes, definitely. And what strikes her as different from a lot of Harry’s previous girlfriends is that she has a lot of experience in managing her media profile on her own terms. Being an actress practically requires it in this day and age. She has spent a lot of years before ever meeting Prince Harry with an Instagram account, and has used it a lot then to promote her work, be it charity or otherwise. I don’t see why people are so up in arms about it now, since I was quite impressed.

        At the end of the day, I think this is what the RF needs. Someone who can understand what the media entails and knows the importance of imagery from having first hand experience. I think that’s only going to come in handy for her in the long run. I think the instinct is to believe that anyone who courts the press has “something to hide,” but I think in this case she is just doing her best to stay somewhat in control of the narrative. And after having spent years reading about the various haphazard shenanigans of the Windsors Next Door, I can’t say that this is unwelcome.

  7. LAK says:

    Poor Jason. Imagine his next job interview trying to impress his next employers as they sit on the mountain of negative KP press and solid evidence of soured media relations on his watch.

    • Lyssa says:

      Isn’t it mostly the Cambridges that get the really bad press? You could easily explain why Willy and Duchess Dolittle get bad press. “I could only get her to work for a maximum of 45 minutes in between shopping trips. And she was better than him.” Sorry if anyone likes them.

      • LAK says:

        He works for all 3. The cambridges bad PR has often overshadowed Harry’s good PR. I don’t think anyone associates Harry’s good PR with Jason. Altogether, people remember the bad PR and it has been none stop since he joined the firm.

        His predecessor ran a tight ship. He had the world convinced of William’s good qualities. Mind you, that predecessor often threw Harry under the bus such that we had relentless stories of bad Harry.

      • Lady D says:

        Not just Harry. The York girls got a lot of bad press then, too.

      • Lyssa says:

        That’s true. I haven’t thought of it that way. Harry’s perception did change after the new guy. I don’t think it’s him though. Just because of the way the Cambridge’s reputation tanked. Could it also be that the shine wore off them too? Like you can only dolittle for so long before the public starts to see it. You know?

      • LAK says:

        Jason has no respect or understanding of traditional press and how it helps/hinders the royal family.

        The consistent refrain is the relationships between press and KP have broken down and or pretty bad since he came aboard.

        He keeps saying newspapers are finished whilst wilfully remaining ignorant of the fact that traditional royal fans aren’t millenials with social media accounts, but older people who lap up every newspaper, royal memorabilia printed/made.

        The old hands new how to manage the media, and he does not. It’s created a very hostile situation where the media no longer feels obligated to cover up screw ups as they used to do.

    • suze says:

      He hasn’t covered himself with glory there.

  8. Birdix says:

    What was the main problem–that they lied or that he went at taxpayers’ expense? Should he have flown home then gotten on another flight back? He’s not the president–why do the press always need to know where he is?

    • Maria says:

      The poor guy has absolutely no privacy. You are right. He made a stopover in Toronto, so what? He doesn’t owe the press anything.

    • Lady D says:

      That’s what I thought. Instead of lying, just tell the press his personal life is off limits.

    • SophieB9 says:

      The main problem is that this was essentially an international booty call, carried out in the spotlight of public scrutiny. It’s hugely tacky, no matter how much his hormones are lusting. Since he is no longer a teenager, he needed to exercise some restraint. His advisors should have known better – the fallout was quite predictable. It does indeed overwhelm the good pr of the previous Caribbean trip because the public taste is for sensationalism and sex. Or sensational sex.

      • graymatters says:

        I’d quite like some sensational sex. This must be the first time all year that I’ve agreed with the greater public.

      • Elaine says:

        @sophieb9, she’s not a ‘booty call’. She his girlfriend. How very insulting to Meghan.

        They wanted to spend time together. You make it sound low and gross. Maybe he just wanted to laugh with her, make some spaghetti and watch a dvd of batman v Superman? Netflix and chill, anyone?

