Robert Lacey: ‘The buck stops, as it has always stopped, with the private secretary’

The British Royal Family attends Trooping the Colour Ceremony

Back in 2017, there was some palace intrigue when the Queen’s then-private secretary, Sir Christopher Geidt, was pushed out in what was later seen as a major power play by the Prince of Wales. I went back to look at my coverage, and this story is particularly fascinating, especially given the timeline of Prince Harry’s romance with then-Meghan Markle. The summer of 2017 was full of palace drama, with Charles’ royal court forcing Geidt out and replacing him with Sir Edward Young, someone who could be more of “Charles’s man inside Buckingham Palace,” and someone who was less of an iron fist compared to Geidt. That summer, there was also significant drama between Clarence House and Kensington Palace and Charles was trying to exert more control over KP’s messaging and communications. In the years that followed, I’ve read storiesthat Geidt would have handled the Sussex drama very differently, and that he would have been able to find a more diplomatic, inter-palace way for the households to function. So, now the guy who replaced Geidt seems to be getting the blame for everything:

The Queen’s closest adviser should bear his share of the responsibility for the crisis facing the royal family in the wake of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey, a royal biographer has said. Sir Edward Young, the Queen’s private secretary, lacked the imagination to find a role for the duchess that she would find fulfilling and that matched her interests, according to Robert Lacey. Lacey said that the monarchy faced questions about racism as well as a review of allegations about bullying by the duchess after a report in The Times.

“It is absolutely the British taxpayer’s right to know who is running the show so badly,” he said. “The monarchy is the national figurehead, supposed to represent the values of everyone — and to uphold and exemplify the principles of equality and diversity in Britain and around the Commonwealth that the Queen has always championed. But suddenly it is under a major challenge which is not now going to go away. And the buck stops, as it has always stopped, with the private secretary.”

Harry and Meghan are understood to have had a poor relationship with senior officials at Buckingham Palace and Clarence House. They are said to have treated Young with disdain, while relations with Clive Alderton, Charles’s private secretary, were said to be even frostier. The couple’s behaviour was said to verge on rudeness. One source from one of the other royal households described Young as “a good guy”. Hugo Vickers, the royal author, said that Young brought a modern approach to the job and had broadened the range of visits undertaken by the Queen. He also played a key role in such diplomatically sensitive occasions as the first Irish state visit to Britain in 2014.

He said that Young had helped draw up the Queen’s statement on Tuesday night, which he described as “extremely good and conciliatory, and defused the situation to a large extent”.

Criticisms of Young’s effectiveness reflect the fallout from the ousting of Lord Geidt, the Queen’s previous private secretary, in 2017. Those who think that Young should have done more to stave off the crisis tend to be those who think Geidt would have done a better job, a view greeted with exasperation by many within the Palace.

One royal observer said: “There is a strong case to be made that if Christopher Geidt was still in charge, they would not be in as big a mess as they are now. The institution needs to adapt to survive. With Harry and Meghan, they could have found a way to keep them halfway in the tent, rather than cutting them loose as they did.”

Lacey said: “It’s easy to be wise after the event, but now we can see that someone should have sat down with Meghan and explained precisely that she was being brought into the institution where she would occupy a relatively minor ranking in terms of royal precedence. But that there was a wonderful and vital job for her to do, in terms of pursuing and developing her particular personal principles of female empowerment, racial diversity and social change.”

[From The Times of London]

As I’m reading this, I understand what actually happened: the three palaces/royal courts were already in disarray in 2017, there was already a lot of mistrust, miscommunication and palace intrigue before Meghan even joined the Firm. And once she joined up, suddenly all three royal courts found that they could agree on one thing: that Meghan needed to go, that she needed to be bullied out of the country, that she did not “belong.” Meghan symbolized a unified strategy from three royal courts which had been strategically shambolic previously – she threw everything in sharp relief and none of the old internal dramas mattered.

Besides all of that, I laughed at this: “And the buck stops, as it has always stopped, with the private secretary.” That is not a thing. That’s not the saying. The buck stops with the person who is actually in charge, which is supposedly the Queen. Throwing the Queen’s private secretary – however incompetent he is, and I do believe he’s probably massively incompetent – is not the solution to the fundamental problem that Liz is awful, petty and increasingly powerless, and that Charles is the de facto Regent and he’s making awful f–king decisions.

