Tina Brown is still rehashing the Sussexit & the Queen’s Soviet-style erasure

I’m just going to keep talking about Tina Brown’s The Palace Papers, because I want to fact-check her bullsh-t as the stories come out. The way Brown is retreading and repurposing old stories should not be underestimated. But the conclusions she draws from those old, repurposed stories is something else entirely. So, let’s get into this one. We’ve known for a while that the Queen purposefully had a photo of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex removed from her Sandringham desk for her Christmas 2019 speech/video. As you can see above, the photos on her desk for that Christmas speech were of her father, her husband, her son Charles (and Camilla) and her grandson William and his family. No Harry and Meghan. She did it on purpose, to visually snub Harry and Meghan.

Again, this was December 2019, when the Sussexes were in Canada, planning how they would exit the monarchy. Harry, a longtime company man, understood what the Queen’s visual meant. He understood that he was being pushed out, and he knew that they would jump before they were pushed. Tina Brown wants to repurpose that story to say that William was horrified by the Queen’s desk photos because William believed a “tantrum” from Harry was incoming.

Prince William was “appalled” when Queen Elizabeth II recorded a Christmas message without a picture of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on her desk, according to a new biography by Tina Brown. The monarch’s annual broadcast that year had a notable absence—a picture of the couple which had been present the year before. Former magazine editor Tina Brown describes in her new biography, The Palace Papers, how Prince William feared the move would trigger a tantrum from his brother.

In the book, published on April 26, she wrote: “William was said to have been appalled when he saw the Sussexes had been edited out. He knew his brother well enough to predict a Category 5 tantrum brewing.”

There were already signs Harry and Meghan wanted out from royal life before the queen’s pre-recorded address but was the moment it became time to “pull the trigger,” according to the book. Brown wrote: “The previous Christmas, a family portrait of Charles, Camilla, the five Cambridges and Harry and Meghan was exhibited at Her Majesty’s elbow. But in December 2019, the Sussexes had evaporated, their image excised as skilfully as Stalin would have done to an apparatchik out of favour Her Majesty pointed at a winsome portrait of Harry, Meghan and baby Archie. ‘That one,’ said the Queen. ‘I suppose we don’t need that one.'”

The book points out the photo selection was allegedly no accident and has been “artfully changed” every year since Elizabeth first began issuing a televised annual Christmas broadcast in 1957. Brown wrote: “If the Sussexes had any residual misgivings about whether they wanted out, those doubts vanished when they viewed the queen’s 2019 televised Christmas message. With their own eyes, they saw that they had been kicked to the margins of the Monarchy. Her Majesty eloquently made the point in her speech by saying nothing. The subtext was all in the flotilla of carefully arranged family photographs positioned on her writing desk.”

[From Newsweek]

Brown then goes on to describe in her ridiculous way how Harry and Meghan were completely wrong to announce their departure and they were also wrong to try to meet with the Queen in person to talk about how they were leaving. This has always been a fundamental contradiction within the royal establishment and it’s painful to still see this story being rehashed endlessly without anyone pointing it out. So, if the Queen was sending this message that Harry and Meghan were being pushed to “the margins,” that they were not important, that they needed to be ignored and blanked… why did it then become so insulting that they didn’t stay? That they wanted out? The Sussexes got the message: the institution didn’t want them or value them. So they left, and in so doing, they terribly offended the Queen, Charles and William, the same people who were sending the message that the Sussexes were not important. I mean, I know why the institution was so mad. They wanted to keep Harry and Meghan around but “put them in their place” and break their spirit and abuse them.

Brown is also trying to make the Sussexit sound impetuous and reactive to the Queen’s Soviet-style erasure, thus the reference to William fearing Harry’s tantrum. When the whole reason why Harry and Meghan went to Canada was to plan their next moves because they both knew that they weren’t going to stay in that toxic place.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Avalon Red.

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70 Responses to “Tina Brown is still rehashing the Sussexit & the Queen’s Soviet-style erasure”

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  1. Wiglet Watcher says:

    This version of events is madness.
    She couldn’t find enough sources from all sides so she did only one extremely biased side and filled in the rest with her sycophantic, fevered dreams.