      • Breakfast Margaritas says:

        What should he have done? He completed 15 days of working in the Caribbean then went to see his girlfriend, who should not be referred to as a booty call. Why is seeing his girlfriend after work was concluded a problem? Why is restraint necessary?

  9. t.fanty says:

    I did enjoy the phrase “a grueling, two-week tour of the Caribbean,” though.

  10. Skins says:

    Engaged? Really? I wonder how much time they have actually spent together. I mean, most couples spend a lot of time together maybe even live together for awhile before getting engaged. How much have these two been together? How well can they even know each other? Sounds like poor Harry is just lusted out over this girl and wants a lot of booty calls. I’m sure he will get over it and move on to the next one. And as far as she is concerned all her little clues and whatever are pretty childish. Lets face it, if he wasn’t an English Prince I doubt she would give him the time of day. Good soap opera stuff though

    • Tulip Garden says:

      I think Harry likes falling/being in love. The real relationship part doesn’t seem to be his forte.
      I don’t think he is “booty calling” Meghan, I think he is revelling in the romance and so is she, to some extent.
      I would hope that they would spend a lot more time together before a marriage. An engagement can be broken but a marriage into this family is way more complex. IMO, she should be the more cautious, hesitant party.

    • Breakfast Margaritas says:

      Why do people keep belittling her status by calling her a booty call? Is she not Harry’s official girlfriend?

  11. Sharon Lea says:

    Isn’t the bottom line that Harry has developed a serious relationship quickly with someone in the public eye and 1) the press wants to know the details because the public does; and 2) Harry wants to live his life. So the press isn’t privy to every detail, I expect that and those following the younger royals have always had this issue. It isn’t new, Charles went through it. I don’t think any PR team could keep this under wraps or give out details.

  12. perplexed says:

    How do you get to be on Prince Harry’s press team? Do the royals advertise through normal channels?

  13. mint says:

    An engagement would suprise me. Sure, they are both at an age when you want to settle down but they only have been dating for a few months and do not even live in the same city. Harry does not need permission anymore to marry someone but I think he still values his grandmothers advice and she hates divorce and the drama and scandal that comes along with it. So I would expect another year of dating and Meghan easing into roayl life.
    A lot of people view his statment from a couple of weeks ago that its very serious but I think it hasn’t anything to do with the seriousness of the realtionship but more with the fact that his other official girlfriends where all viewd as suitable- so there was no need for a statement.

    • Lindsey says:

      ^ Actually he is close enough to the top job in the line of succession that he is required to get the queen’s approval

  14. chaine says:

    “Harry may have judged the long game was worth the short-term criticism and negative headlines”—You know what, I sort of doubt Harry does this kind of long-term, high-level thinking.

    I don’t fault either him or William for arrogance to the press. Their mother died in a car chase with paparazzi. Their disdain is totally understandable, and I think the emotional aspect of it will always overwhelm their ability to be smart about their interactions with the press.

  15. What was that? says:

    Short’s both
    They are still bathing in the sympathy due to Diana’s death at the hands of the paparazzi …many may forget or ..old news attitude but I was working at Heathrow when they were chasing Diana and trying to change flights to be on the one with her etc etc..and it was something I have never seen before or since for was truly astonishing was something like opening day on Black Friday in the US I guess..
    Thus they have a deep seated and never forget attitude to what used to be called Fleet Street hacks..and I don’t blame them
    They are also CHEAP when it comes to other people…just like other managers and employers in the UK..Why spend good money on wages when I can spend it on me or something else?
    Harry seems the least harmless of the bunch..none have any intelligence..don’t forget it was thought someone else helped him pass his art A level to qualify for Sanhurst and very few have bothered to obtain further education …
    They are becoming less relevant as people continue to struggle with austerity and once Liz has died that link people have with monarch may die with her as the generations change…
    I personally never particularly liked them as I have a Highland heritage however it has become more for many as they don’t care..Perhaps apathy will be worse than hostility as the potential death knell for their money,,,
    When we have a choice of hospitals and the NHS suffering of the multi million pound fix of Buck House??They may not deny Liz the dosh…but Charlie boy or Will the snidey smiley shirker???
    Just my 10 cents…..