Royal Ascot, Day 1, UK - 18 Jun 2019

State Opening of Parliament 2019

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Backgrid.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

92 Responses to “Robert Lacey: ‘The buck stops, as it has always stopped, with the private secretary’”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. MaryContrary says:

    And her role should have been “explained to her.” Um-WTF. Way to blame the victim. She was trying to do her role and they kept undermining her, attacking her and smearing her via the press. Yes, the old white men are trying to “modernize” things and are being treated frostily-sure. Also-the buck stops not just with the Queen, but with Prince Charles-but sure blame the private secretaries for the racism and tone deafness of the entire family and institution.

    • Elizabeth Regina says:

      The problem is there is a mindset that the monarch and monarchy is beyond reproach. This has meant that a bunch of ill educated bunch of people have no self awareness or any idea of how unfit they are for these times.

    • MF1 says:

      Yup, these a-holes are still trying to spin it like the problem was that Meghan wanted the spotlight (“explained… she would occupy a relatively minor ranking”) and didn’t understand her role.

      No. She was held captive, silenced, denied mental health care, targeted by racists, and thrown to the wolves to protect W&K. *That* was the problem.

      • equality says:

        How did she not understand her “ranking”? She curtseyed when required, stood where she was told to and walked behind the people she was supposed to. She didn’t walk behind Harry constantly but then Charles and Camilla don’t follow that ruling either unless it is a formal occasion. When the Queen claims there is no protocol, how do you teach protocol? They need to be like what they claim to be, a firm, and have an employee handbook. However, they don’t like to put things in writing (as they made Harry do) because then there is accountability.

    • Sunday says:

      Right, that was so condescending – ‘explain that she would occupy a relatively minor role’ – yea f*ck you, dude. The issue wasn’t that she barged in and demanded to be treated like the queen, the issue was that she thought her role was to do impactful charitable work in the community when in reality her role was to do charitable work that was less impactful than senior royals so as not to outshine them, and also to offer herself up as a human shield to endure relentless racist abuse from the press serving as a living distraction for the rest of the family.

      • Wiglet Watcher says:

        Here is another case where they talk out of both sides of their mouth. She was still a senior royal and expected to live a life of service Like as they loved to claim only a senior royal can… yet she was denied the opportunities to do that? Huh?

        They need to regroup and get on the same page.

      • Laxmom says:

        Well put Sunday! Does anyone know if the current decision is reversible? Once Charles becomes king could he reinstate them (if he wants to)?

      • betsyh says:

        Yep. Her job was to be 50 percent less.

    • Original Jenns says:

      Why are they acting like miscommunication about her role is the reason they left and all of this went down? “ lacked the imagination to find a role for the duchess that she would find fulfilling and that matched her interests”. Yeah, sure, Meghan left because she wasn’t interested in cutting a couple of ribbons. Has nothing to do with the racism, misogyny, emotional abuse… it was because they wouldn’t give her a good enough job and she didn’t understand she wouldn’t be Queen. Pretty sure she understood her title compared to others. The problem was they also made sure she knew her “rank” aka she was less than.

      • Lorelei says:

        I think what they mean is that they didn’t make it clear enough that her role was to be essentially what Kate’s was from 2011-2016.

        Meghan could pick her patronages, then the office would set up her engagements. They would tell her where to go and when and she’d probably have been expected to stay for a little under an hour. And that’s about it. Occasionally she & Harry probably would have been asked to do some joint event with W&K for “Heads Together” or whatnot, but they assumed she’d know to stay in the background and let the Cambridges “shine” (lol). In their minds, *that* is the way she was supposed to serve, by bringing visibility to those organizations with annual (if that) 45-minute photo ops.

        They were completely caught off guard by the cookbook— in their opinion, that was way too large and flashy a project for someone in “her position.” (Ignore the fact that its success enabled the women at Grenfell to make major, positive changes, such as building that large and much-needed kitchen.) Same with her SmartWorks collaboration. And guest editing Vogue. She just kept exposing over and over again how superior she was at the job compared to Kate (and Bill, for that matter).

        As if it’s Meghan’s fault that both Kate and her staff lack the imagination or thoughtfulness to come up with such projects and the best they can do is that moronic 5-question survey!

        IMO they really did believe that she was unreasonably demanding because they couldn’t get over the audacity of her actually having good ideas and wanting them executed quickly and well. While we were all so impressed with her work, there was probably a constant undercurrent of “Who does she think she IS?!!!” among the staff at KP as well as with other senior royals.