    • ELX says:

      This whole thing is beyond weird—it’s just a strange way to hustle a buck. Tina Brown does still have some name recognition; she doesn’t have to race to the bottom to get sales.

      And the desperation inherent in the obsessive protection of William, who seems to be completely out of control—does he beat his wife? Has he hit Charles or Harry? What has he done that has to be covered up so thoroughly?

      • Moxylady says:

        Kate’s long sleeved high neck secretary dresses pinged on my dv radar a long time ago. I’ve seen way too many people do this exact thing for it to not jump to mind. Add in his rage issues and Kate’s fawning over him… appeasement is it’s own protection.
        All I’m saying is that it raises questions and concerns.

  2. ThatsNotOkay says:

    It was punishment, and they didn’t take it, they left it behind. And the Palace will never get over that. Like when your employer tries to give you a warning about something that was totally their fault, and you leave for a better job, and they hate you for it.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      I wonder what the role of Edward Young, the Queen’s Private Secretary, played in this scenario? He absolutely hates Meghan and, according to Omid Scobie, he was the one who went out of his way to block Meghan and Harry’s visit with the Queen after she had personally invited them.

      I could definitely see him advising the Queen to remove their photo with an ulterior motive. I think it has become clear that she is personally fond of Harry and Meghan – but I also think she’s a very weak leader/person who is easy to manipulate with references to Duty and the Crown.

      • Charm says:

        Ive heard it said before that there was a senior figure among betty’s management team who absolutely HATED Meghan. Ive heard, I think, Lacey or one of his ilk say this also. Now scobie has named him: edward young.

      • usavgjoe says:

        Manipulation is what the BP want you to think… Don’t let QE2 fool you though, she maybe old, now — but inside, she’s the same “Biatch” who made Princess Diana’s life a living hell. She would not acknowledge Diana’s death until word got back to her that the Monarchy was hanging by a thread, because she refused to show sympathy towards Di’s death, and the nation. With that, I’m saying that QE2 is the head of the Royal Firm, as well as the Family. She is calling the shots, she “loves” Harry to a point — but her concern is the medieval survival of the Monarchy and those closest to the throne. That is her only concern, blood ties mean nothing to her, as Queen. Charles will hold the same views when he’s King. But, what really sticks in their craw is that H&M are now the 2nd richest British Royals, with a personal wealth just under QE2’s and over Prince Charles. Nobody’s really interested in them if H&M is not present. They’ve indirectly shown in their moving away that the royals don’t have to live off the people’s taxes. She can’t abide by this, neither can Charles, its not like they can conquer foreign lands anymore — like in ancient times. QE2 is actually passive aggressive towards H&M… you better believe she sees Harry and Meghan a threat to the British throne. Their picture was not on her desk, because the QE2 wanted it that way… she was sending a message.

      • Emma says:

        Family relations can be very complex. I can believe the queen does love Harry (in her way) and also that she would let him be cut off without a cent.

        This is not a weak woman. Stupid, but not weak. She gave the word to remove Harry and Meghan’s picture. “Above me there is only god.” That is exactly how she thinks and how her world has conditioned her to think. It was cruel, in the context of Meghan suffering suicidal ideation and all the other degradation and the family / institution refusing to help Harry and Meghan, but I don’t think she saw it as cruel. It was like a farmer culling the herd, the farmer doesn’t see it as cruel either.

      • Lady D says:

        She sees her family as a herd of cattle, and has the lack of feelings to prove it. Seems about right. I wonder how old the York girls were when they discovered that the love from their family was conditional? How old will George be when he finds out everything in his life is conditional, and he’s just as trapped as his father?

  3. Ann says:

    William probably made a fist bump in the air and did an awkward little dance because he “won” by seeing Harry so publicly snubbed. That collection of photos was appalling.