  16. PHAKSI says:

    Incompetence without a doubt. Arrogance,maybe. He has it, that thing that Diana had. But Diana also overplayed her hand at times

  17. whyme says:

    I like Lainey’s take on this situation. The UK tabs had sexist and racist coverage of his relationship with Meghan. Good for Harry and his PR team. They’re just upset because they took it too far and Harry was having none of it. Being excited about his girlfriend is one thing, talking about her mother’s dreadlockss, calling her a gold digger or trying to imply she’s beneath him because she wears lingerie on her tv show is another.

  18. Katherine says:

    Yeah, ever since the news broke about them I kept thinking that this was on its way to an engagement. I hope they will be happy because Meghan giving up her life like that – can be hard, unless she likes the royal duties, which of course can be fun if you are into that

    • Mary Mary says:

      Both Chelsey and Cressida were constantly criticized for their wardrobe choices, questioned about their family background. It was intense scrutiny and criticism.

      Meghan is both a Hollywood actress and a communications graduate with media savvy who knows how to troll the media on instagram. Her clues on instagram was how the relationship was outed by the press.

      Meghan’s negative publicity, I believe; began when her step-sister gave a very critical, unflattering opinion as to what Meghan is like.

      There are the fans and the critics. Nothing new about that. I am a racial minority who happens not to see racism but observance of the obvious privilege, entitlement and media trolling by both Harry and Meghan.

      They should marry soon, as they are quite deserving of one another 🙂

  19. Bonobochick says:

    Did Harry get this much heat for Cressida and Chelsey or are people that riled up that his current girlfriend is Black? Cause folks seem to be coming for him extra hard regarding his current relationship with Meghan Markle. It’s making me side-eye hard how much nastier people are being with this couple than with his past known relationships.

    • LAK says:

      The ire and negativity was aimed at only the women. This time it’s aimed at him too.

      • Bonobochick says:

        I’m definitely seeing more thrown at him but is it earned ire/negativity or a by-product of him having a Black girlfriend? I’m stuck on that one.

      • Tina says:

        @Bonobochick, there’s definitely racial resentment there. But I think it also has something to do with the fact that she’s an actress. The Victorian notion that actress = prostitute has never really gone away in some conservative quarters. The Daily Mail, in particular, is seizing upon that as part of its criticism. (And yes, I know Cressida Bonas is trying to make it as an actress, but all that happened after her relationship with Harry, which ended in part because she wanted to pursue her career).

    • oce says:

      @Bonobochick – Thank you for this. #PREACHtheTRUTH #BlackGirlMagic

    • MellyMel says:

      Yep! Nothing but the truth!

    • suze says:

      It’s everything.

      Markle’s definitely getting strong racial resentment from some quarters. It’s pretty obvious.

      Then there’s Harry deciding to give a big FU to the press by lying and running around mixing business and personal trips, which is decidedly not a good thing to do. And his “romantic” official statement managed to do the exact opposite of what he wanted – it whipped up the interest in some quarters and built resentment in others.

      There is the inept press office at KP that thinks releasing information on Twitter and Instagram is all they have to do. Ignoring the traditional media is really come back to haunt him.

      There are unfortunate statements from Markle’s family.

      The one person who has handled it well is Markle herself. But she better be prepared to be the mature, stable and worldly one forever if this is what she decides to take on. Hey – maybe she will be the force that modernizes the monarchy. We will wait and see.

  20. perplexed says:

    I think he was put off by the press’s racism. I don’t really think what happened to Diana factored into his decision to put out a statement in this instance The press did seem to cross a line in terms of acting on certain stereotypes. On principle, he had to stand up for her, even if he doesn’t marry her.