        It all goes back to their expectation, imo, that she was supposed to be a supporting act to Kate along with Harry being a supporting act to William, and not only was she not supposed to outwork Kate, she *definitely* wasn’t expected to outwork her with such big projects that attracted a ton of publicity and made people wonder whyTF Kate wasn’t doing things like that all along.

        What they do not seem to see (or care about) is how wildly successful those projects were for her patronages. They were getting record numbers of donations, worldwide exposure, and proceeds in perpetuity from the cookbook/SmartSet while at least one — possibly two? — of Kate’s patronages literally WENT BANKRUPT during this same time. They wanted to stick to the “show up for a photo op once a year or so” model and Meghan was agog at that.

        It was a clash from day one and I don’t know if it ever could have been resolved because the only way it would have worked was for Meghan to take a seat, shut her mouth, do what she was told, and NEVER do anything which would make Kate look lazy or less than perfect. And that just isn’t Meghan. So it seems like it was only a matter of time before things reached a breaking point.

        In the meantime, they discovered how useful she was in another way— trash her in the press to deflect from William & Andrew’s actual scandals. That was the only idea of theirs that was successful 😒

      • anotherlily says:

        She was also supposed to be less beautiful than Kate, less accomplished, less confident, less interesting. She never stood a chance of meeting those expectations.

    • Not that Elizabeth says:

      Unfortunately, I think being undermined and thrown under the bus was understood (by the courtiers) to be part of her role.

      • Islandgirl says:

        And Meghan quite rightfully decided that being the BRF’s scapegoat was not what she had signed up for.
        I wait to see what happens next because we are at a standoff.
        Do they find another scapegoat for William aka Catherine the great and leave Meghan and Harry alone or do they pursue the smear campaign, the denial etc.
        Their brand has been badly badly damaged. I actually don’t know if they realize how much.

  2. Merricat says:

    Dear Robert Lacey: No. The problem is institutional racism. No one had to sit Meghan down and give her meaningful work; she has always done meaningful work.
    Honestly, they can spin until their dizzy, but it won’t change the truth.

    • Rapunzel says:

      You forgot the point about “relatively minor ranking in terms of royal precedence.”

      Translation: someone should have sat her down and told her that her job was to be scapegoat and distraction material for everyone above her and her work better not make her more popular than those folks.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      “The problem is institutional racism.”

      @Merricat – EXACTLY! 90% of the problem is institutional racism, 5% of the problem is institutional jealousy between the three courts and 5% of the problem is Charles’ active avoidance of all manner of confrontation.

      • Lorelei says:

        ITA! I think this expectation to basically be mediocre would have been there no matter who Harry married, but the fact that she was a Black woman?! Absolutely unacceptable for a Black American woman to surpass a single member of that family in productivity and especially popularity.

        The problem is, it wasn’t something she could even control; people just loved her. Trashing her in the press was their only option.

  3. what's inside says:

    Charles is in charge and is making awful decisions which is not surprising if you look at his track record.

    • Yup, Me says:

      Yeah, his skillful changes in arenas related to his role as PoW and his organic farm and such do no negate the fact that his social skills and his emotional intelligence seem to be seriously remedial.

  4. Elizabeth Regina says:

    And we know who’s had three private secretaries in the past few years.

  5. Mac says:

    Lordy, do they seriously think blaming the employees is going to work? The staff carries out their wishes and it’s quite clear their wishes were to bully Meghan out.

  6. Ang says:

    No no no. The buck stops with the top. The crown. That is the Queen. If she does t like that, she can step down. Meghan can show her the ropes!

    • Susan says:

      TOTALLY AGREE!! When a corporation or company has a major faux pas…they don’t fire the staff accountant, they fire the CEO! When people are unhappy with the government here, they tend to blame the pres and the lawmakers….not the White House grounds crew! Sheesh, I have never seen so much buck passing.

  7. Kalana says:

    By attaching Knauf to accusations against Meghan, William is trying to protect him from being fired in addition to smearing Meghan. So, it’s the Queen’s staff instead that will be thrown under the bus.

    This is William and Charles. Julian Payne and Christian Jones have already left. Jason Knauf needs to be held accountable for participating in the abuse.

    And while he’s not attached to the Sussex story, let’s also talk about William Hague and his long close association with William’s “work” in Africa.