    • TheFarmer'sWife says:

      If H & M were removed from TQ’s desk on purpose to show them their place–what does the lack of photos of Anne (who “works” as hard as any royal does), where’s Andrew, (her favourite and the one who looks the least like the rest of the kids), and poor little Ed, (nowhere in sight as per usual) what message are they “receiving?” Does the entire family wait with bated breath for TQ’s message to see who’s in and who’s out? It’s a big desk; everyone could fit if TQ wanted them to.

      • OG Bella says:

        This is the one thing that I’ve always disagreed with the Celebitchy group. The pictures were of the line of succession. None of her other kids nor grandkids were on there.

        While it sucks to be the spare, he wasn’t treated any worse than the rest of the family

      • Blithe says:

        Like OG Bella, I saw the pictures as including the line of succession and Prince Philip. Her mother’s picture isn’t there either. I don’t have any sense of how the Queen really sees William — if she knows what a mess her line has hatched. I’ve thought that if she does realize William’s character, and we take Harry’s descriptions of his loving relationship with his GM at face value, perhaps removing the picture from her desk was signaling her understanding of Harry and Meghan’s wish to be free of all that remained in the other pictures. Maybe the Queen had serious concerns, but the Granny understood and, perhaps even approved of Harry’s desire to be free from a system that didn’t serve him well.

      • Becks1 says:

        I do think it was about the line of succession, but I think it would have looked better honestly if she had cut out the spouses. Camilla and Charles together and then the Cambridges together gave the impression of “here are some happy family pics, ignore the other son.” A picture of Charles and William together and then one of just the Cambridge kid would have seemed less…..exclusionary, I guess.

      • Alice says:

        I don’t know if you are suggesting Andrew is Porchy’s spawn but damn I’ve always thought so.

  4. MsIam says:

    Tina is willfully being dumb now. She heard Harry say in the Oprah interview just like the rest of the world that the Sussexes had been talking about leaving for months. And that they specifically had discussions with Charles and the queen about it. But of course that doesn’t fit with the “Hot Headed Harry” story she got from the Cambridge/ Middleton camp. And why do none of these “journalists” ever ask about how the Sussexit story was leaked to the press? Also, she completely ignores how the pandemic played a part in how quickly the Sussexes left as well.

    • Jais says:

      Willfully being dumb…maybe…willfully being misleading…definitely. Like you said @msiam, she is choosing not to acknowledge anything the sussexes said in the Oprah interview, as if their words don’t mean anything, which is probably the impression she wants readers to have. Bc then her source-laden words might mean something. A journalist she is not.

    • Nic919 says:

      Not only did he say it during the interview but even when they were in BC the media was saying it was a break, especially as Meghan had just given birth to Archie not that long before. And even then there was speculation that they wouldn’t return from canada.

    • Gill says:

      Dan Wooton gleefully admitted he knew the story after Christmas and gave the sussexes 2 weeks to announce it or he would!! Why has nobody ever questioned this??!! That’s why their own announcement was rushed out, especially when they were barred by the men in suits from meeting the Queen and forming an announcement together….in plain sight it’s proof that KP and DW were in cahoots from the beginning

      • Becks1 says:

        Dan W actually announced it first. I remember we had a story here that day about the Sussexes moving to Canada and some of us (*raises hand*) were insisting that was ludicrous, it would never happen, etc…..and then by 1 or 2 oclock EST they had made their IG announcement.

  5. equality says:

    Is a comparison to Stalin supposed to be flattering? I doubt H&M cared that a picture of their child, whose privacy they try to protect, was removed or that theirs was. Her Christmas speech is appalling to me because outside of George’s birth, which got big attention, the other children get a bare mention.

  6. Sue E Generis says:

    Notice that William is almost never ‘concerned’ ‘irritated’ etc. IT’s always the big emotions – appalled, incandescent, rage, explode.

  7. Nic919 says:

    Even Dan Wootton admitted that he was going to release a story about Sussexit which is why the statement from H and M came out in January when it did. The departure has nothing to do with a photo not being on a desk for the Christmas speech. They were in BC for months before that even happened with the media reporting on this break. None of this was a big secret so I don’t know why Brown is trying to rewrite things.