    I understand being transparent about expenses, but I don’t know if he’s really obligated to tell us when he’s visiting his girlfriend. Everybody thought Diana was weird when she was cavorting around with Dodi in broad daylight. Now we think Harry is weird for actually being private.

    • Shirleygail says:

      They also tried to break into her home, they tried to misrepresent themselves to gain access to her home and were unacceptably aggressive towards her mother and her mother’s home. Under other circumstances, the behaviour would be described as criminal.

  21. LO says:

    Harry and Meghan don’t do it!!! At least not now. Marrying this quickly after a short whirlwind trans atlantic courtship is not a good idea even for regular people. But add all the stresses of life in the royal fish bowl you’re looking at a disaster!!! Actually nevermind, do it! William and Kate are so boring that a drama filled disaster would be delicious to gossip about.

  22. oce says:

    @Ramona – this is about subtle biggotry and racism. Everyone EXPECTS Harry to end up with a posh blonde. People can’t/won’t accept that Harry is choosing substance over “tradition”.

    And the fact that she is a SISTAH full of substance?! What Meghan is receiving is what can fall under the “whitelashing”. Get used to seeing it and hearing it. As I am SO used to seeing it and feeling it, y’all should get used to seeing it and observing it. Please get WOKE. This is the age of Brexit and Trump. What did Tay-tay say? Oh yes, “Haters gonna hate.” INDEED. #BlackGirlMagic

    • Shirleygail says:

      Except that he’s showing nothing but love for his lady. In 200 years, if there are any humans at all left under the sun, we’ll all be the same colour by then anyway. So I would think Harry’s loving a woman of colour is simply natural selection….

  23. Rivkah says:

    A lot of arrogance

  24. Cerys says:

    Both Wales brothers have always treated the British media with contempt. The Toronto controversary is a combination of that contempt and a poor PR strategy. They would have been far better retaining Clarence House staff to manage them rather than hiring their own less-experienced people.

  25. Kitty says:

    I hope they don’t get married. I’m sorry but we all have to admit this relationship is not popular at all. Harry image literally got tarnished in 2 days!

    • Odette says:

      It’s not popular, in some circles, because the world is full of racists. So, they should break up because racists don’t like it? I’d venture to say that there are just as many people who love them together as there are people who hate it.

      • Joannie says:

        Odette, not everything is about race and if there’s anyone who really cares or doesnt like it, I think its more about her indiscretion. She’s toying with the press.

      • Kitty says:

        I just think it won’t end in marriage.

      • Bonobochick says:

        @Odette: IA. And I think the dog whistle racists will still try to find fault with her and with them being together while not owning up to what really bothers them is that she’s Black. There will be a lot of unsubstantiated comments about her used as “reasons” why she’s problematic/wrong/awful/tacky.

        Sadly, it’s not a new trend but it remains transparent when people do it even if they think they’re being clever in hiding their true bigotry.

    • MellyMel says:

      He shouldn’t marry her because you and some other ppl don’t think it’s “popular”? Huh…and here I thought ppl got married cause they loved each other and that whole deal. I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t really like this pairing. And the ones that don’t, well I’m finding the reasons interesting…

    • Adele Dazeem says:

      I would fully enjoy watching this relationship unfold and her fashion porn at events. She’s far more interesting that Waity ever was, even in peak-Waity days.

  26. Paisley says:

    Oh my! Seems the press have their knickers tied in a knot because they are not privy to all the comings and goings of Harry. After all, they have the right 😀 to know his personal business.

  27. TyrantDestroyed says:

    I think is a combination of a poor P.R. office strategy which has proven in the past to serve only for the entitlement of its bosses and making huge mistakes with the press, along with the P.R. machinery of the Middleton feasting on it to make everything related look potentially bad.

  28. Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

    Its a mix of both, mixed with a side order of sabotaging games from his brother and SIL who have no prob throwing Harry and his GFs under the bus the make them look better. Harry needs to get his own press team.

    And as someone up thread said – Harry is like his mother in that they both overplayed their press hand sometimes. They are both emotional people who sometimes acted on them.

