Dan Wootton is a very problematic, shady “royal commentator.” Just in 2020, he broke the story of the Sussexes’ exit from the UK, when he was clearly leaked the Sussexit documents by Kensington Palace officials. He’s caught up in a bribery scheme involving KP personnel too, and I believe (still) that Prince William and the KP staff are consciously leaking to Wootton but only about the Sussexes, all as some kind of tit-for-tat arrangement because Wootton knows some dirt about William and Rose Hanbury. That’s my conspiracy! Maybe I’m wrong. Anyway, Wootton finally got around to doing a “commentary” piece about the Finding Freedom excerpts. I won’t bore you with all of the sh-t he says about how selfish and self-aggrandizing the Sussexes are, but I did want to highlight a few curious sections (you can read the full piece here):
Why Harry & William’s relationship became strained: Strains between the previously tight dukes were evident from the moment Meghan became the driving force behind Harry’s decision-making, encouraging him to stop working with the royal reporting rota and instead embrace the use of social media. But ultimately the breakdown was personal. From the start, Kate was horrified at the way Meghan spoke to staff members at Kensington Palace and it was clear they would never click in the way Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson had once done.
The “tiara drama”: The now infamous tiara row, which I first revealed in November 2018, was the culmination of many fallouts before the wedding. Afterwards, William and the Queen’s dresser and closest confidante, Angela Kelly, were united in their decision not to loan Meghan items from the Royal Collection, which included tiaras worn by Diana.
Wootton’s narrative about how he broke the Sussexit story: Much has been written about how I broke the story of Megxit, with the finger incorrectly being pointed at both Clarence House and Kensington Palace. The couple like to promote the idea that they were somehow ambushed into revealing their plans after we published the world exclusive on January 8. However, they neglect to mention I had originally put the story to their office ten days earlier and had discussed every aspect of what we eventually published with their officials. It is not a coincidence my first story of the move included details of the Sussexes’ unhappiness about the release of photographs over Christmas featuring the Queen, Charles, William and George. The biography goes further by pointing to the absence of a picture of Harry, Meghan and Archie on the Queen’s table during her annual Christmas Day message. It is inconceivable to me that this wasn’t a purposeful slight by the institution, trying to make a point to Harry and Meghan: “Come back and join the party during events like Christmas or we’ll pretend you don’t exist.” It backfired spectacularly.
Can the toxic relationship between the Sussexes & the Windsors be healed? There is a growing acknowledgement from both sides that so long as Harry and Meghan’s romantic relationship remains strong, that is highly unlikely. But this book is a spectacular own goal by a couple who like to insist they are opposed to bitchy off-the-record briefings and royal revelations using source quotes slagging off other members of The Firm. Because fundamentally, that’s all Finding Freedom is.
I do not understand Wootton’s narrative of what happened with the Sussexit leak – “I had originally put the story to their office ten days earlier and had discussed every aspect of what we eventually published with their officials.” Ten days before he published the Sussexit exclusive on January 8th… that would have been December 30th or so? Harry and Meghan flew back to the UK from Canada in the new year (and they left Archie in Canada!), and they came back armed with the plan to force the conversation (of their exit) with the Queen and with Prince Charles.
The Queen’s people and Charles’ people were the ones who told Harry to submit something in writing before they would even agree to meet with him. So he did, even though he feared the plans would leak. Sounds like the plans were leaked to Wootton shortly after he submitted them, and Wootton immediately went to Harry & Meghan’s staff and showed them what he had. Maybe they said “no comment” and just waited until Wootton published, or maybe they gave Wootton a nod, knowing that at least then the issue would be discussed immediately. Both sides are playing fast and loose about who said what and where. It’s more than possible that Kensington Palace (or someone from another palace) leaked the Sussexes’ plans AND Wootton went to the Sussexes’ office for confirmation. It’s more than possible that the Sussexes used Wootton’s attempts to confirm the story as their advanced notice that the story would break soon.
Also: Kate being horrified by the way Meghan spoke to staffers… Jesus, these smears just will not die. Meghan made Kate cry, Meghan made all the white women cry, Meghan used words in front peasants, it’s all Meghan’s fault! There will be no peace in House Petty until Harry falls out of love with his wife! Think about how awful that is. Last thing: of course Angela Kelly and Prince William were in cahoots about the jewelry. Jesus H.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Backgrid.