Robert Lacey: A ‘clique’ of aides ‘edged out’ rock star royals Harry & Meghan

Remembrance Sunday and the centenary of the Armistice

Robert Lacey gave his first American interview to promote his book Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult. I know Lacey is trying to have it both ways, sucking up to the palace AND shadily telling a few truths about the Petty Windsors, but I still find it interesting. And I knew that as soon as Lacey started talking to an American outlet, his tone would soften towards the Sussexes. Lacey knows that if his book is going to do Finding Freedom-numbers, he can’t make Meghan the bad guy of the narrative. So check out what he said to Good Morning America.

Spare problems: ‘The British royal system can be very cruel, and it’s particularly cruel to the spare,’ Lacey said, adding: ‘”Harry came to realize in his teens that he was typecast as the court jester, the number two.’ The author notes that the royals have a history of ‘problems’ with the ‘heir and the spare’, noting that Princess Margaret – younger sister to the Queen – and Prince Andrew, whose older brother is Prince Charles, who is next in line to the throne. ‘They start off in the public eye as playmates, as co-stars with the heir. And what’s their destiny? To be pushed down the line of succession as babies come along, marriages come along. There was trouble with Margaret. There was trouble with Andrew. And now we have the same thing with Harry.’

Meghan changed everything: Lacey describes Meghan as a ‘megawatt woman’ who ‘inspired’ and ‘transformed’ Harry, encouraging him to take control of his own life, rather than simply living by the traditional rules and regulations of the royal family. With Meghan as the driving force, she and Harry quickly became the ‘rock stars’ of the royal family, Lacey explained. But while that may have done great things for the public reputation of the centuries-old monarchy, their increasing popularity did not sit well with senior aides behind closed doors.

Harry & Meghan “bucked tradition”: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex bucked almost every royal tradition, which caused issues within Buckingham Palace – particularly between Meghan and the senior royal aides, who struggled to accept that the former actress wasn’t willing to simply adapt to customs and practices that had been in place for centuries. ‘I think Meghan’s a force of nature that maybe Buckingham Palace hasn’t worked out how to cope with. She is a woman of great conviction,’ Lacey told GMA, adding that he believes there is a ‘clique’ of aides and royals ‘who’ve got it in for Meghan’ and did all they could to suppress her star power.

Edged out: This, coupled with concerns about Meghan and Harry overshadowing the most senior members of the firm – the Queen, Prince Charles, William, and Kate – prompted palace aides to work on ways to ‘edge out’ the couple, Lacey claims.

All of the shenanigans with the photos over Christmas: ‘I think the underlying message of that is, “Just remember your place, Harry and Meghan. These are the people that really matter in the royal family. And you are the backup. And you’re trying to play too prominent a role.’”

Why William refused to have lunch with Harry during the Sussexit negotiations: ‘Friends apparently said that he felt he couldn’t keep his temper, or he didn’t want to sit with Harry. He said, ‘I’ll sit down for negotiations. I’m not going to sit at the same table.’

[From The Daily Mail]

“…Particularly between Meghan and the senior royal aides, who struggled to accept that the former actress wasn’t willing to simply adapt to customs and practices that had been in place for centuries…” If you’re still doing sh-t the same way Queen Victoria did it, guess what? YOU need to modernize. It’s not about this bright young American woman needing to become a dowdy Victorian to suit some outdated, offensive stereotype about what a “royal woman” is. But Lacey definitely comes closer to the real message: once Meghan entered the picture, she and Harry were “rock stars” and that scared the ever-loving sh-t out the courtiers AND William and Kate. They all worked in conjunction to extinguish H&M’s star power and smear and bully them out of the country. And once they were successful at that… the courtiers are still pissed off. Crymore Courtiers: A Sussex Memoir.

Prince William, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend an Anzac Day Service

Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, Prince William, Duke of Cambridge, Prince Harry, The Duke of Sussex and  Meghan, Duchess of Sussex at service to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force on 10/07/2018

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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161 Responses to “Robert Lacey: A ‘clique’ of aides ‘edged out’ rock star royals Harry & Meghan”

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  1. VS says:

    He can go to hell…..I won’t be buying his book! I bought many copies of FF because it is Omid. He has been more than fair to Meghan especially when the word was to destroy her and H.

    This one I will pass, I would rather buy a few more copies of FF than buy his book…….one has to acknowledge the racism Meghan faced in the uk, the jealousy of W&K and their team, the ‘father’ that Charles is and the useless E; perhaps H should do it himself, as he finally really understood what biases and racism truly mean!

    • Myra says:

      Racism is one of the most important factors here and that this guy refuses to acknowledge it or consider it, tells me his book isn’t worth buying. Also, he is not intentionally trying to paint William in a bad way, it just comes out in a bad way depending on whether you think William was within his right to interfere in his brother’s life and be incandescent with rage all the time. There are no revelations in this book, other than a reminder of how inefficient the BRF is. We all know this, we all saw it played out and anyone with common sense could see that the smear campaign was born out of jealousy. Although I respect Omid, I didn’t buy his book either. I had a feeling it would not go far enough. I’ll wait for the memoirs.

      • VS says:

        I agree with you; FF didn’t reveal anything new for anyone who is paying attention. I started paying attention because of M. She reminded me of the trauma Michelle had to go through because she was too good and was in a space not apparently for her….look at Melania? Meg is Michelle, Kate is Melania…..excellence vs mediocrity!
        Buying FF was for Omid, he has been very fair in his coverage of H&M

      • equality says:

        Reading some comments on line, I think some people do think William should be allowed to run Harry’s life. To me, if a relative doesn’t want your advice on his own life, you give things a chance. You don’t refuse to speak to him because he refuses to allow you to dictate. I don’t think Will’s concern was for Harry; I think it was for the monarchy. He wants to keep the gravy train rolling.

      • Myra says:

        Yeah, I was really happy to see his book succeed. It was like a final F U to the UK media and seeing the jealousy from his colleagues *chef’s kiss*

        @equality those people already have a bias. They praise the fact that William married a commoner but somehow wants William to dictate a bride for Harry. William is not king yet, if the real monarch had no problem with it, what is his issue? Why is he usurping her role?

      • equality says:

        @Myra I think they ignore facts they don’t want to acknowledge. You can point out that the Queen approved the marriage and that she referred to them as “beloved family members” when they left and they will still believe the headlines that she is angry at Harry. Will does seem to be projecting forward to a role he won’t have until after his grandmother and his father are both deceased. Social media people want to complain and claim the Queen was too lax on Harry; I think she’s too lax on William.

  2. Eleonor says:

    Call me crazy but I find this book more interesting than “Finding freedom”.

    • OriginalLala says:

      I bought my mom FF for her bday, she loves H&M but she is not impressed so far with FF. She finds the writing to be quite poor.

      • Becks1 says:

        The writing was okay in my opinion, its the editing that is really atrocious. Like there were clearly some paragraphs that were moved around but they left some of the sentences from the original paragraph, so there are repeats of sentences, etc.

      • Seraphina says:

        I agree with you Eleonor and with your mom OLala. It was quite boring and being a long time reader on this site, I already knew much that was written. It had no meat to sink my teeth into.

      • Sofia says:

        @Seraphina: I suspect that the book was more so written for “general audiences” – the ones who haven’t been keeping up with all of this in real time to the extent we have. I think it’s fine for what it is – a light reading, summary esque, “catch up” book for those who haven’t been keeping up. The “finer details” books may not come out for another few years.

      • Ginger says:

        You can tell FF is heavily edited. Omid said he had to take a lot out for legal reasons. Plus, he spilled more in his interviews and podcast. He said this book wasn’t to “out” anyone. He is saving that. No royal book will ever really reveal the truth due to legal reasons and the palace.

        Lacey s book just talks about the same headlines we are used to. That’s all.

    • Gina says:

      @Eleonor You’re not the only one.. I find it biased and not the serious research (he omitted the role press played in smear campaign, in fact he hasn’t mentioned the smear campaign at all, he hasn’t mentioned institutional and “street-level” racism towards Meghan). But still he put out a lot of facts there. It sounds less “sugary” than FF, therefore more believable – for good and for bad.

      • Eleonor says:

        That’s my feeling too: less sugary, and the feud between the two brothers, at least to me, is more interesting.
        I think It will be my Dianalooneymum’s present for Christmas.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @Eleonor – I am with you. I cannot wait to read the Lacey book and draw my own conclusions.

      • Becks1 says:

        My copy of it just came in the mail but I’m reading that Norman Baker book ArtHistorian suggested and I cant decide if I should pause that and start this one or finish that one first (its a bit more detailed and a bit more of a heavy read than something like Finding Freedom.)