  29. Tallia says:

    Anyone else thinks she looks very similar to Pippa? It’s strange to me.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      She does – I have always though Pippa was the prettier of the Mid daughters. Kate is pretty enough but she has a look that doesn’t stand out in the crowd, Pippa does.

    • Joannie says:

      She looks like the woman who had all the children at once. Octomom!

  30. YepIsaidit says:

    In a about a years time Harry will be bald

  31. whyme says:

    His father and mother met casually in 1977, started dating the summer of 1980, she met his family in November 1980 and they got engaged in February 1981. So Harry and Meghan might just be a bit quicker at this. Maybe or maybe not. Their business. I quite like them together.

    It amazes me how everyone suddenly wants Harry to be single forever. Why can’t he have a pretty, nice, independent woman for a girlfriend and maybe more?

    • Tourmaline says:

      I definitely think Diana and Charles would have benefitted from a MUCH longer courtship but since neither Harry or Meghan are teenagers (as Diana was when she got engaged), I wouldn’t feel they are in unseemly haste even if they got engaged tomorrow.

    • suze says:

      Sometimes the rewriting of history regarding Chuck and Di amazes me

      Charles had known Diana’s family all her life, and he knew them well. Diana’s grandmother was one of the Queen Mother’s ladies in waiting. He met Diana in her early childhood, her family lived on the grounds of Sandringham for a long time, and she used to play with Andrew. Although she was far younger, Charles certainly saw her occasionally, and when she was a teen, he dated her sister. That was why everyone thought it would all work out – they were from the same world and had similar background They had lived intersecting lives and she was as similar to him as someone outside the royal family could be.

      It was worlds different from this relationship. Worlds and worlds different. But Charles and Diana had a terrible marriage, so they aren’t exactly role models for royal matrimony.

  32. LAK says:

    Postscript to Prince Andrew story, BP has released an official statement denying all the recent Andrew stories.

    • Digital Unicorn (aka Betti) says:

      I saw and the press won’t be happy that they are being accused of making stuff up. Personally, i think the truth is somewhere in the middle. I think this just highlights Chuck’s out of touch idea of a streamlined Monarchy – the York Princesses want to support their family and country but Charles is against it and their mother is being used against them. But then again is it really Charles, it could be Philip who didn’t like Fergie. Given that she tried to sell access to her ex husband, it must be feared that she would sell access to her daughters if they were fully working royals.

      Its quite rare for Andrew to come out like this – a nerve has clearly been hit.

      • Natalie S says:

        Maybe the York stories were part of the speculated “distraction,” and Andrew is pushing back?

        Or Elizabeth is fine with giving the Yorks certain privileges and settling her affairs towards them in the long term without any truth to something extravagant like earldoms and the stories were meant to create a disfavorable environment towards the Yorks getting anything public?

      • A says:

        I think whatever Charles’ beef is, it’s with Andrew personally and not the York girls. I think if anything, he probably likes them as an uncle, but simply doesn’t care for Andrew as a person or a brother. And I mean, I’m not making any insinuations here, but even I’m not a fan of Andrew and I’m just a regular gossip reader. If even a fraction of the stories about Andrew are true, just imagine having to be his brother, or worse, the future boss of the firm in which he wants to continue to work/mooch off of. Not surprised that Charles wants to fire him and is trying to use the whole “streamlined monarchy” thing + the excuse that it would reduce the cost of expenses in order to do it.

    • Tourmaline says:

      and also today Fergie told the media to “stop bullying the York family”

      • LAK says:

        They became joint patrons of the teenage cancer trust. They’ve been working with that charity since they were teens.

  33. lemonbow says:

    I don’t understand what is so ‘bungled’ or why this is such a big deal. Does he have to issue a statement every time he visits a woman? I like Meghan and would love for them to be official but Harry has dated lots of girls. What is so different about this one other than the fact that she isn’t blonde and British?