    • ArtHistorian says:

      That leak has been entirely scrubbed from how the BM recounts the timeline of Sussexit, which is just infuriating. The media forced Harry and Meghan’s hands.

  8. Freaky Lizard says:

    This book dropped in my Kindle at 12:01 AM this morning and I’m already three chapters in. So deliciously gossipy!

    • Nivz says:

      Do you have opinions on her anti Sussex slant? Or is that delicious too?

      • Freaky Lizard says:

        Well in the forward she states that she interviewed over 120 people for the book so I think she’s done her due diligence. Tina Browm helmed the New Yorker, which is famous for its thorough fact checking. I’m approaching the book with an open mind.

      • equality says:

        Sheer numbers does not equal “due diligence” without further explanation. You can interview thousands of people, as YouGov proves, and still be biased if you only interview people from one side of something or from one certain demographic.

      • Nic919 says:

        If she didn’t talk to Harry or Meghan then she didn’t do her due diligence. One hundred witnesses providing hearsay is just that and not actual facts.

    • Charm says:

      Well, as they saying goes: theres no accounting for taste.

    • Jais says:

      Yeah, I’m gonna have to pass on this book.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Brown mentioned on CBS yesterday that she spoke to friends of Meghan. Meghan’s friends don’t leak to her “kind” so I doubly there was proper interviews in regards to how Meghan’s friends see her.

    • teecee says:

      Interviewing 120 white supremacists isn’t due diligence, it’s stacking the deck. And her tenure at the New Yorker is widely considered to be one of the biggest mistakes in the publication’s history. No one thought she was qualified for the job and when she made a mess of it no one was surprised. (This is one of the weaknesses of our East Coast intellectual class’ widespread Anglophilia. They hear the accent and automatically assume the speaker is intelligent. But of course that’s nonsense. I also take issue with non-Americans, especially white non-Americans, helming American publications, as they often flatten the racial aspects of our history and culture, that is, when they don’t simply ignore them.)

      Anyway, you’re clearly one of Tina’s PR girlies because no one with any real connection or knowledge of the media would bring up her stint at the New Yorker unless they were ridiculing her for her abject failures there.

      • Freaky Lizard says:

        I’m simply reading the book before I make a judgement about its validity or accuracy. Which is the same thing I did with Omid Scobie’s Finding Freedom. I am definitely not one of Tina’s “girlies.”

      • equality says:

        So many inaccuracies and biases have already been published in reviews and previews of the book that I wouldn’t waste money buying it. Why would I assume anything else in it about any of the royals is accurate?

      • kirk says:

        @teecee – Yes, it shocked a lot of people that Tina B quit New Yorker without warning, after having first driven down sustainable cirulation and profits, only to join forces with Harvey Weinstein.

        @Freaky Lizard – is there a Notes or Bibliography section at the back? Or footnotes? Or anything really to show typical ‘New Yorker’ style fact checking? Probably not; Tina B is quintessential tabloid editor. However, do share actual source names, especially those labeled “Meghan’s friends” if you can.

    • Jaded says:

      Let me fix it for you — “so deliciously false”. Don’t believe everything you read, and her *sources* are tabloid RRs, Thomas Markle, and certain royal family members who say “we’re very much not a racist family”.

    • C says:

      Most of this gossip has been recycled from a time when it led a pregnant woman to suicidal ideation, so….yeah.

  9. Becks1 says:

    this book just keeps getting worse and worse. Did she do any research besides talking to Carole and William? Is there anything in this book that’s objective? Does the publisher have any problems with some of these things being demonstrably false?

    I know this plays into her portrait of Harry – that he’s impetuous, has a temper, thinks he should be #1 in the family – but does anyone really think that Harry didn’t see his picture on that desk and thought “well, no choice but to leave, things were fine before but NOW we’re out of here”?? It might have just confirmed their desire to leave, it might have been the final straw, whatever – but even if it played a part like that, it wasn’t about the picture; it was about what the lack of picture represented. Here, the lack of picture represented that there was no place for the Sussexes going forward.

