I honestly felt like the Duke and Duchess of Sussex gave us a buffet of blind items during the Oprah interview. For example: what was Kate upset about during the bridesmaid dress fitting? Who was the senior figure who denied Meghan help when she was suicidal? What kind of paper trail is there for all of these suspiciously aggrieved former employees? Etc. But the biggest blind item, the one which has gotten the most attention, is who is the senior royal who spoke to Prince Harry about what color skin his children with Meghan would have? Oprah said that Harry took pains to emphasize that the person was not the Queen or Prince Philip. Philip was the easy guess – he’s ancient and he has a history of saying racist sh-t. I would honestly guess that Philip DID say some sh-t, just not to Harry. So who was it who actually said that sh-t TO Harry? Charles or William? The Daily Beast believes that the Queen’s statement on Tuesday is actually a challenge for Harry to name the person.
The iron fist is well concealed by the velvet glove of genteel and restrained language, but those four key words—“some recollections may vary”—make it very clear that the palace are denying the accusations made against them. In doing so, the palace is putting the explosive ball back into Harry and Meghan’s court, by silently challenging them to name the family member who had “concerns” about the darkness of the unborn Archie’s skin, and precisely describe that situation. The palace may also be referring to Meghan’s claim that she received no support over her mental health issues, which led her to contemplate suicide.
One thing is clear: the palace has no intention, yet at least, of bringing those details into the public realm. And so all the unanswered questions remain, with the palace making clear they will not be rushed into saying anything. There will be no apology, no hand-wringing personal statement from the queen.
Reportedly the family, knocked for six by the unexpectedly furious and bitter detail of the couple’s interview, had spent the last few days wrestling with the natural desire to push back at being called racists, and weighing against that the consideration that any statement denying racism could provoke the Sussexes into naming the member of the royal family who raised “concerns” about their son’s skin color.
“There is a lack of trust,” an insider told the Evening Standard. “A denial could lead the Sussexes breaking their vow and naming the member of the royal family who discussed their son’s skin color.”
The traditional “never complain, never explain” palace strategy has been married in this new statement by a desire to push back—firmly, and ever so politely—against the accusations of racism and lack of caring made by the couple. The palace says it will address the issue “privately.” The implicit condemnation of Meghan and Harry’s very public airing of the Windsors’ dirty laundry is also obvious. But compare this statement, not making clear the palace is actually doing anything, with the rush to announce an inquiry into Meghan’s alleged bullying of staff last week.
Again, the Sussexes played this pretty smart, peppering their conversation with Oprah with references to the paper trail and electronic trail they left, then sending Janina Gavankar onto a British chat show to underline the point that the Sussexes have receipts, and that the Palace likely has their own receipts too, if only they would look for them. Do you honestly think, as Tom Sykes and Tim Shipman seem to think, that the Queen’s statement was an invitation for Harry and Meghan to actually name the senior royal who asked Harry about his children’s skin color? I do not. I think Harry and Meghan hold most of the cards and the Palace is scared sh-tless and they’re trying very hard not to push back on the Sussexes too much, lest H&M actually drop receipts publicly.
As for the blind item… my first thought was William, then I talked myself into thinking it was Philip, then Oprah said no, it’s not Phil. So now I’m back to thinking it was William. The original claim was that the root of William and Harry’s falling out was that William told Harry to slow down with “this girl” in 2016. That story never rang true. Now I wonder if the conversation was more like “You should slow down with this girl, really think about it. I mean, what would your children look like? How dark would they be?” That would go a long way to explaining Will and Harry’s massive falling out.
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