  8. Vanessa says:

    Now the royals have a fall guy for everything that want wrong it’s the press secretary fault he the one who did nothing to help Meghan . All of the Royals are innocent of racism bullying leaking lies about Meghan William and Kate are innocent of everything Charles is innocent of pulling his son and grandson security team . Now this guy will fall on the sword the British tabloids and royal reporters will absorb the royals of everything they been accused of like they been doing for the past couple of days .Its really like a cult over there in British the media and the royals Are twisting themselves into Pretzel
    to make themselves into Victim and while throwing Meghan under the bus again and gaslighting her again while she pregnant again

    • Golly Gee says:

      It’s an echo chamber. The problem is that there are other media outlets not under their control as well as contradictory information available to all on the Internet, so the echo chamber has a few cracks in it and both the royals and the tabloids are having to hear what they don’t want to hear.

  9. Lauren says:

    As I sit here I’m still hearing: CHARLES. He was going around in 2017 making staff changes and putting his yes grey men in charge. He could have stopped all of it whenever he wanted, but he was just getting too much good publicity.

  10. Harla says:

    To me, this very much reads like they’re blaming Meghan because yet again she was “rude” and didn’t understand her place.

    • MF1 says:

      But don’t you see? If only she had understood her role in the institution, she wouldn’t have been so bothered by the abuse and racism! *massive eye roll*

    • Not that Elizabeth says:

      By ‘rude’ they mean she wanted to be treated like a human being. The nerve! /s

    • MA says:

      It’s really amazing what Meghan managed to accomplish in a few years but I bet that the Sussexes has to fight to get even let her get that stuff done. Can you imagine this group helping her do all her projects? I bet they roadblocked her every step of the way and she was “rude” by pushing back and sidestepping them to get things done.

  11. Snuffles says:

    The institution as a whole needs to be burned down. There is no fixing it.

  12. Malificent says:

    They are trying to turn Meghan into Princess Margaret — a lost soul with no role. Meghan seemed to be doing just fine with her assigned role. We haven’t heard a single complaint from her about her patronages or activities while she was a royal. Her stress was quite clearly about trying to do her job while being villified internally and externally.
    And I’m sure she and Harry were frosty and rude to the private secretaries from the get-go for no reason at all….

    • Jessica says:

      Right! They’re still completely misunderstanding the problem. She seemed very pleased with the work she was doing and the charities she was working with, which is why they have tried to maintain those relationships still. The PROBLEM was that the institution itself wasn’t treating her with respect. She didn’t need a nice lolly; she needed to receive treatment for her severe depression and to have nasty stories about her in the press treated with the same gravity that stories about Kate getting Botox were treated

    • Betsy says:

      So I didn’t like the interview because I felt the message was muddled, but your post is PERFECT. I don’t see that Meghan and Harry weren’t okay with their second string status – they can count, after all – but that they didn’t enjoy the poor treatment on top of it.

      I don’t know why that’s so hard to fix that stuff. Do they still need a medieval whipping boy?

      • Golly Gee says:

        “I don’t know why that’s so hard to fix that stuff. Do they still need a medieval whipping boy?“
        When you are any of the following: incompetent, lacking loving familial bonds, lazy, attention hungry, insecure, paranoid, and/or terrified of the tabloid press – the answer is yes.

    • Ann says:

      Exactly. She did a cookbook and it sold a lot of copies for its charity, the horror! My mother was in the Junior League in my town for years. She and three friends did a cookbook to raise money too….in the freaking 1970s! How retrograde is this institution that doing something white suburban housewives (which my mother then was) have been doing for almost a century, if not more, is “too flashy” or unsuitable?!

  13. aquarius64 says:

    These buttclowns. They are making things worse.

  14. Petra says:

    If BRF wanted Meghan to be the person she was before meeting Harry, why did Meghan shut down her blog and give up her position as a UN ambassador? I’ m starting to believe the BRF wanted her to give up her previous life but stay in the background only to be paraded out as they want. Harry is worthy as long as he’s a shadow to DDC and PWT. What a sad and pathetic life the BRF envisioned for one of theirs. It was not enough for Harry to sacrifices himself, he needed to offer his personal family too.