    I do think “someone” on the queen’s team realized how bad it looked for her to ignore Archie, so that’s why we got the picture of the Queen, Philip, Doria, H&M and Archie shown during the broadcast, so its interesting no one cared how it looked that they werent on the desk.

    Anyway make up your mind Tina Brown. Was it so shocking that they left because it was a slap in the face to the Queen, or was it NBD bc they were already pushed to the margins of the Firm anyway? This has always been the inconsistency when it comes to the Sussexes. The press and the Firm can’t make up their minds as to whether the Sussexes are so unimportant and not worth covering and not relevant to the monarchy, or whether the Sussexes are the only royals that matter and everything they do is a betrayal of the Queen and Charles.

    • SunnyW says:

      More and more I see that the big issue was always and continues to be H&M’s autonomy. It doesn’t matter what they do or don’t do, what pisses C&C, W&K, the courtiers and BM off is that H&M do what they *choose* and they are not beholden to anyone. This is why even when CC, WK, courtiers, media get what they say they want – biracial lady and 6th in line gone so they can have all the tiaras and fancy military dress to themselves – they are upset, because biracial lady and 6th in line are free (and in love, and rich, and youthful). These people seriously need psychological help, because this feels bigger than getting clicks, which used to be my explanation for the lies and spin. I now think that the royal reporters and Tina Brown etc sincerely despise H&M for exposing how idiotic the BRF* is, and logic, let alone human decency, can’t reach them.

      *This toxicity and stupidity feels unique to the BRF. The other monarchies seem to be fine and reasonable, at peace with themselves and with support from their subjects that isn’t built on scapegoating charismatic relatives.

      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        H and M aren’t just free, but popular, and successful. The royal family is petty and jealous of each other, so there’s nothing that hurts them more than to watch Harry and Meghan outshine them on the world stage. And by extension, the royal supporters cannot stand to see the objects of their own worship being outshone by a former royal and his American wife.

  10. Amy Bee says:

    Yeah, Tina is indulging in revisionist history. I have no doubt William was very pleased that a picture of Meghan, Archie and Harry was not on the Queen’s desk. By the time Harry and Meghan left for Canada the decision was already made that they were going to leave. I suspect that even when they went on the Southern Africa tour they had made up their minds that they couldn’t stay in the family.

  11. eb says:

    Don’t discount that the firm wanted a woman of colour they could parade around anytime anyone would even think about pointing out their racism. They just wanted to keep her in her place and take her out like bunting. For holidays. You know.

  12. Merricat says:

    The photo display was probably William’s idea.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      Absolutely! If any one is going to have a full breakdown of anger and temper tantrum antics it’s Bitter Brother, not Harry. We don’t hear of Harry going off on people, even his father but Bitter Brother does it without any provocation. The ticking time bomb is the FFK, not Harry.

  13. Em says:

    After they’ve got out all their smears, what happens 10 years from now when the Cambridges are still making mistakes and the cracks in their marriage as visible as ever, are they still going to blame Harry and Meghan?

    • Indica says:

      I believe the resounding answer to this is ‘yes’.
      It will never be their fault, they will always blame Harry and Meghan. I personally believe Harry and Meg could suddenly decide ‘y’know, we’re moving to a small house in the country, living on our savings, and never saying a word again’… and everything that happens would still be their fault.
      Will is a nasty person who has been coddled his whole life. Nothing is ever his fault, nothing will be his fault, and he’s going to stomp his feet and yell “Harry did it!” until the day he dies.

  14. Michael says:

    Harry and Megan do not really have to defend themselves much because much of America is on their side and William and Charles will screw things up all on their own. At some point it will be clear even to Royal sycophants that this family is inept and toxic

  15. Murphy says:

    Kate wasn’t in a desk picture for most of her first 10 years in the firm, what does that mean Tina?

  16. RoyalBlue says:

    This is why they fear Harry’s book. The truth will be told straight from the horse’s mouth. So time to get more lies and injecture out there before the truth drops. It’s all pure lies they are documenting.