    • Kalana says:

      Lacey goes after everyone which is good but ignores the major factor of racism and piles on Meghan for not being accepting enough of her racist treatment which really hobbles the book. But the way forward in royal biographies is to cast a critical eye on everyone. The whole teams or Crossfire approach to royal biographies is not good and we also need biographers who are impartial and diverse and are going to look at all the factors.

      Most royal biographies are written by sycophants: Jobson, Junor, Nicholls, even Sally Bedell Smith, who wrote a very good bio of Jackie Kennedy, was not up to the task of writing about the Queen. Omid is the Sussex cheerleader and I have no problem with that because it’s par for the course in that sphere to have your supporters in the press. But I also want a really good book on all of this.

      • L4frimaire says:

        People like Lacey refuse to even acknowledge the racism Meghan faced because he’s never had to consider it. He barely acknowledges the sexism. I don’t think any of these books will make a true impact unless they do acknowledge the role of the British press, especially the tabloids, the personal animosity the royal Rota, and people like P.Morgan towards Meghan. One thing I didn’t like about Finding Freedom is that it just creeped around the racism, the impact of Brexit and Maga, and the online trolls with the nasty levels of racism. It also never mentioned the ramped up harassment during her pregnancy and the conspiracy theories that the pregnancy was fake, or that nasty tweet comparing Archie to a chimp after he was born. That seems to be the major omission here because he does not have the cultural competence of these subjects and doesn’t seem to want to. Lacey seems to be focusing more on the brothers relationship and trying to dress up Will’s flaws as preparing for “ kingship”. His inside version of things. Glad that Meghan isn’t the main focus of this book, but he should have been more analytical of other factors beside her being an “ independent American woman” when writing about her. So many bad and ignorant clichés🙄.

      • Becks1 says:

        Agreed – and I think the issue is that these people aren’t going to acknowledge the racism because they don’t think it was racist. Robert Lacey probably doesn’t realize that racism was involved because he never heard anyone use a racial slur to describe Meghan.

        Omid’s probably one of the better positioned insiders to talk about it, and I kind of would love to see him write a “real” book maybe in a few years when there’s some more distance/perspective.

        Honestly, a lot of the courtiers themselves probably don’t think to this day that their behavior was at all racist, and it shows how far we still have to go in terms of changing people’s behavior and mindsets. They’ll say “there’s just something about her I don’t like” and think that excuses the fact that the “something” they don’t like is that she’s black.

      • Amy Too says:

        They absolutely seem to ignore racism and think that they aren’t racist and the press isn’t racist and the family isn’t racist, etc. Because, like other have said, they didn’t personally witness someone yelling the N word into Meghan’s face. I wonder if the word “prejudiced” was used in place of “racist,” if they would agree that she was thought of and treated differently and tested more rigorously and held to a higher standard because of her skin color. I just wonder if “racism” is “too far,” for these people but “prejudiced,” would be something they agree she faced. (Im sure they’d all say “not by me of course, but by other people.”)

    • Yvette says:

      @Eleonor … “Call me crazy, but I find this book more interesting than Finding Freedom.”

      I agree with you. My copy should be queued up in my Kindle as I type. Can’t wait to read it!

      What I hope this book will also do, since it appears to be very detailed, is put to rest the idea that Harry and Meghan co-wrote or were the primary sources for “Finding Freedom.” This book just shows that the Courtiers truly ‘do’ know everything (Lacey has stated that his source was one, very Senior, Courtier). However, I also believe this secret Courier wouldn’t have spilled major Royal Tea without permission to do so from either the Queen or Charles (my money is on the Queen, since Buckingham Palace refused to review chapters of the book that Lacey submitted prior to turning the manuscript over to his publisher because he thought they might be of concern to the Crown).

      This book may bash Harry and Meghan as much as it bashes William and Kate, but I find this a more balanced treatment of events. Despite his true loyalties, I believe Lacey has tried to stay as true to his Historian role as possible. Moreover, the fact that the Royal Reporters and DM aren’t using the book to further torment Harry and Meghan speaks volumes about its true contents.

    • TallulahBankhead says:

      If Lacey doesn’t acknowledge the role racism and misogyny played in the brothers relationship after Harry’s marriage, can it be an honest recounting?

  3. Lucylee says:

    Going to donate the cost of the book to a charity H and M support.

  4. Charlie says:

    Can we please just give the Earthshot Award to Travalyst and be done with it already?

  5. Mariane says:

    This is still too tame!! He’s still making it as if courtiers are to blame not lizzy, chuck and billy. Still I’m glad he alluded to how some were jealous of Meghan’s star power by saying
    “royals ‘who’ve got it in for Meghan’ and did
    all they could to suppress her star power”

    It’s well known that the organised attack campaign kicked off during the Oceania tour when sussexs popularity was on full display. That also when they found out that Meghan was pregnant meaning she wasnt a fling (like they were hoping)and how she will have a permanent link with the monarchy!

  6. Belli says:

    Once again, someone saying that Meghan spent all her time bucking “almost every royal tradition” but won’t say what traditions.

    What traditions (apart from being white) did she buck?!

    • Izzy says:

      Well, she *checks notes* once wore an off-the-shoulder dress! Yeah, that must be it. /s

      • Harla says:

        The Queen wore a stunning one shoulder dress while visiting the Netherlands in the 50s, funny how no one mentions that.

      • lanne says:

        Diana wore off the shoulder dresses. kate was praised for wearing a dress in the same style as Meghans 2 months after Meghan was condemned. Margaret and Anne wore off the shoulder dresses. That’s true of all “protocols” people complained about–there was even a time people complained about Meghan crossing her legs, when Anne was sitting, cross-legged, 2 seats down. The only “tradition” she bucked was not being white (and being smarter than the whole lot of them)

      • HeatherC says:

        I’m sure women used to be locked in the tower for wearing nail polish?

    • Aa says:

      One tradition that I am sure pissed off Buckingham Palace is Harry telling Meghan to walk ahead of him and that Meghan didn’t refuse to walk ahead if him. That’s the stuff that drives them nuts.

      • Becks1 says:

        which has always been a stupid criticism because Kate walks ahead of William at times, AND Harry lets Kate walk ahead of him if William isn’t there.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Kate walked ahead of the Queen on 2 separate occasions.

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        And NEVER forget, SHE CLOSED HER *OWN* CAR DOOR! She CLUTCHED her “bump” continuously, too, Guys!! (Kate “cradled” hers, y’know!)

        *GASP*. WHERE are my pearls?? My smelling salts??! WHERE IS THE FAINTING COUCH, DAMMIT!’ *Swoooooooon*

      • Bella DuPont says:

        @ Jan90067


        You’ve captured their exact energy. Complete and utter hysteria at the most mundane actions.

      • (TheOG) Jan90067 says:

        🤗🤗🤗 Bella!

        They’re like all the little chickens screaming! “The sky is falling! THE SKY IS FALLING!!” Manufactured hysteria for Duchessing While Black.

    • JT says:

      The tradition of the spares being bubbling fools. The RF is still of the mindset that hierarchy equals popularity which anyone with eyes can see that is not the case, especially with someone like Harry and eventually Meghan. Harry has been the number two most popular royal for years only behind the queen. He was the one carrying the firm.

      • Lady2Lazy says:

        @ JT, you are absolutely right!! Harry was popular before Meghan came into the picture. Harry has been working harder than Keen and Unable for years. They just didn’t realize the star power that eclipsed everyone else once Harry married Meghan, hell once they announced their engagement, their star power took off never to be seen again. Now they can wallow in their misfortune of having driven them off instead of seeing in the long run how powerful they could have brought the monarchy up to levels of star power but instead their pettiness and jealousy of Keen and Unable ran them off. They have no one to blame but themselves.

    • Myra says:

      Duchessing while black, the only crime I can think of. Whatever she was going to was always going to be wrong.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        As much as racism did and does play a major role here it wasn’t the only issue they had with Megan.
        As the spares wife she was meant to be Kate’s scapegoat. Never to outshine the heirs wife.
        And she came in with her own mind, unwilling to be molded into what the men in grey wanted.

        Megan existed as her own person. A strong WOC that worked hard, well educated and cared strongly about using her position to help others as a patron representing the BRF with class and grace.
        That some people take such issue with Megan is telling on themselves.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      The list is limitless. Let’s see, in addition to those mentioned above; wore colourful nailpolish, wore an expensive designer dress on engagement shoot, did not present the baby, did not name the god parents, did not wear stockings, showed her shoulders at Trooping, shut her own car door, lots and lots of PDA, didn’t wear a hat on an outing wtih the queen, has famous friends, attended a baby shower, hugs children, messy buns, pant suits, gives speeches, does not worship at the feet of the Lamebridges and the list goes on and on.

      • Myra says:

        Ate avocado!

