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.”
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.