    • BothSidesNow says:

      I think Harry’s book will be all about him, his journeys through his life and his hopes for the future for his children. Plus his love for Meghan and their partnership. There will be no scandalous truths exposing the BRF. They are doing that on their own.

  17. teecee says:

    Even in her version of the events, it would reasonable for Harry and Meghan to leave. The inbreds said “you’re not important here, take it or leave it”, so the Sussexes left. This ought to be a lesson to the inbreds about making empty threats. Maybe 20-40 years ago, these kinds of tactics might have worked. But not anymore.

    • equality says:

      They thought they had PH so thoroughly indoctrinated in their cult that he wouldn’t leave but maybe Meghan would. They overplayed their hand and lost.

  18. BeanBags says:

    First of all, I can’t believe adults carried on about whose photos Grannie had on her table. Secondly, Harry said that he knew he had about 10 years left in the spotlight until George and Charlotte grow up. Eventually, Harry and his family would have faded to the further and further into the background.

    • Debbie says:

      Sure, like Diana. Nice try though.

    • Jaded says:

      @Beanbags: Harry and Meghan, if they had been allowed to do the work they really wanted to for the BRF, would have outshone the Shamebridges to the point where it was more than obvious that W&K were lazy, disinterested and insanely jealous of the successes H&M were having. Even though they’ve left the BRF, their successes are still driving W&K nuts, hence the continued smears and lies from the tabloids. Harry and Meghan wouldn’t have “faded into the background” because William and Kate NEEDED them to do the heavy lifting while they took all the glory.

      Nice try though.

    • Tan says:

      Sure Jan

    • Fascinating Fascinator says:

      I remember that story! It was so strange and I can’t remember who “reported” it/put it out but that was definitely a real story right before everything exploded. I was thinking about it a few days ago in relation to all this. I wonder which household put that forward?

  19. Over it says:

    Tina is really making me feel grossed out by her attacks on Harry and Meghan. Does anyone that interview her in America actually challenged her and this nonsense?
    Kaiser what would it take for you to dismantle this racist hack on live television or in a podcast or interview? I would pay good money for that .

  20. Eurydice says:

    Well, even if it were true that William feared that Harry would have a massive temper tantrum, it didn’t happen. Harry didn’t have a temper tantrum, so William was wrong.

  21. Susan says:

    I somehow missed this photo trick story with Old Biddie Lizzie and all I have to say is….WHAT THE F%$&??? Say what you will, whatever “royal role” H and M wanted to “serve” in the Firm as they call it, HARRY WAS STILL HER GRANDSON. And Archie was her great grandson. I’m probably taking the wrong thing from this article as intended, but HOLY SH%T she iced them out. And this was before they formally left. Sweet old granny Liz my A$%. Family shmamily that’s colder than cold.

    • Blithe says:

      Maybe not. I have zero to support this, but maybe she was giving them her blessing to be done
      with the mess on her desk.

  22. CourtneyB says:

    I always thought the story was overblown. There weren’t photos of Anne, Edward, Andrew or their families. Those are also her children and grandchildren and great grandchildren. It was basically the former monarch, the current one and her hubby, the FK and the FFK and his kids. Maybe the press just wanted to see a snub because they love to bash the Sussexes and the ‘family hates them’ angle is one of their favorites.

  23. Isabella says:

    The message was clear. That was the same year they did the figgy pudding photo of the Queen, Charles, William and George pretending they ever cooked anything. The heirs. The only people who mattered.

    These people are not subtle. Harry knows them well.

    I’ve always found it super weird that William keeps calling himself the future king while both Elizabeth snd Charles are still alive.

  24. kirk says:

    Fascinating to discover CBE Tina B. could provide actual QEII quote: “‘That one,’ said the Queen. ‘I suppose we don’t need that one.’” Wouldn’t y’all just love to know which one (or more) of her 120-odd sources can confirm that? I would.

    But it’s pretty obvious CBE Tina B’s name-dropping habit only serves her purpose of impression management, rather than serving readers by providing intellectual rigor.