  34. Bitchy says:

    Harry’s job really is to make William look good. That is achieved by making Harry look particularly bad.

  35. mayamae says:

    I’ve not been following this relationship, so I know nothing. Could they be rushing, if they are indeed rushing, because Meghan is 35? That’s certainly not too old to begin a family, and everyone seems to stick with two kids most of the time. But your biological clock may begin pinging by 35, for some.

  36. Ravine says:

    “Not only does such behaviour eliminate all trust, it is immensely alienating to reporters, whose jobs (and mortgages) depend on getting accurate information to their readers.”

    Hahahaha. Cry me a river, royal reporters.

    I am 100% on Harry’s side here. His private travels are his private business. He shouldn’t have to inform the press of where he’s going on his own time, and there’s no logic in telling the world what your weekend plans are if this will only ruin said weekend plans.

    “Yep, I’m headed to Toronto, guys! Make sure to tell the entire world so that they’ll be a mob at YYZ and stalkers outside my girlfriend’s house, k?”

    What’s next? “He proposed to her without telling us first! SUCH ARROGANCE!!!”

    • LO says:

      The problem isn’t that he didn’t inform the press about where he was going. No one reasonable is suggesting that every time he travels during his personal time is anyone else’s business. The problem is that he did it while finishing up an official tour funded by the government. There is protocol in place that discourages mixing private travel while on official trips. He was acting as a representative of the government while on the trip, and he breached protocol. And then lied about it. That’s the issue. The fact that he visited Meghan is largely irrelevant to why it was a problem.

      • Ravine says:

        If that’s the point Sykes was trying to make, he failed. The article spends a lot more time scolding Harry for his “behaviour” toward journalists — not toward the public, but journalists specifically. It comes across as whiny and entitled, which is kind of a hilarious position for a royal reporter to take, given that “royal reporter” is one of the most expendable jobs I can think of. Like… I’m supposed to feel sorry for HIM in this scenario? The man who CHOSE to dedicate his career to writing about a tiny group of intensely private people? Yeah, no. He should be grateful every single day that he is allowed to make money from such a trivial occupation.

      • suze says:

        @Ravine – Harry should be grateful every single day that he is allowed to live a privileged life from such a trivial occupation.

        He knows it all depends on a network of goodwill, and he is squandering it. That is what Sykes is saying.

      • Ravine says:

        Yes, of course Harry has a trivial occupation. I never said he didn’t. Just that Sykes doesn’t get my sympathy when he expresses surprise/offense at a royal refusing to voluntarily disclose their private affairs to the media.

  37. AV says:

    I didn’t really have an opinion of her until I clicked on some article she wrote. It was meant to be about her charity work, but the entire thing was full of her humble bragging. It was actually difficult to read. Every other line was about how she’s just innately so caring, or how such and such a speech that she gave got a standing ovation.

  38. Ceener says:

    When I hear of how bad they are with the press, I can’t help to think they blame the press for their mother’s death and that is where the hostility from them comes.

  39. Emily C. says:

    The Daily Mail has been publishing racist articles about his girlfriend since they found out about her. Of course he has contempt for the British press. I do too. For all of the press, including American, actually, but the Daily Mail is the worst, and it pretty much sets the tone in Britain.

    How very surprising that the British press is only starting to turn on Harry when he has a foreign girlfriend of non-white, non-wealthy descent. Wow what a twist who could ever have expected it.

    • Joannie says:

      I think its more about her being from the US, not her skin colour.

      • Mary Mary says:

        The negative publicity from the Daily Mail describing the 35 year old divorced American actress who dropped too many clues on her Instagram account (rather than being discreet about her relationship with the Prince) comparing the lack of discretion with the more reticent behavior of his former girlfriends. Her chatty relatives giving interviews, rather than being more circumspect, only added more fuel to the negative persona being publicized.

    • Tina says:

      Please don’t conflate the Daily Mail with the entire British press. It certainly does not set the tone for the Guardian, the Independent, the Times or the Mirror.