  15. JennyJazzhands says:

    I can kind of see this, though. I know the crown is not gospel, but given how many times the queen was faced with any familial issue, she did absolutely nothing and let someone else say what was right (like having her staff come tell Margaret that Andrew would be taking her place after she asked for more work).
    And harry insinuated with James and Oprah that this is what its like. The queen sticks her head in the sand and let’s everyone around her handle everything uncomfortable.
    Which explains why Harry and Meghan are still fond of her if they can clearly see that she’s not running anything.
    One thing that stuck out to me on the crown is when Anne said “is your answer to all of life’s problems ‘do nothing?'” Because from aberfan to Diana to present day, it seems the answer to the question is yes.

    • (The OG) Jan90067 says:

      You hit the nail on the head. I’ve lost count of the number of times I have heard/read TQ will bury her head like an ostrich and do *nothing* until forced to, preferring others to take the rein and “lead” her to what needs to be done. Seems she hopes it will “resolve itself” w/out her having to make any move, which she will finally do when she can’t hide anymore. Aberfan is a great example. Took her over a WEEK to go to that village where over 100 children were killed.

      And let’s face it, too. She abdicated ALL family matters to Philip, and with him out of the picture (due to age) they’ve all been fighting for “position”, and she’s STILL not “taking charge”. At this point, I don’t even think she’d know how, even if she really cared to do so.

    • Betsy says:

      She really was deeply unsuited for the role. Not all of us are meant to hard-charging decision makers, but sheesh, if one is in that role, I wish she’d have grown into it, or that someone would have shown her how to grow into it. She makes hash out of SO MANY issues.

    • Ann says:

      Good point about Aberfan. I had not heard of that tragedy when I watched The Crown, and the way she reacted was baffling to me. I knew how she was about Diana but I guess I figured that was because it was considered a personal family matter? Aberfan was a mass tragedy impacting a whole town in her realm and she didn’t even want to show up! She sent Philip. So what, her only role is to parade around in silly hats and exist? Ugh.

  16. Sunday says:

    What I gather from this is that around 2017 William and Charles decided that enough was enough, they were sick of being heirs in waiting and so they entered into a tentative alliance. They pushed out the Queen’s longstanding secretary, her most trusted advisor, and instead installed Charles’ own pick whose only goal is to get Charles on the throne. Shockingly, he’s turned out to be completely incompetent in every way except for generating real-housewives-esque drama that makes the monarchy look completely incompetent in every conceivable way.

    I think this also is Lacey’s way of saying-without-saying-it that no, the queen is not really in charge of anything and is fairly out of touch save for the clippings and information she’s handfed by Charles’ minion, and that Charles has consolidated power across Clarence House and Buckingham Palace. This is why Harry is so angry and disappointed by his father in particular, because ‘the buck stops’ with him and therefore he is the only one who could’ve stepped in and put a stop to the way Meghan was being treated.

    • Golly Gee says:

      I’ve wondered that too – how much information is actually given to Liz. I’m guessing details were cherry picked for her about the Meghan and Harry interview. I also wonder how much Harry has actually told her when he speaks to her.

  17. MsIam says:

    “Did not understand her role as a relatively minor royal”? They make it sound like Meghan was running around snatching tiaras from folks heads. People like Lacy are convinced that Meghan thought she would be the queen someday, even though she was married to the sixth in line. I guess Harry forgot to mention that to her. As for not finding Meghan a “role”, if she was the ” degree wife” and was only going to be there for two or three years, why would they bother? I think they thought Meghan would do something gauche and “Hollywood” and therefore justify them kicking her out like they did Fergie. But she turned out to be really good at the job so they had to drive her out instead. Assholes.

    • BayTampaBay says:

      @MsIam – I get where you are coming from but I think Robert Lacey is laying the blame for this mess at Charles as he was the one who had Lord Geidt sacked and replaced with Sir Edward Young who would not confront Charles and who therefore could not do the job. IMAO, Robert Lacey is calling out Charles.

    • ennie says:

      Looks like they really thought Meghan was going to be another duchess dolittle.
      That they could have tea and biscuits all day long instead of working.

    • Lemons says:

      I think they know full well that Meghan didn’t think she would be Queen one day. But they are all scarred from the Diana days and are afraid of anyone having a bit of charisma and star power becoming a figurative Queen to the people. She never had to say she wanted to be Queen. She never desired that. But it was enough that the people liked her more than the Queen and would revere her more than Betty, Camilla, Kate, and certainly Charles and William. We won’t even discuss Fiesta and her driver.