      • RoyalBlue says:

        wrote on bananas

      • Bella DuPont says:

        Claimed black lives matter, told people to vote

      • MerlinsMom1018 says:

        @ RoyalBlue:
        Out dressed Kate on every occasion and doing it WITHOUT BUTTONS

      • Lady2Lazy says:

        @ Royal Blue, don’t forget being a editor for Vogue with pictures of women for change that *gasp* had WOC on the front!! Or putting forth a cookbook that didn’t allow the anger raging PWT to collect the proceeds, or putting together a clothing line that supported women in Britain for work opportunities!! Oh, the scandal and the shear fact that she actually put forth incredible philanthropic efforts that benefited women of Britain that desperately needed attention, funding and awareness!! All of which she did within a year, and while out on maternity leave as well!!

      • RoyalBlue says:

        has supporters called sussexsquad doing work for the greater good. (how DARE she!) not even sophie or fergie had that going for them.

        held the record for the most IG followers in a day (prompting the now infamous buying of followers by KP)

        let’s not forget the biggest protocol broken…..hands in her hair moving it out of her face!

      • MerryGirl says:

        *hands in her pockets
        *wrote her own speeches
        *baked a banana bread while on tour

    • Max says:

      @ Harla the Queen almost wore exclusively off the shoulder, sweetheart dresses and scrappy dresses (e.g buggeyed sister 1’s wedding dress) with push up corsets almost exclusively for the first 20 years of her reign lmao! So they are really pulling at straws here!

      • Becks1 says:

        It took me a solid 30 seconds to get the “buggeyed sister 1″ reference lol. I was like, Margaret? lol.

    • HeyJude says:

      Being a punching bag for the senior royals, clearly.

      They found someone with some self-resect and wouldn’t take their blows.

    • ennie says:


    • Lizzie says:

      The tradition of women doing what men tell them too.

    • MJM says:

      A good critical question to ask. I have a hunch they exist in Lacey’s mind just like all the protocols that Meghan broke existed only in the minds of her detractors. The issue was their popularity and overshadowing William and Kate period.

  7. Becks1 says:

    Well, this aligns with what we all have been saying – Harry and Meghan were just too popular for their own good (in the eyes of the palace staff.) They committed the cardinal sin (in the House of Windsor at any rate) of being more popular than the direct heirs.

    I guess what still puzzles me about all this IS the fact that the courtiers and the royal family haven’t changed. This heir and spare narrative wasn’t good for Margaret, wasn’t good for Andrew, and hasn’t been good for Harry. And it already seems to be in place for the Cambridge children. Trying desperately to control Diana and control the narrative around the divorce was an absolute disaster for the Windsors, although some newer royal watchers may not realize that, since the royal PR post Diana’s death has worked pretty well.

    But if you haven’t figured out over the past few decades how to find a place for the spare, and how to use the popularity of the non-heir for the good of the Firm, then you have bigger problems because it means you don’t learn from your mistakes. Or more likely, don’t see them as mistakes.

    Finally – the other thing about this that puzzles me is how self-absorbed the royals are. Okay, so Diana and Charles got divorced. That was never going to be the end of Diana-mania. Okay, so Harry and Meghan left. They were never going to go quietly into the night. Now they have a bigger platform and are less restrained, and there’s a new romantic twist on their story that people love (the prince who left the royal family for his family). The royal family is not the only platform in the world and H&M “stepping down” may have left William and Kate as the “young royals” but it doesn’t mean H&M are just going to disappear. They were never going to disappear, and now the family has lost all control over them. They’re going to be huge, even bigger than they would have been as working royals.

    • lanne says:

      These people didn’t get to stay courtiers by being intelligent. They would likely be fired from any other job they could get for sheer incompetence.

      • A says:

        This is what you get when you continually hire from a small, exclusive pool of potential candidates every single time.

        The Queen has never had a woman as a private secretary. Aside from Angela Kelly, I don’t know for sure if she’s ever had a woman on a prominent position on her staff. Same goes for Charles. I’m sure people will come up and present some names, but still. How likely are they to take their advice? We know that the staff also has a strict hierarchy of its own, which dictates whose input counts. How many women get to a position within this management where their words are respected and considered with careful thought?

        And how many POC have these people hired, ever? Can anyone come up with a single name? The idea of a POC being a monarch or their heir’s private secretary or deputy private secretary–the idea is so unimaginable that no one has probably ever raised it.

        What about a person who didn’t go to a public school in the UK? Have they ever hired someone educated in a comprehensive? Someone whose family isn’t pleasantly “middle-class” ie wealthy enough to set them up for life? Someone who doesn’t have connections within the political and aristocratic establishment?

        Have they ever hired a working class person? A *real* working class person, not a posh idiot doing a knock off accent, and not a working class person to do grunt work either. What exactly are their hiring policies to begin with, anyway? Has anyone ever asked and bothered to find out?

        The sheer lack of diversity, the permanent requirement that their staff simply be yes men who okay everything they do and never allow any other alternative view points is exactly what is keeping them so shitty all this time. They can’t even abide by Americans, ffs. The absolute fright they get when they are confronted with even the smallest notion of change isn’t just absurd, it’s alarming. This, among so many other things, needs to be closely looked into, but it won’t happen because ??? ???? ???????

      • Becks1 says:

        @A – all excellent points. And I’ll note that one of the high profile women hired, Catherine Quinn, quit after two years of working with Kate, because she wanted to pursue “charity work,” which seemed like an odd of way of putting it, considering she was working for a duchess who is supposedly focused on charity. Meghan had Sara Lantham and Samantha Cohen (not sure if Cohen worked for the Queen or not?) and now Lantham works for the queen, which is funny bc remember how she was criticized? She worked for the Clintons!!! too political!!! Too too too…..something.

        But anyway, I completely agree with your comments about the diversity in hiring etc. It makes a difference. If the staff at BP, CH and KP more accurately reflected the UK population, or the London population, it would be better overall and I think a lot of the issues the staff had with Meghan would have been avoided. As a personal example, my component at work has mostly women in leadership positions, but a few years ago there were more men in these positions. I cannot tell you what a DIFFERENCE it has made having women as leaders (also, these women are roughly my age, some maybe 5-10 years older, and they all have kids at home) , especially during the shutdown. Their kids cry during conference calls. Once my direct supervisor started a meeting saying “so we’re potty training, so if I have to run out really fast, that’s why.” It’s so nice and refreshing bc I don’t feel like I’m being penalized at all for being a working mother right now. Representation matters and the royal family needs to realize that.

    • JT says:

      @becks1 It just shows how shortsighted and insulated they are. They truly thought that in this day and age H&M were just going to disappear into the night, as if the BM would even let them (they go completely crazy when these two disappear.) It also shows how nobody in this so called firm thought their plan to exile H&M through (also ironic considering they say that Harry and Meg are impulsive but they clearly had a plan). They didn’t think that these extremely popular and charismatic couple could still dominate the pop culture and philanthropic landscape with a couple of zoom calls. As some of you here say, they created what they feared. Now wait until they’re fully up and running.

    • Laura says:

      You are so right about them being bigger than they would have been if they would have remained as working royals — now they don’t have that royal baggage to drag them down and hold them back, the sky’s the limit! The BM is looking more unimportant and insignificant with every day that passes.

    • Dee says:

      We’ll see this dynamic play out with George vs. Charlotte and Louis. They never learn. The best thing that can happen for these kids is a phase out of the monarchy. Find a profession you like and build a career instead of learning to be a walking anachronism.

    • equality says:

      You would think they would have learned with Fergie. She didn’t just disappear when she and Andrew divorced. The media and public were still obsessed with her. If she had been better at channeling that and better at money management, she could have set herself up for life. Why would they think that Meghan who was far more savvy would just disappear? If they hadn’t allowed the media to slam her so badly and kept them just doing the dull royal style engagements, a lot of the excitement would have probably cooled over time.

    • KW says:

      I watch The Secret Life of the Windsors on Smithsonian channel, and ever since Uncle Edward abdicated, QEII and her mother (yes, her mother was a micro managing control freak) bumbled the entire thing. Margaret was more popular than the queen. So, they kept sending her on trips because boring older sister was jealous (Sound familiar?). Two pin ups of that time were Elizabeth Taylor and Princess Margaret. They took everything she wanted, and then gaslighted her repeatedly. Prince Andrew is a product of being a spoiled, entitled brat, and I don’t care about him or care to discuss him, he is his own worst enemy aside from being any teenaged girls’ worst enemy. Harry was always stereotyped as naughty, ugly (how could any ginger be ugly, but we still have kick a ginger day, sooooo ….) and since the queen is still alive, her staff, her family and the extensive egos will bungle up the entire thing. She could have really used H&M, but she is as ignorant and not very bright and most likely the most jealous of the bunch. She is the face of the Royal Family; and no matter what, the buck starts and stops there. William and his wife are pieces of shit, and Charles is complacent. The Queen is responsible for all this mess. And yet she does nothing. She screwed with her sister’s life, and she is responsible for this mess with her son and his sons. She is the top CEO (not dolittle) and she has screwed everything up. That’s what the book should say. In the 60s the government told her to keep her nose out of their business, so she went ahead and kept her fortunes, tax free. She then went to sabotage the only thing she could control, her greedy family and IMO, she screwed that up royally.(pun intended)

      • SomeChick says:

        “Kick a ginger day?!” WUT?

