Richard Kay at the Daily Mail had a lengthy piece about the one-year review of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and how the Queen forced them out of their royal patronages last Friday. Kay, as many will remember, used to be Princess Diana’s favorite journalist, but after Diana’s death, Kay cozied up to Prince Charles and Prince William. In recent years, Kay’s articles have been calculated hit jobs and/or clean-up jobs for both William and Charles. Kay also has sources without Buckingham Palace too, of course. My point is that Kay gives competing royal courts an opportunity to trash each other. I also think that all of the royal courts are in agreement about the Sussexes, which is that H&M are to be blamed for everything under the sun, and that everything they do is always the worst. Some highlights from Kay’s piece:
The Queen indulged Harry: Over the past year, Harry has had more private conversations with the Queen than at any other time in his life. But none was more difficult than the one this week. Both were said to be saddened at its conclusion. For the Queen the sadness was, perhaps, even deeper. It was not just that so much promise was unfulfilled, but that all the affection and indulgence shown to Harry had been so spectacularly ignored — or even thrown back in her face.
So the Queen’s statement was about the Oprah interview? By choosing to sit down with Oprah Winfrey, Harry and Meghan have detonated a bombshell of their own by placing themselves in the hands of probably the most famous broadcaster on the planet. To the royals and their advisers, TV confessionals of the kind presided over by Ms Winfrey are not compatible with royal life and the privileges that go with it.
The Sussexes’ “service is universal” statement: ‘Outrageous,’ said one source. To another, it was ‘unconscionable’ of the couple to have had the last word. ‘It showed such disrespect,’ he said.
Harry’s determination to continue to serve: ‘Even after almost a year’s absence there was a sense they had not grasped the central issue that they could not be part-time royals, with one foot in and one foot out,’ says a long-time Palace adviser….Weeks before Harry made that call to his grandmother to tell her about the forthcoming interview, the Queen’s views about what it means to be a working royal had not changed. The costumes and privileges that go with it — such as laying a Cenotaph wreath, even remotely — can be available only to those who do the job on a full-time basis.
The Queen fundamentally believes she is the gatekeeper of service: She fervently hoped that the pull of those patronages he held, particularly the military ones, such as his figurehead role as Captain General of the Royal Marines, would be a compellingly strong draw for Harry to reconsider. In the end, he still thought he could have it both ways. Yesterday, the decisiveness of the Palace showed, finally, that he cannot.
The Palace courtiers won’t even call Meghan by her name or title: Pointedly, the Palace statement referred only to Harry — indicating perhaps that the duchess had no formal role in the talks that have been ongoing. No wonder, when many inside royal circles refer icily to Meghan as ‘The American’.
Harry is angry at his grandmother: Given Harry’s closeness to his grandmother, he will have been angered at the way he felt he was being treated by the Queen’s most senior aides. That is what triggered the couple’s extraordinary sharp response: ‘We can all live a life of service. Service is universal.’ Whatever pretence there had been until this point — that both sides were happy with the outcome — went up in a puff of smoke. Last night aides spoke of their shock at the tone of the couple’s response, viewing it as a rebuke to the Queen, even an insult. ‘They didn’t think to let the Queen have the last word,’ says one insider. ‘They didn’t think that with Prince Philip in hospital, she might have enough on her plate. And they didn’t think that there is a difference between charity and philanthropy and commitment to public duty. There is a world of difference: one is playing at it and one is doing it day after day, come rain or shine. By responding as they did, the duke and duchess are thumbing their noses. I think it could turn out to be a strategic mistake.’
Harry’s future in the monarchy: There is also the fact that however dismayed they are by Harry, he remains a uniquely important figure to the future of the monarchy. In the event of Charles and William both losing their lives — and, remember, they have both contracted Covid-19 — Harry would become regent to a young Prince George. Throughout the saga, Palace officials have been playing close attention to public reaction.
“No wonder, when many inside royal circles refer icily to Meghan as ‘The American’.” No wonder the Duke and Duchess of Sussex told the Palace to kiss their ass. Of course the Windsors and their sycophants cannot even refer to Meghan by her title, or give a Black American woman any deference whatsoever. That was the problem all along. That is the very root of it.
Palace insider: “Even after almost a year’s absence there was a sense they had not grasped the central issue that they could not be part-time royals, with one foot in and one foot out.” I would argue that even after a year post-Sussexit, the palace has not grasped the fact that Harry and Meghan believe that service is not solely a royal thing, and that most people believe that every person, royal or not, can serve. Those musty old courtiers cannot wrap their heads around the concept that Harry and Meghan genuinely wanted to serve the UK, to serve their charities AND make money through private business ventures.
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