      • MsIam says:

        If they are afraid of that then why are they allowing Kate and her mother to pump out the Keen Queen stories ad nauseam? If there is a pecking order, then why are they allowing the William should jump over Charles stories? Or even elevating Sophie as the one the queen relies on? The only one being told to fall back is the black girl. They clearly didn’t have a problem with Harry being seen as the more charming and charismatic brother. So nope to the pecking order, don’t want another Diana b.s. They are dying for another Diana, they just want her to be named Kate.

  18. Shoo fly says:

    She was NOT expected to serve a minor role. For over a decade we have been been told that the slimmed down monarchy meant William and his wife and Harry and his wife would be front and center, especially until the Cambridge children were adults. It is William and Catherine’s refusal to take over a meaningful adult royal role and their various disappearances from London, which they appear to intend on doing until their children are into their 20s, coupled with their jealousy and refusal to be “overshadowed” at the same time, that has upended this arrangement. And now suddenly that isn’t what was planned.

    • Nic919 says:

      Exactly. Charles didn’t want Andrew and Edward and their families to have a role when he is monarch, but the plan was always to include Harry and his wife. But once again the problem was William and Kate being so damn lazy that Meghan would have had to simply do nothing to make them look good because they do so little.

      And there is zero evidence that Meghan went in and wanted to usurp the Queen.

    • molly says:

      It’s all tied to someone telling her to tone it down 50% or not go out more than two times in four months.

      All she did was show up to events with a giant smile, wave at the camera, and hold hands with Harry while a great purse hung from her arm. Sorry every minor outing she did got global coverage. I’m guessing she thought she was doing the exact thing they asked her to do. (Get press attention for this organization!)

    • MsIam says:

      Being married to Harry there was no way she would have a minor role. Harry is too charming and charismatic like his mother. For him to have a beautiful wife who’s smart charming and creative too guaranteed they would be in the spotlight. They are blaming William and Kates jealousy and insecurity on the Sussexes.

  19. Lanie says:

    So they think things would’ve been better if they had told a biracial woman to know her place?

    British Royalty/Media are totally not racist, y’all.

  20. SarahCS says:

    ‘explained precisely that she was being brought into the institution where she would occupy a relatively minor ranking in terms of royal precedence’

    I can’t get past this. So 1. it’s actually all on her, and 2. her role was to not actually do anything, just be as lazy and uninspiring as the Dollittles. Got it.

    • Lanie says:

      After which, they would’ve attacked her in the press for being a lazy gold digger, all sanctioned by palace courtiers.

  21. Other Renee says:

    Meghan did create a role for herself and got things done that actually helped people: the cookbook, the capsule collection etc. People admired her. To the palace insiders (royal and not) that seems to have been unacceptable. So sad really.

  22. NotSoSimpleTaylor says:

    I think if the Queen had it her way Geidt would have remained until he died. He had been in the job for almost 25 years.

    Notice how in his years there weren’t a ton of leaks?

    I feel this week is all a performative stunt for merging the communications staff.

  23. Nancy says:

    My take is that the problem is really more foundational. No one in the BRF is qualified for the roles they are filling. The reason there is such disfunction is because they were not hired for these roles based on their competencies and experience, but rather birthright. They are (I mean all of them) grossly unfit for their jobs–meaning they lack the training, expertise and passion for the jobs they have been given. They seem provincial because they are! Charles has a passion for sustainability–that’s great. William is passionate about sports, yeah! Kate love photography, fantastic! What else? It’s just silly, really.

    • Carrie says:

      Nancy, you have quite simply, nailed it.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      Also – they are just plain stupid, uneducated and profoundly incurious. In other monarchies, the heirs take graduate degrees in political science, etc. William did a BA in Geography and I have no idea what kind of formal education Charles has besides that hellish boarding school.

    • Emily_C says:

      Yeah, I’m passionate about music, but I couldn’t conduct an orchestra. You can’t feel your way to competence.

  24. Jules says:

    No matter how “minor” Meghan’s role would have been, she would stand out. She’s beautiful, American, biracial, competent, and genuinely cares about others. The press would have followed her no matter how much they tried to hide her.

  25. Serena says:

    Yes it’s always wicked, evil and rude Meghan’s fault, of course. *Rolls eyes*

  26. Over it says:

    Kaiser, I am begging you to call up cnn and abc and all these other major news networks who keep having experts on twisting Megs words and what she did and did not understand. It’s clear to me that you and the incredible people on this chat are some of the only bright people who really understand the truth and want to hear the truth, if I see one more expert from the university of asswhipes to the queen and country I will flip.