      • ArtHistorian says:

        I did read somewhere that the Queen Mother had an enormous influence on QEII – and considering how long-lived she was…. It is also my impression that the Queen Mother is one of the reasons why the heir-spare dynamic has become so toxic among the Windsors.

      • A says:

        @ArtHistorian, the Queen Mother was…. a character, to put it mildly. But I don’t think she originated the heir-spare dynamic. That’s a holdover from the generations prior to that, for sure, specifically around the turn of the 19th century, which is when the sort of celeb media culture that we have today really started to come into effect.

        I always bring up this anecdote, which is from Princess Margaret. I don’t know how true it is, but I still think that it illustrates something about how deeply rooted this dynamic is. Pss Margaret once told a friend of hers that she was never a big fan of her grandmother, Queen Mary, because Queen Mary was an ultra snob who was very very insecure about her own rank and position within society. Queen Mary had been born out of a morganatic marriage, and therefore was born with the style Her Serene Highness, not Her Royal Highness. Her family was always strapped for cash and running away from debtors, who were coming to collect.

        Apparently, Queen Mary hated both Pss Margaret and Queen Elizabeth, because both of them were born with the HRH titles, while she was not. The only reason she was even a little bit nice to Queen Elizabeth was because she was going to be Queen some day, which meant she was more important and therefore more worthy of attention.

        Margaret really was neglected while growing up, which affected her position for her whole life. She never really developed a secure sense of self, because the role she was to have in her sister’s reign was just never really defined. If she’d been slightly more sure of herself, I really do think that she would have done what Prince Harry essentially did today–marry Peter Townsend, for better or for worse, and put enough distance between herself and the RF to really have a proper life of her own, whatever the circumstances might have been.

        She really clung to the trappings of her position–the title, the money, the adulation, etc., because it was the only way to really assert herself in a world where her sister was always more important than her, even though Margaret thought of herself as someone who deserved to be at the center of attention.

        The Queen Mother did play a role in this, in that she also was essentially just jealous that her husband’s death meant she’d been bumped from precedence in favour of her daughter. She was very very used to dictating the affairs around her, particularly to make sure that she was the focus of attention, in a world where there were more eyes on her and her family than ever before. All the stuff she did during WW2, refusing to leave London, making sure to go visit the bombed out parts of the city, being photographed doing that–she knew how the media worked, and she shrewdly used it to her advantage.

        But I also think the loss of media focus was hard for her. She eventually managed to figure out a new role for herself, obviously, but immediately after her husband’s death, she really did have to struggle with a loss of power, and she tried to assert herself in other ways behind the scenes. She eventually did what Margaret kind of couldn’t, which is carve out a role for herself in the public eye where she got the same sort of adulation as before. But the permanent story of the royal family is always just one where someone is jealous of someone else. The set up makes it impossible to escape, I think.

    • Merricat says:

      It’s the deluded ego that made the BRF think that Harry would crumble without them. Instead, he took his wife and child and left the relatively small stage of GB to take the much larger U.S. stage by storm. Lol.

    • windyriver says:

      What the RF/courtiers, and the media have in common, is how desperate each are to have complete control of their narratives. And how willing each are to lie, bully, and smear to do it; either blatantly (BM), or underhandedly (RF/courtiers). For now, their interests coincide. What’s remarkable is, after four years demonstrated what they do together and separately clearly isn’t working, each have refused to change anything. Their ‘prey’ have escaped, and are thriving outside the bubble. In typical RF fashion TQ does an event with Will to remind us he’s the one who’s the heir – and so what? She doesn’t see, he’s a reminder how little the monarchy has to offer.

      If Will & Kate weren’t so damn lazy, if they worked like Charles, Anne, TQ, we’d be in a completely different place. If they’d spent the last ten years establishing a record – even just showing up routinely for events, openings, ribbon cuttings – Will would have a significant profile and not look so diminished compared with Harry – and feel so threatened. His choice – to redefine his and Kate’s roles as “fewer patronages but more intensive focus” (e.g., doing as little as possible). Now he’s paying the price.

      What’s different from Margaret and Andrew, is Harry. Not jealous of his brother’s status. Has his own strong interests. As long as he can do his work, would’ve been happy to support his father, then brother, as monarchs. The clear example you don’t have to continue to repeat the past. Future spares could be raised accordingly, be happier, and the monarchy, healthier. But even in the modern era monarchy, power still ‘trumps’ everything.

      Never mind the BS these people are peddling. Meghan’s willingness to work within the RF’s framework was clear just from how she dressed. If behind the scenes she wasn’t happy being used, walked over, and lied about, neither was Harry. Unlike apparently everyone else however, they had the courtesy to keep their mouths publicly shut.

      It’s a gift the family doesn’t deserve. But, it shows Harry and Meghan’s integrity; they follow the “Queen’s values” she doesn’t follow herself (see: Andrew, stripping Harry of military roles, etc). And, it protects them; unlike Willam, Charles, etc., they don’t worry some secret will be used against them. By working hard and being decent human beings, they outsmarted efforts by the RF/courtiers/media to control and dim them. Instead of harnessing their appeal, the powers that be literally said, chose, “my way or the highway”. Harry and Meghan chose not just the highway, but to build their own. The institution they left, meanwhile, continues on the road to nowhere.

      • Max says:

        Not even not jealous, but completely uninterested in the position or life at all, the one thing they had hanging over Andrew and Particularly Margret was money and social status, both were HIGHLY dependant on the crowns purse AND approval from their parents, H needs and has none of that considering how morally bankrupt and corrupt both his dad and grandmother are/were Both money and familiar wise, they have absolutely nothing they can give him more than he can get from himself, his wife, and his child. And I truly find it laughable that they think they can leverage his HRH and military titles in exchange for his wife and child, just shows how shallow they are!

      • Becks1 says:

        Great post, and especially the points about how William has to offer. It was so obvious at the event last week. William just has nothing to offer. He has to insist that Earthshot is the most prestigious environmental award ever, because if he doesn’t, then its likely that no one will take it seriously.

      • equality says:

        Margaret may have had many failings but her children and grandchildren seem happier and better adjusted than Liz’s. You would really have to say the same about Andrew’s children also. It’s especially amazing that Eugenie and Beatrice turned out as well as they did.

  8. ABritGuest says:

    It’s sad to see a historian just follow tabloid lies. What traditions did they break? The Queen didn’t do the hospital photocall and I think the first staged one was Diana’s. Not revealing godparents is only custom they didn’t follow that I can think of for senior royal in recent times. What protocols did Meghan break?

    Seems like he’s putting blame squarely on her. just enfuriating knowing that in years to come excuse of refusing to conform to traditions will be used as reason for the exit rather than a smear campaign to drive her out. But funnily enough the royals are copying so much of Meghan’s working (and fashion) style so can’t have been that bad can it?

    I do think aides wanted to drive (her) out but not like they were acting alone so again not really delving into that like FF let’s the royals off the hook. Does the book detail what courtiers did to edge the Sussexes out? And I’ve never understood why for years it was ok for Harry to be more popular than his brother and father but they went crazy when he got married.

    There was clearly a rivalry thing going on which doesn’t seem to be explored widely, as shown with the Instagram wars. The NY Times did an article on KP’s Instagram possible bots use to be ahead of SussexRoyal and as a paper of note it’s interesting that was kind of played down. For an account that was gaining hundreds of thousands of followers each week when SussexRoyal was active, apparently since March KP has only gained 275,000 new followers.

    • Becks1 says:

      I think the “traditions” thing is tricky, because I think part of it is code for “shes not white,” and part of it is code for “she didn’t do what she was told.” And I can see both of those things being really problematic for the courtiers. They’re used to Kate, who seems most concerned with getting away with doing the bare minimum, so Kate probably does listen when courtiers tell her how things should be done or whatever.

      I don’t think the Queen or even Charles cared about whether Meghan presented archie after birth (they probably thought the decision not to use his title was a good one) or about the godparents. I do think William cared.

      But, I do think this book comes closer than any other book we’ve had so far in terms of laying it out there – even this excerpt seems to make clear that Harry and Meghan’s popularity was a threat to William and Charles and the courtiers acted to protect the heirs. I wonder if the book lays out that the courtiers wouldn’t act without approval from William and Charles.

