If you’re like me, you believe that Katie Nicholl at Vanity Fair is a mouthpiece for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and the Middleton family writ large. Nicholl’s claim to royal-commentator fame was a series of good exclusives about Kate before, during and after Will and Kate’s engagement. Over the past decade, Nicholl’s coverage of Kate has grown more sugary and I’ve taken to referring to Nicholl as “Kate’s hagiographer.” So… keep that in mind, and question where this story is coming from. Nicholl has an exclusive about how the Queen is super-disappointed in how Harry has handled everything around Sussexit, and even before Sussexit. The actual queen, not Future Queen Kate. Although who knows.
Hurt betrayal: Initially the response among senior royals was of hurt betrayal and even fury that the couple would make such an important announcement without consulting the Queen. Now the family is working things out with the world watching, and the Queen is keen to find a resolution before irreparable damage is done to arguably the biggest brand in the world—the British Royal Family. The Queen is more aware than anyone just how dangerous and unsettling this chapter could be for the House of Windsor. Just months ago Prince Andrew was forced to step down (for far more serious and controversial reasons), and now the royal family set to lose two key players who are two of the most popular members of the family.
The Queen is upset: “Perhaps it’s a generational thing, or the way she was brought up, but duty is everything to the Queen and she will find this the most upsetting part of all,” says one of the Queen’s closest confidantes. Duty has been instilled in her since she was a young girl and the crown is everything to her, which might explain why one family source said that she was as much “perplexed” as she was hurt by what happened last week.
A bolshie teenager? “At the end of the day she is 93 and this has been a genuine shock for her,” the source said. “After everything she has done for Harry she feels monumentally let down. All she has done is accommodate him and Meghan from the start. The family are all very upset at how the Sussexes have behaved, not least because of the impact it has had on the Queen, who has a very frail husband, the whole Andrew problem to deal with and now Harry, who is frankly behaving like a bolshie teenager. He has dropped a bombshell and left the Queen to pick up the pieces. It has not been great for their relationship. What was once a very warm and jokey grandmother grandson rapport has dissipated.”
The Queen was mad that Harry & Meghan wanted to plan their own wedding: “She was very upset by some of Harry’s demands and the way he went about certain things. He didn’t want to use the Queen’s staff for the wedding, he and Meghan brought in their own florist and cake makers, and Harry apparently asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to marry them before consulting the Queen and the Dean of Windsor, which wasn’t the correct way to do things. I think she was dismayed by his attitude in general and I remember speaking to her and her being rather upset by how beastly Harry was being. Their relationship was quite badly damaged by it all.”
What have the Sussexes been refused? Pointedly she did not rule out plans for them to scale back and spend more time overseas when they first raised the idea in the run up to Christmas. “There’s a feeling that what in the last two years have they been refused?” said a royal source. “There has always been a willingness to consider. The Queen is always there to talk about family matters but when it comes to matters of monarchy and the institution it’s not off the cuff. It’s not just a case of popping over for tea to discuss it. Decisions made on things like that have ramifications for three generations going forward and time was needed to get this right.”
I continue to enjoy how we’re supposed to believe that the Queen was handed the shock of her life with the Sussexit announcement AND that Harry had told her and BP staffers in advance of what he wanted to do, only to get the royal run-around for months. I continue to enjoy the argument of “when did the Queen ever say ‘no’ to Harry” especially when it’s preceded by all of the bitter-bitch complaints about how Meghan dared to ask for a particular tiara, or the Sussexes wanted to do a few things their own way for their wedding, etc. “… And now Harry, who is frankly behaving like a bolshie teenager. He has dropped a bombshell and left the Queen to pick up the pieces.” Yes, it’s such a f–king shock to everybody why the Sussexes want to go.
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