  27. Amy Bee says:

    The three houses devised a plan to get rid of Meghan as soon as possible. It included keeping her isolated, limiting how much she could work, restricting her movement and denying her privileges that she entitled to. As Harry and Meghan have said, they were told there was no money for her so she needed to go back to acting, no security for Archie and I suspect she was not given funding for clothes. The objective was to make her life as miserable as possible so that she would leave and divorce Harry.

  28. Lionel says:

    Stories like this convince me that the queen is increasingly out to lunch. She’s obviously not so demented that she can’t be toddled out to shake a few hands or read from a teleprompter, but I’m betting that she’s struggling with significant age-related cognitive decline. I’m also betting that she forgets big things and is shielded from any news that would distress her (ie easily manipulated.)

    By all accounts she loved Geidt and he didn’t want to leave. How could this coup have even happened if she were mentally intact? I 💯 think she’s unaware of Andrew’s predicament, or was told the broad strokes and promptly forgot it. Even she is not dumb enough to intentionally be snapped laughing in the car with Andrew the morning after Epstein’s death; I said then and I say now that she thought it was just a nice ride to church with her favorite son. I think the courtiers are the ones protecting Andrew for their own survival (not that she wouldn’t have done the same.) Why else would Charles have had to so publicly step in to remove him? (I was in London at the time it went down, all the papers were very clear that this was all Charles. If Charles had just convinced Liz behind the scenes they would have publicly credited Liz.)

    It also explains M & H’s faces when Oprah asked why the Queen can’t make her own decisions about her schedule. That was the only time during the interview that they both looked like deer in the headlights. Technically she could if she were mentally intact, but she’s not and they simply can’t divulge that. And it’s why Harry’s still in such close contact with her, she’s got no clue what’s up. I bet every conversation starts with “Hullo Harry! Will I see you next week? You what? You’re in California? Why how brilliant. I was there once, so sunny. And what is your lovely wife’s name again?”

    • Sid says:

      Lionel, I believe you are right and “coup” is exactly the word for it. The fact that Charles, with an assist from Andrew, was able to pull off getting rid of Geidt just didn’t quite make sense to me. Unless as you said, the Queen was in decline to where she wasn’t able to stop it like she might have even 10 years earlier. M&H might have a shared naivete, but the way they both took great pains to shield QEII during the interview and after says something.

    • SenseOfTheAbsurd says:

      It was right there in the interview that she’s probably being manipulated and kept in the dark. Harry spoke of having an appointment to go visit her, but it was cancelled and TQ told him that all sorts of things she hadn’t known about had mysteriously appeared in the diary and she was busy.

    • Kalana says:

      I’m leaning towards this theory as well.

    • windyriver says:

      Have mentioned previously having an issue with the assumption TQ because of age must be in mental decline, which therefore explains her behavior. I know a surprising number of people age 90+ (including two age 99) who continue to be quite sharp, and since TQ appears to be in generally good health, she’s very possibly in that category. Or not. Anyway, that’s my bias; am not here to argue the point, but instead mention something else that strikes me.

      As said here multiple times, TQ historically has stuck her head in the sand when it comes to thorny issues in general, and family relations in particular. That’s who she is. Family dealings were Philip’s job; he retired in 2017, the same year Charles made his move with Geldt. What’s definitely changed for TQ because of age is, most other of her trusted friends and confidants have passed. Because of the pandemic, she’s very restricted re: physical location, and staff, presumably for her own safety. The longtime staff member, and confidant, who likely is with her in this relatively isolated situation is dresser Angela Kelly, and this is where the red flag goes up for me. Kelly was almost certainly behind the two jewelry related Meghan smears (tiara and Saudi earrings), and IIRC was directly linked with Will in a story about Meghan not being allowed to wear any more of Diana’s jewelry. Not hard to picture her being in league with Charles (and Will) to influence/manipulate TQ in whatever direction suits their purposes. Harry said, she’s being badly advised; this could be what he was alluding to.

    • Ann says:

      I’m not defending Charles or William but IMO she really should have stepped down by now. Having her oldest son by King-In-Waiting for decades has made an unhealthy dynamic even more rotten. I get that she is more popular than Charles but Jeez, she’s never been involved enough and now she’s almost 95. So now Charles and William are scheming, big surprise. Bigger men would not have done so, but that’s the problem with inherited power and primogeniture. It all stinks.