      My guess is this whole story is going to be a slow drip. This seems a little more honest about William and the royals than Finding Freedom was, but seems to avoid the racism that Meghan faced. Maybe in a year or two we’ll get a book that is more open on both counts.

      • A says:

        I wouldn’t hold my breath. William, I’m sort of convinced, is being protected extensively. By his staff, but also by the media. I do think that there is a real fear of confronting his bad behaviour. No one wants to be “that guy” in the press, so for now, I really do think he’s getting away with a lot of shitty behaviour behind the scenes. There is just no way that someone like him, second in line to the throne, could go around threatening people with lawsuits left right and center, and NO ONE breathes a word about it.

        As for Meghan, same thing. I don’t think the real discussion will happen in a year or two. As with everything else with the British, the real discussion will happen a decade, two decades from now. Having an honest conversation about racism in Britain requires people to be, well, honest. Who in the British media or British academia is willing to do that? There are a few voices here and there, but they’re alone. There is a huge, huge reticence to talk honestly about the people in the monarchy, let alone criticize them. I’m not holding my breath on that happening any time soon.

      • betsyh says:

        I think the only reason William cared about releasing the names of the godparents was so they could be further negative fodder for the press. The press would not have said much about the godparents that were friends of William, but those that were not would have been investigated and anything that was vaguely scandalous or woke would have been sensationalized and ridiculed by the media.

    • Myra says:

      It’s a lie that they tell themselves to rationalise the hatred towards Meghan. Since they claim they don’t see colour, they have to place the blame on her somehow and they have decided to use breaking royal protocols/traditions as the justification for all this hate. An honest person would recognise that some of these protocols do not exist or some of these traditions are actually very recent. These are not honest people, though. If they were honest, they would have done some soul-searching about their racial bias.

    • Sunday says:

      I think the main tradition she “broke” (aside from not being white, which we know is the biggest factor of all) is that she came in with her own ideas. She knew what causes she wanted to champion, how she wanted to use her platform, and didn’t want to just smile and cut ribbons. The courtiers were probably chomping at the bit to show this *American* *actress* “how things are done” and she was like uh, I worked with the UN and all these other charities, I know how to actually make an impact and they were like HOW DARE SHE UPEND THE TRADITION OF *checks notes* ROYAL CHARITY WORK BEING SOLELY A PR OP WITH *checks notes again* ACTUAL CHARITY.

      I just imagine a room full of old, stodgy, white butler types sputtering like over-boiled kettles when Meghan politely but firmly laid out an actual plan to help people in a real way. I’m sure that typically the courtiers present the royals with options that include “ribbon cutting at the bakery” or “keen tour of a museum” and the biggest input the royals offer is probably “My headband should match the ribbon.”

    • Max says:

      Because he was popular, but also the class clown, his popularity was not all in good faith, it was the popular ‘jester ‘ that contrast with his better looking more serious brother (and I think you’re underestimating how much of this is tied to looks and William getting ugly, I think that is pushing 80/90% of his ego – had Harry been not so good looking I don’t think as much of this would’ve been a problem, because he would’ve still be the reject).

      Now Harry is the more good looking one, the funnier one, the one with the cuter family, the more modern one, the more egalitarian one, the one with the hotter wife, the one with the better more impactful projects, the one who connects with the kids, the one binding the younger generation to the monarchy etc etc. He was never meant to be/have ANY of this, they always expected William to be the one everyone wanted/to be.
      Harry was meant to be the slightly drugged up bachelor that falls out of clubs that is ugly and dumb, but in a quirky way that makes you feel kinda sorry for him, that leans on his more stable older brother for hope and lives vicariously through him, by being the best fatherly figure type uncle he could be to the kids, whilst never having his own because he’ll never truly attain stability and settle down.

      • lanne says:

        I can only imagine Will and Kate seething over that glorious picture of Meghan and Harry in the rain. You know those two must have been not just incandescent, but on fire with rage. The Lamebridges will NEVER have that fire, that star power, that energy.

  9. Ginger says:

    One thing I can say about Omid is that he was consistent with his interviews. When he spoke in the US, the UK, Australia, etc. he said the same thing. Lacey is just saying what he thinks certain countries want to hear. Definitely playing both sides for sales.

    Someone that has read the book said he slammed Harry and Meghan and the Cambridge’s come off as saints.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      Exactly! Lacey goofed big time. Pick a side and a narrative and stick to it. Changing course when Willileaks started being seen as a bully with a horrid temper is not a great strategy. Well the cat is already out of the bag and that bridge is well and truly burnt for Lacey.

    • A says:

      That’s because Omid Scobie knows his book and his work will speak for itself. He has no reason to issue constant clarifications, to change how he markets the book, because he has always been consistent with what it was supposed to be.

      Robert Lacey, on the other hand, never really had a clear idea of what this book was about. And that, in turn, impacted the marketing. I think he was startled with a lot of the backlash he wound up receiving, combined with the way the tabloids were taking some of his statements and misrepresenting them. He’s a 76 year old establishment historian, who thinks racism is fake. He doesn’t strike me as someone who has much experience in dealing with the British tabloid machine.

  10. Oatmeal says:

    At least he come close to telling the males truth

    The reality is , Meghan even as a C list actress , was and is a star when it comes to activism and doing the work and combining her with Harry created a modern royal megaton bomb of star power and relevance and Will and Kate had and have no chance of competing with that much less the elder Royals.

    The gag is tho the BM is MAD AF because they are now cut off from their golden goose and The Firm, especially W&K, are still mad because The Sussexes still outshine them.from oceans away

  11. Likeyoucare says:

    why didn’t the american press or interviewier ask him about his real and personal thought of meghan.

    And read his interview from Good morning britain with piss morgan.
    Come on someone need to call out this british trash journalists.

  12. Sofia says:

    But who are the courtiers supposed to be working for? The royals. Even if the BRF are all totally innocent and have clean hands (which I doubt), the courtiers are still their employees therefore the royals do shoulder some blame in letting them run wild, especially with a blood prince. We’ve often said that the courtiers are the ones really running the show but how does that absolve the BRF of blame? Again, the BRF are their bosses and it’s on them to rein in any wild employees. At best the royals look like negligent bosses, being told what to do by their “underlings” and at worst, they look like they’re in on it and telling the courtiers what to do.

    Either way, ignoring what the courtiers are doing and letting them doing it, doesn’t look good – whether they’re doing it on purpose or not. Ignoring the actions of the people who are hired to work under you doesn’t make the BRF innocent.

    • Becks1 says:

      Completely agree – and either the courtiers are acting with direct approval/instructions from their boss, or the courtiers are just doing whatever the hell they want and their bosses are unable to control them. Some “Firm.”

      Christian Jones is an excellent example. He should have been fired for leaking stories. He wasn’t, which only tells me that he was given the OK to leak those stories.

      Sometimes I think we are too literal here though, when we talk about the courtiers, and that for someone Lacey, he’s just saying “the courtiers” because that’s easier and less of a legal headache than saying “Prince William.”

      • Sofia says:

        Yeah when the Sussex plans leaked, that should have sparked a massive internal security investigation as to why the plans were leaked, who leaked them, when did this happen and security wise, what does it mean when said plans, which were/are very major, of a senior working royal (who also happens to be the son and brother of two future monarchs) are leaked so brazenly like this? What does it mean for the other royals, particularly the future monarchs? Will their communications be safe in the future? But since no investigation happened, that we’re aware of, the royals either a) don’t care for the leak and b) told their employees to leak it – neither reasons make the BRF look good.

        I do get that the courtiers are easier to blame because they’re unknown, and like you said, less of a legal headache but considering how Diana and Fergie have complained about the “men in grey” makes me think that the actual courtiers are very much involved, which again, does not make the BRF blameless.

      • Amy Bee says:

        Christian Jones was effectively promoted as he’s now Interim Private Secretary to William.

      • Korra says:

        Christian Jones was one of FFK’s flying monkeys that worked to drive out Harry and Meghan.

    • Harper says:

      It’s all William. If William, egged on by Carole and Kate, wasn’t jealous, Harry & Meghan would be rolling along as working royals. But William did not open his arms and embrace the new team. He could not support them. Heck, he couldn’t even come over to their home that summer they rented in the Cotswolds and sit back and have a beer with them. This points directly to an internal distortion in William regarding how he viewed his royal role and how he relates to Harry. He could only envision the worst. Even after meeting Meghan (harmless!) he developed a warped idea of who she was and who Harry became with Meghan. This just goes to show the power of the mind. William saw something evil in Meghan and he acted under this mindset, which brought forth division, only it was all by William’s hand.

      And William, being the enfant terrible of the firm, is able to do all of this because too many jobs depend on not rocking his boat. Lacey also will not rock the boat; he shook it gently, but he too is afraid of William. I’m hoping that someone out there isn’t afraid of William and will cash in on the real story. My money is on Dan Wooten. He knows enough and will be taking the temperature of when it is most personally beneficial for him to turn the tide against William.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        “My money is on Dan Wooten.”

        That would be one VERY GOOD book. If Wooten writes a book, I am sure he will not hold back anything.

      • lanne says:

        there are too many people out there with knowledge of who William really is. How long will all of them keep silent? What leverage can William offer to keep them all silent? Everything gets out eventually.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @Ianne – Well we know whose side the Turnip Toffs are on. LOL! LOL!

      • Becks1 says:

        Dan Wootton definitely knows a lot of dirt, but right now he’s such a part of the anti-Sussex brigade that I don’t see him turning on the Cambridges.

        @Lanne – I think that’s going to be the problem, what can William offer to keep them all silent? photo ops with the kids aren’t the distraction they used to be. Kate and William’s outings aren’t selling papers or generating the clicks they used to.

        What would sell would be a Cambridge scandal, and eventually it is going to come out. But whoever does it is going to need big guns in terms of legal defense, which honestly, should be really worrying for all british citizens – that reporters are so afraid to write anything negative about the Cambridges because of the legal threats.

        What was the tweet Emily Andrews deleted last week? I don’t remember what it was about, but she deleted it and admitted it was bc she didn’t feel like dealing with KP’s lawyers.

      • A says:

        @Becks1, the KP lawyer thing is appalling. That’s essentially censorship, and yet, where is the outcry? From literally anyone? Why isn’t the freeze peach brigade, who ostensibly overlap with the people who hate Meghan and Harry, speaking up on this? These are all rhetorical questions, obviously, we all KNOW why there’s so much silence on this subject, and yet.

      • Becks1 says:

        @A its appalling and goes along with what someone said a few days ago and we discussed yesterday (NotSoSimpleTaylor maybe?) – that the family, the press and the government are actively protecting William and keeping stories from getting out.

        It sort of makes sense – that there is government pressure as well as royal pressure – bc the DM (where Andrews works) would get a lot of mileage out of *whatever it is that’s being hidden* and while William might sue, I cant believe they don’t have the resources to fight back. They may not feel like it for something like an affair, but if something really big is being hidden? It doesn’t make sense to me why these kinds of comments (like Andrews saying the lawyers contacted her) aren’t bigger stories.

      • Nic919 says:

        Is this another instance of Andrews having to deal with KP lawyers? Because she already had to deal with that over a year ago, or whenever she started her mat leave. She was at the Sun at the time and there was a story about Kate accepting free gifts and the KP lawyers made threats and she had tweeted that she deleted it because she was on her mat leave and didn’t want to deal with it.

      • Harper says:

        The Prince William/Dan Wooten showdown is inevitable. Wooten isn’t rich and is only a journalist. Eventually, most careers have a downturn, and when Wooten’s happens, he will want to cash in on what he knows, especially if Wills was actively communicating with Wooten during Sussexit. He probably has a manuscript in progress and a literary agent just waiting to shop the book.

      • Nic919 says:

        Wootton isn’t British and thus wasn’t raised with the ingrained loyalty to that family that many Britons have, especially establishment media. If Wootton can profit from selling what he knows, he will eventually do it.

      • A says:

        @Nic919, Wootton still knows which side his bread his buttered on though. He might not be British, but he works within a British media, which is dictated to by the British establishment. He stands to burn a lot of bridges if he were to ever come out and say what really happened with William, and the sad fact is that it there are plenty of other, easier, more “acceptable” targets for profiting off of than him. Of course, things might change, particularly with the upcoming generation (who were not around for Diana, and therefore don’t attach the same sorts of emotions to him as their parents/grandparents might), so here’s hoping that he does come out with it all.

        @Becks1, my personal theory regarding what they’re covering up with William is that it probably has to do with him interfering in politics somehow, especially a segment of politics that veers very very much to the right wing in the UK. I’m thinking, he’s friends with some questionable racist MP or another, or a few perhaps, and he’s been using his connections to angle them into positions of power/decision making in the government.

        There is so much shadiness going on right now with Britain and its politics, particularly with the Tories in power and Brexit, and Boris Johnson. We haven’t heard much about William and his politics, and that’s the way he likes it, I imagine. But I think it’s either that he’s unlawfully been trying to influence politics in some way, or they have pictures of him breaking the quarantine restrictions a la Dominic Cummings.

  13. JT says:

    I’m confused. Aren’t they all senior royals? But in the BM they always talk about w&k being more senior. The way I see it, until w&k become PPOW he and Harry are on the same footing. It’s not as if the Cambridge’s are acting like senior royals, considering the fact that a year before Meg they were still part time. And Kaiser is right, it’s 2020 and the RF are behaving as if it’s still 1900, which is they’re ultimate problem. Change is inevitable. You can sit around pretending it’s not happening or you can right along side it. It seems that the royals and BM are going to be chasing the change trying to catch up.

  14. Amy Bee says:

    Whatever. Any book coming after Finding Freedom was going to be tough to sell. The only books about Harry and Meghan that are going to be interesting now are the ones written by themselves. Lacey’s book was an attempt to tell the palace’s side of the story but it just retraces stories already tackled by Omid’s book. Lacey talks about Meghan going against tradition but never says what those traditions were. The bottom-line is the palace was too racist to treat Meghan like a human being and her and Harry’s popularity was a threat to the rest of the family.

  15. Jay says:

    ” It wasn’t me, officer, just all the terrible people that work for me. I was just giving orders!”

    As many above have said, I think Lacey would be hard pressed to think up an actual tradition or rule Meghan has broken, other than “being black”. It doesn’t make the royal family look any good to say that the courtiers run things, even if true.

    I would also argue that attempts to lump Harry and Meghan in with the likes of Margaret and especially Andrew, who enjoyed all the power, privilege, and protection the monarchy could give, seem offensive to me.

    • RoyalBlue says:

      Lumping Andrew, Margaret and Harry was terrible. Andrew had a weakness for the ladies and is corrupt and Margaret had a love for the bottle and was a spoiled, lazy bum, This had nothing to do with the heir getting married and having children. Lacey seems to imply that William marrying and having children outraged Harry and caused tension. All lies.

    • Becks1 says:

      So I think the comparison works only in one regard – that the Windsors don’t know what to do with the spare and never have. Margaret was a lazy spoiled alcoholic, but that’s not why she was pushed aside and floundered for most of her life.

      • RoyalBlue says:

        But they do know what to do. The spare is there to support the heir, why is this a surprise. From the time they come out the womb they know they are to take the lesser role and play the smaller part. There was no beef between Edward and Bertie, Edward and Anne know their role and have done this to the courtiers’ satisfaction, even Andrew carved out his path with his palace pitch etc. There is no issue there or delusions of grandeur on the spares’ part. Harry knows he will never be king and in fact played the role of the spare with commendation…..right up until Meghan arrived on the scene. Lacey says when they are pushed down the line of succession as babies come along, marriages come along it causes trouble. That is not what happened at all. So they pushed Harry aside but did so in a way that was beyond anything we have ever seen because of the popularity and race of his spouse. This was the most traumatic treatment of a spare we have seen. I don’t think Lacey can generalize and say they don’t know what to do with the spare.

      • Becks1 says:

        See, I disagree. they clearly don’t know what to do with the spares because they have a history of toxic relationships with the spares. (Anne and Edward weren’t the spares, which explains why they may be the best-adjusted Windsors.) The spare’s role isn’t just to support the heir, but its to take the fall for the heir and to always take a second seat to the heir, and never ever outshine them. Margaret struggled with that, Andrew struggled with that, and Harry struggled with that. It doesn’t mean that Harry is an attention lover. It just means people like him more than they like William and would rather see him than William and the Firm could never figure out how to harness that for the overall benefit of the family. Like @MF1 says right below – Harry may have never tried to steal the limelight, but it just happened and William could not cope with it.

        Harry’s marriage to Meghan INCREASED that treatment, and obviously racism and sexism were huge factors, but Harry wasn’t happy as a spare before getting married. He didn’t care about the line of succession, but he did care about being sidelined because of William.

        For Andrew, the line of succession was a more drastic move change IMO bc he went from being second in line and fairly important in the standing of the royal family to being fourth in line, and I think that’s part of what Lacey is talking about.

    • MF1 says:

      One big difference between Harry vs. Margaret and Andrew is that Harry doesn’t want the attention. He never wanted to be a royal, but he used his privilege and star power to help people, whereas Margaret and Andrew were desperate for fame and attention.

      Harry has never tried to steal the limelight from William–it just happens because he’s more charismatic, authentic, and interesting than his brother. So the problem here isn’t the spare, it’s heir, who can’t be bothered to try harder in order to be more popular.