  29. Petra says:

    Can a British journalist please asked the KP, BP, CH these questions.
    1. Meghan was suppose to play a small role in the BRF. Why did the BRF arrange the tour to Australia and South African?
    2. BRF wants to downsize and cut expense. Why did the BRF refuse the part time proposal from Meghan and Harry?
    3. BRF wanting a small working group. Why was it that after Harry and Meghan left the BRF was presenting the public with the “Fabulous Five”, “Fantastic Six” and “Magnificent Seven” instead of sticking with the small group of Charles, Camilla, William and Catherine the “Sullen Four”?
    4. Why was the public reading about the hardship and heavy workload placed on William and Catherine due to the departure of Harry and Meghan?

    I’ve more question but lets get the answer to these four.

  30. betsyh says:

    So the queen’s private secretary is being blamed for this mess?

    It’s in the Palace playbook to deflect blame, as seen in The Crown, S04 E08. The queen leaks information to a newspaper about a rift with Thatcher. The palace needs a fall guy to put the rumors to rest. Michael Shea, Buckingham Palace press secretary, was against the leaks, but is blamed and fired.

    Let’s see what happens to Sir Edward Young.

  31. Chelsea says:

    Wasn’t Chris Geidt, the Queen’s former private secratary who then took on a role in the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, at the center of the “Harry & Meghan are being sent to Africa” story that landed in the Times when Meghan was like 8 months pregnant with Archie? I remember at the time there were 2 schools of thought: William was desperate to send them away and/or the palace wanted them to have a more defined role in the Commonwealth. Remember that Harry had someone go to Omid furious about it while the palace refused to outright deny the story but jist said discussions about their role were ongoing in an official statement.

    I do wonder if William and Charles, with help from Young, highjacked what Geidt was trying to do and the deal that Harry was trying to make with his grandmother. It’s turning out to be a monumental mistake on their part.

  32. lanne says:

    Lacey is being a butthole here. Meghan was never supposed to have a role at all. She was supposed to be pushed out, and then Harry would get a “more suitable” wife (suitable meaning pliable, passive, and above all white). This isn’t about her not understanding her role. Meghan was supposed to have no role at all. She was harry’s good-time girl, and they didn’t want to embarrass themselves in front of the world by denying Harry his love. So they started “Operation Get Rid of the Black Bitch” instead. They would rather Harry be mated to a blow-up doll instead of Meghan. At least a blow-up doll won’t talk back, and ONLY a blow-up doll could be sufficiently less effectual than Kate. That’s how low the bar is.

    The fact that these reporters refuse to acknowledge the work that Meghan has done tells me that all of their talk about Meghan fitting in/not fitting is bullshit. Meghan did the work. period.

  33. RoyalBlue says:

    Why are the courtiers always male? All the high ranking private secretaries. The Palace needs a Diversity and Inclusion consultant over there to sort that mess out STAT! Who is the head of HR? Can we see an org chart for the Firm, and I don’t mean with the useless royals who front this mafia. I want to know the men in grey behind this grifting scheme.

    • A says:

      Not only are they always male, they are almost always people who attended public school (private school in America), went to Oxbridge, and nowadays, tend to be people who have a great deal of experience working for the Tory party.

      And in spite of this, people insist that the royal family is “apolitical.” Insert eyeroll here.

  34. A says:

    Oh please. Robert Lacey needs to shut up. He has never been subtle in anything he says or does. And honestly, he’s actually doing them a disservice, cuz he’s reaffirming what we’ve seen on The Crown time and again–the royals fuck up, their staff members are forced to take the fall. But The Crown was pretty clear on this, all the way back in series 1–at the end of the day, the Queen’s the one who’s got the top job. She is the one in charge. She is the only person who the buck stops with.

    Like, I don’t even like Edward Young. I think that he was the staff member that was rumoured to have really hated Meghan. He participated getting Christopher Geidt ousted. He fully backstabbed the man and took his job, and now he’s getting repaid in kind, but it still irks me deeply that they’re so blatantly, and obviously, throwing him to the gutter once they need a fall guy. This family. They don’t ever learn, do they.

  35. Miss Margo says:

    I am loving watching the British monarchy fall apart. THIS IS WHAT YOU GET FOR SCREWING OVER DIANA.

    • zinjazin says:

      Amen dont hurt a woman like that.
      But karma will always come in her own due time you never know how long it takes.They thought they were in the clear. Guess not.