    • A says:

      There are no traditions or rules that Meghan broke. When people like him speak about traditions, what they mean are established customs, not hard and fast rules that people are required to follow.

      And those customs have less to do with what you need to do in terms of actions, and more to do with respecting the existing hierarchy. My guess is that the latter is exactly what Robert Lacey means. But people like him can’t come outright and say it out loud, because they know that this will get some seriously shitty press.

      It would bring down an avalanche of criticism from the public if they were to speak openly about the fact that people in the palace, both staffers and the royals, expected Meghan to constantly demonstrate deference to her “superiors”. And that what they mean by “deference” is sit by quietly while she gets insulted for pretty much everything under the sun, all while doing exactly as she is told.

      THAT is the “tradition” and “rule” that Meghan broke. That is the knowledge that people like Edward Enninful are saying she wasn’t made aware of before she joined the family, that they think Harry should have informed her about. The unspoken rule of hierarchy that dictates the rules of engagement for this segment of British society, that basically says that Meghan, as a commoner, as a woman, as an American, and a biracial woman on top of all of that, is at the very bottom of the ranking. Her biggest “crime” was that she came into this role thinking she was just as good as everyone else in the room, and behaving like it as well, and these people couldn’t abide by a person who treated them like equals rather than as superiors.

      These people–the royals, the people who work for them, the aristocracy they surround themselves with–do not believe in a just and equal society. They think there are some people who are better (themselves) and some people who are worse, and they expect everyone else to accept that and behave accordingly. And if you don’t, you’re punished for it. Meghan’s “crime” was not behaving like a self-deprecating sycophant, constantly flattering these people, massaging their egos, and essentially debasing herself in order to get on their good side. They want commoners who come into their fold to know full well that they are worthless, and they demand that they constantly act like they’re worthless too. And if they don’t, or if they refuse to do that, well, see what happened with Meghan.

      • Mignionette says:

        ^^^ THIS all day long. I think I made a similar comment on another thread.

        Meghan did not kiss the right rings and they’re salty about it.

        For the courtiers and BRF, not being racist means not calling you a n*gger. Then there is the classism you describe above. That lethal combination of misogynoir mixed with the classism and xenophobia.

        One thing that isn’t mentioned here however is how the Royal women are expected to ‘pimp’ themselves to appease the family/ UK by entertaining foreign leaders. It’s a reasonable expectation that Kate should perform that role of charm offensive as she is married to the heir. But increasingly the same expectations were set for Meg without any just cause and also partly bc Kate was not that interesting to world leaders.

        In Meg’s case she was a super hot commodity as the beautiful new bi-racial Princess. I am guessing that is what Harry was also partially alluding to when he mentioned Meg being treated as a ‘commodity’. I think he was referring to the BRF, Courtiers and the press. I say this bc of the stink that was kicked up when Megan didn’t immediately stop short her maternity to meet Trump. To this day I am convinced that the BRF and Courtiers sold the idea to Trump that he could meet Meg, hence why Ivanka was such the thirsty c*nt she was on that visit. I will always believe Meg was one of the pit stops for that state tour, despite how utterly ridiculous the idea was. And the BRF would have pointed to Kate’s attendance of her wedding after giving birth to Louis.

  16. Seraphina says:

    So I have a question, didn’t Prince Albert come in and modernize the monarchy??? While I understand he was married to the Queen, why is modernization from Meghan such a bad thing???? because she is a woman? Because the couple is supposed to be the sacrificial lamb for the FFK and Lack Luster Kate or because they were forward thinking to the point they outshone Wills and Kate and Charles and Petty Betty.

    • lanne says:

      I think you mean Phillip, not the Prince of Monaco.
      And yes, the expectation is that the Sussexes would be second place to the Cambridges. But it’s difficult to be second place to them when simply walking and breathing at the same time is enough to surpass them. The only was the Sussexes could have stayed behind the Cambridges would be to put themselves into self-induced comas.

      This is “the heir” jealousy, and with Will’s poorly-hidden temper, if the courtiers and Charles/Betty were smart, they would have seen this coming a long time ago. They’re stuck with William–primogeniture and all. So they should have found a role for Harry long ago. Instead, they stuck their heads in the sand. This is all predictable, based on the recent past. If they allowed Harry to marry Meghan (which in retrospect, they really shouldn’t have–they should have forced Harry into an ultimatum and made him choose to leave.), then they should have come up with a plan for them, knowing how William would respond.

      These people are all showing their inept asses to the world–the Queen, Charles, William, the courtiers, the lot of them. No business would have these people working for them. We’ve all seen and said that they let their best representatives leave in the worst possible way. They shall reap what they have sown. (And many of us will be watching the royals misteps with glee!)

    • notasugarhere says:

      Albert would only have ‘modernized’ how he and Victoria were treated. He certainly didn’t do anything about heirs and spares not getting along, or finding purposeful roles for all his children.

      The BRF has only been doing public duties for 100 years. They only started doing charity work to stop themselves being overthrown like their Russian cousins and assorted royals after WWI.

      • BayTampaBay says:

        @nota – Agree 100%. I am sure Albert never envisioned his daughters not marrying-in to foreign courts. Alfred & Arthur went into the armed services as a life long career. Leopold died early as a young adult

    • lanne says:

      Yep, my bad!

    • A says:

      Let’s not forget though, Prince Albert was not really that well-liked in this time as Prince Consort. He was definitely treated as a German and an outsider by the royals and the aristocrats in Britain, and he felt that isolation deeply. His efforts and his impact were much appreciated, but only after his death, not as much during his lifetime. He was seen as interfering and his influence was deeply resented by a lot of people, including Victoria, at times.

      And the same goes for Prince Philip. He came in with the belief that he would be able to carve a new, engaging role for himself, but he was quickly put out of that notion by people who saw him essentially the same way as people saw Prince Albert. He was seen as another busybody, interfering foreigner, a German whose sisters were married to Nazis, whose modernizing ideas couldn’t be trusted. There as a contingent of the people within the monarchy, led by the Queen Mother, who exercised their influence over the Queen to stonewall pretty much anything he tried to do, for a long time.

      So no, they really don’t take well to modernizers or reformers in any capacity. The people who are in charge have a lot of vested interest in keeping things the same. They will always find new and enterprising ways to otherize the people who voluntarily join their family, if those people dare to step out of the established convention. Notice that the one person who didn’t face much of this type of opposition is Kate–and it’s precisely because she is as conventional as beans on toast. That’s the type of person they want, male or female. Someone who is quiet, unassuming, obedient, and goes with the flow, ie does what they are told.

  17. Elizabeth says:

    I understand the comparison between Margaret, Andrew, and Harry to some extent, but Andrew is literally wanted by the FBI for questioning regarding the most infamous pedophile ring of our time (and having raped enslaved young women himself!). Stop comparing him to Harry… like seriously. There is no longer any comparison there since Harry isn’t a vicious criminal pedophile.

  18. Snuffles says:

    Even with all of the skirting around the truth, anyone not a royal sycophant can read between the lines.

    The Firm is a poorly run organization. With a leader far too old and stuck in her ways to still be leading anything.

    An organization that is rigid, inflexible and unwilling to adapt to modern times. Whose only goal is to maintain the status quo which is maintaining a classist and racist system that keeps them rich and in power.

    Whose charity work is merely performative and only done to lull the masses into thinking you’re useful because you know once they realize you aren’t, they’ll depose you like the French did to their useless royalty.

    A family that is dysfunctional and incapable and unwilling to separate business and family. That will force a child into a leadership position even if they aren’t qualified, suited or willing just because they were born first.

    Spend a lifetime of pumping up the first born while barely giving the rest of the children a second thought and leaving them to flounder. And at best, doom them to a lifetime of being pawns to the King and Queen. But, hey, at least they get free housing and an allowance to keep up appearances and make them feel superior to the unwashed masses.

  19. S808 says:

    They can blame the aides all they want but the fact that no one was fired for chasing a blood prince out of the country, the most popular and personable one at that, tells me the royals were directly involved or at least saw no issue with it. Other than learning William is more of a controlling freak that I thought, I didn’t learn much of anything new in this book. I like that tells the more truer, less than rosy picture of the 2 brothers but still laying the blame at Meghan’s feet is still a turn off cause we all know it simply isn’t true. Pass.

    • JT says:

      @s808 I’m so tired of the “it’s all the aides’” fault narrative too. What the hell does it say when the damn help are the ones running the show? And once again, if the courtiers are the ones in charge, why the hell does the uk need a monarchy? They’ve got three generations of heirs who can’t even buy a damn clue as to how their firm needs to proceed. I mean, they can’t even keep their PR consistent.

  20. SJ Knows says:

    The RR are desperate to keep finding something/anything to write aren’t they?
    I honestly don’t think the average person even thinks about The Firm/The BRF that often.
    Of course, they need to keep stirring things up, it’s their job and easier than heavy lifting.

  21. Merricat says:

    What a childish response on William’s part–refusing to sit at the same table. So adolescent.

    • Wiglet Watcher says:

      Really is. Worse because he’s the FFK and even as an adult can not control his emotions for a lunch with his family.

  22. Lizzie says:

    This book is sounding like Catherine the Great Tatler edition. RF cooperated with the author thinking it would be one sided and sugary. Apparently lots of people have scores to settle with William and Kate and continually undermine them everywhere except the DM.

  23. Lizzie Bathory says:

    Lacey is getting as close as he can to saying the quiet part out loud. I don’t think the courtiers care much about what Meghan wore. It’s just another cudgel with which to beat her while praising Kate for the same thing, thereby making sure Meghan “knows her place.”

    I think Lacey is saying that the only “tradition” that really matters is that the duty of the spare is to take abuse from the tabloids & other royals–to sacrifice themselves, their family & their happiness on the altar of the Crown. That Harry refused is the greatest possible betrayal to them.

    • Merricat says:

      Hats off to Harry!

    • Nic919 says:

      It says a lot about William and none of it good that he couldn’t sit at a lunch with his brother but his senior relatives in rank, Charles and the Queen, could do so, seeing as they have to deal with the fallout more directly than he does, especially Charles.

      Do the sycophants understand what Lacey is saying when he shows that Harry’s own father handled this with more decorum than William? Charles in theory would have the most reason to be angry because his plan was always to include Harry, so why would billy be the one pouting?

      The media are making more and more hints about Billy’s temper and really as a future future monarch, it should be a concern.

    • Lizzie Bathory says:

      @Nic919 I honestly think the bit about William refusing to attend the lunch is one of the things that spooked the tabloids to stop covering this book. It’s really hard to spin William’s snubbing his grandmother’s invitation as anything other than petty, spiteful & outright disrespectful of the Queen.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Forget that she’s the queen. Can you imagine snubbing your own grandmother’s invitation to a lunch with your sibling and father?!
        I do not get along with my sibling, but I sit down at the table and make polite conversation because we’re adults raised with manners.

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        Nope–especially when the lunch would ideally be a time to have a break from the negotiations to be able to (theoretically) let them just be family & maybe reconnect after many weeks of tension. Wills refusing sit at the same table with the rest of them looks really bad.

      • Lizzie Bathory says:

        @Wiglet Watcher To be clear, I was saying, “nope,” as in, “no I can’t imagine snubbing my grandmother, in case that wasn’t obvious!

    • A says:

      Yup. The “tradition” that Lacey is referring to, that Meghan didn’t adhere to, was the fact that she should “know her place” and act like it. She didn’t. He’s not saying that out loud because, while the unhinged and disgusting racism didn’t inspire nearly as much backlash, this absolutely would.

  24. Amy Too says:

    I did a new tarot spread reading about the RF in general. They know that if the public starts to see them as they really are, then the public may make the decision to get rid of them, and yet they dare to act like surly teenagers who don’t care and are over it. They refuse to accept any new ideas or new energy or new emotional attachments (H and M?). They are willing the country to see them as the Queen of Hearts, the Diana’s of the nation, the country’s sweet and loving mother from whom all love and comfort come from, and yet they broadcast the fact that they are entirely fine with throwing people out into the cold, to fend for themselves, when what those people really need is love and support. They think they’re winning now and will always win. The future: they will have to continue perverting justice, preventing temperance and balance (they plan to keep playing games with their heirs and spares and playing the family members against each other), and they are going to use the gift of their wealth and privilege to help themselves. They also are putting a lot of hope for the future into George, they know that as long as there’s always a child heir out there, people will wait with hope for that kid to become Monarch.

    Ugh! I was surprised at the accuracy. And not happy about the fact that they seem to just go on and on.

    • A says:

      “They also are putting a lot of hope for the future into George, they know that as long as there’s always a child heir out there, people will wait with hope for that kid to become Monarch.”

      This needs to be talked about more. I screamed when I read this, because you are so right. This is what keeps them in their positions. People really do think that abolishing the monarchy would be taking away a child’s “birthright”, even though it’s not actually their right at all. Thank you for saying this.

      • Becks1 says:

        I agree with @A that’s a really good comment about the child heir, but I don’t think its about taking away the birthright, I think its more about being hopeful that the heir will be better than the current one. Like, I feel like people have literally been waiting for 38 years for William to become king because they think he will be better at it than Charles. (who isn’t even king yet but whatever lol.) And I think eventually that same feeling will shift to George – well, William is lazy and an asshole, but look! George! Maybe he’ll be different.

      • Nic919 says:

        William got put in the spotlight as the great white hope once the fallout from the affair got really bad for Charles. So William has benefitted from that for close to 20 years if not longer. That’s partly why the perfect marriage image needs to stick because if it doesn’t then he will be no better and George isn’t visible enough yet to have affection transferred to him for hope for the future.

      • February-Pisces says:

        The idea of putting all their hopes on George could mean that they know William is a non starter. They must be aware that his popularity has taken a nose dive and people re starting to see him for what he really is. The only way people were happy for Charles reign (after Diana drama) was because they knew it would be short, and that William would be king. Charles needed William to be popular, only to secure his own reign, I don’t think he cares what happens after that. With people now seeing what William is really like, they might as well call the whole thing off. So pushing George forward might be their only hope.

  25. HeyJude says:

    It’s the damnedest most pathetic thing that the royal family lets a bunch of anonymous random civilian lackeys truly rule their monarchy.

    If this is how it works then the royal family is obsolete. There’s no need for a bunch coddled millionaires who do nothing but eat public funds and who can’t even take control of their own staff. They’re impotent relics.

  26. cc says:

    If you are not watching that Times 100 please do. The conversation is very interesting. Prince Harry is really impressing me.

    • Lizzie says:

      I’m watching :)

    • Lowrider says:

      Harry has always been more intelligent than what the press write about him.

    • equality says:

      These Time 100 talks have apparently been produced for a while but this is the first time I’ve heard of them and the first time I’ve seen them trending all over social media and in the media. So who do the silly “royal experts” determine to be irrelevant now?

  27. Mariane says:

    Well said @VS. I too am not buying this book. It’s a rehash of uk tabloids anti Meghan stories. It doesnt really attack billy and its intresting that chuck didnt get any criticism. I suggest people ignore him and not even bother clicking on his articles. I’d rather rewatch Harry and Meghan’s times100 talk. Let’s reshare their YouTube video and make it viral

  28. Kaybee says:

    “This, coupled with concerns about Meghan and Harry overshadowing the most senior members of the firm – the Queen, Prince Charles, William, and Kate – prompted palace aides to work on ways to ‘edge out’ the couple, Lacey claims.”

    Honestly I think this is the real reason for all this jealousy put upon H&M. People could see fhemselves in this couple. From toxic family members to toxic colleagues.

    Personally I didn’t care much about the royal family before H&M. Just thought of the RF as a bunch of white people that hardly did anything but deserved to be praised when they did the bare minimum and not spend their own money.

    I come from South Africa and i was always salty seeing petty lizzy because of that cullian diamond lol. Just looking at that institution that looted our reserves anyways that a story for another day.

    My take on Meghan is that she came as a fully formed woman, who is self made and knows her worth. She met someone who loves her and they both wanted to build a better world for their future family. It’s just sad that the brits fumbled the bag!!

    I think the problem with the RF is that they have an entitlement issue were they think they should be praised for doing the bare minimum.

    PS this is my first comment!!!💃🏿💃🏿

  29. Nana says:

    This is more about FF, but… I’ve never bought a book from Amazon or anywhere online really (still use bookstores). Are reviews allowed to be given if you haven’t purchased the book from them? If so, why?
    Running a quick eye over the reviews, clearly the majority of negative reviews are by people who haven’t read FF, but are just continuing on their anti MM campaigns/rants. I mean there are probably plenty of sites where you can leave a review, but I don’t understand how Amazon etc could allow it happen and why they wouldn’t have it set up so you can only review a book if you’ve purchased it through them?

    • Jane's Wasted Talent says:

      Independent book dealers also list through Amazon in the used books section, so even if we don’t buy directly from Amazon we should still be able to write a review there (although of course it’s still better to buy books the way you normally do- thank you for helping support small businesses). Plus you get wonderfully hilarious things like the Three Wolf Moon T-Shirt, which you should look up on Amazon and read the reviews sometime when you need a giggle- they are delightfully silly. And it seems the reviews sparked sales because they brought so much traffic to that page, so there’s the business reason.

      Unfortunately, sometimes books like FF might temporarily fall victim to trolls, but it’s in Amazon’s interest for their products to have high ratings, so you will see many of these negative reviews disappear over time.