Scobie: The Windsors are using the Sussexes to deflect & distract from scandals

Omid Scobie’s weekly Yahoo UK columns are becoming one of the highlights of my royal gossip week. I’ve said this before, but I appreciate the fact that Scobie isn’t just talking about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex every week. He covers different royals and different royal scandals, and he peppers his columns with some fascinating insider gossip, “insider” meaning “inside the Royal Rota.” Scobie’s column this week is straight fire! He points out the super-obvious move by Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace to bury their own awful stories behind obvious leaks about Harry and Meghan.

One month after the Jubbly, the Windsors are back to bad headlines: Set-piece festivities like [the Jubbly] are designed to shore up support for the monarchy for long into the future. But with the news of the family’s eye-wateringly high taxpayer-funded spending, and slew of controversial reports about Prince Charles appalling judgement (from accepting bags of large cash donations for his charities to giving a top royal honour to a tycoon who had just bailed out a failed business venture), last month’s royal sparkle has quickly started to dull.

Using the Sussexes to deflect: You would be forgiven for not being completely aware of these stories. Last week, the most dominant headlines about the Royal Family revolved around family members who left the fold over two years ago — Meghan’s “bullying” allegations and Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor meeting Charles for the first time. The coverage was no coincidence. Never complain, never explain may slowly be becoming a thing of the past at the palace (well, according to Prince William at least), but a different order of the day has quickly risen within the institution of the monarchy: deflect and distract.

Leaky Clarence House: You see, when the Prince of Wales was forced to announce via his spokesman that he will never again accept plastic bags filled with €500 notes for his charities, one of his senior aides also briefed journalists with adorable details of the heir’s first time meeting granddaughter Lilibet last month. (Yes, one of the same private family moments royal sources had “feared” the Sussexes would leak. The irony). The strategy worked. Later that day a quick news search for Prince Charles brought up a long list of headlines about his “very emotional” time with Harry and Meghan’s two children. You would have had to search further down the results to see his £3 million mea culpa.

The bullying investigation details were leaked by BP: It was a similar scenario when the Royal Household revealed last week that, while Britain continues to struggle with a devastating cost-of-living crisis, the Royal Family has spent more money than ever….Outrage over spending, including the £100,000 ($120,000) spent on just three royal train trips, made its way across more serious media outlets, but the news failed to make the front pages of the country’s most-read tabloids. Instead, their headlines focused on something else – a suspiciously timed update on the investigation into bullying claims against the Duchess of Sussex.

The Queen’s treasurer confirmed the sh-t about the bullying inquiry: It was the Queen’s treasurer who had been tasked with briefing royal correspondents an update about the controversial investigation. Though their annual finance report does include some HR matters, the privately funded inquiry into how they handled 2018 claims made by former Kensington Palace private secretary Jason Knauf (not whether they were true or not) was not part of the published document. Still, it was shared by Sir Michael Stevens, that palace’s “policies and procedures have been taken forward” now that the mysterious investigation was complete. Any other findings or details will remain private (even to those who agreed to participate).

Regarding the actual claims of bullying: Though reporting didn’t include any examples of such behaviour (I’ve also spoken to a long list of former staff, all of whom can’t recall any moments that would fall under such a description), it was still enough for the Palace to release an official statement to journalists around the world about their plans for a full investigation [last year] – and conveniently overshadow some of the news made by the couple in their primetime interview. You would think that if the establishment was so keen to strengthen its Human Resources office, they might have also launched an investigation into Meghan’s claims that the same HR department turned her away when she approached them with fears for her mental health and suicidal ideations as a working member of The Firm. But, I digress.

The Windsors are being incredibly obvious about all of this: In an era where transparency is vital for any public officials to survive, the days of the royal family being able to hide transgressions or mistakes are long gone. A free and fearless press makes sure of that. Which is why the institution has instead resorted to activating distractions in times of crisis. I’m just not sure who it is they think they are fooling? The public aren’t stupid. And a brief look at social media shows that a large majority of individuals can see straight through the smoke and mirrors. It’s why #TheRoyalFamilyLies trended high on Twitter for four days last week.

[From Yahoo UK]

The fundamental problem, as I see it, is that the Windsors’ deflect-and-distract strategy DOES work. It works narrowly, within the UK, in the right-wing media. The right-wing British media is still starved for Sussex content, and they need zero convincing to run front-page stories about anything to do with the Sussexes. Now, do I also believe that even right-wing newspaper editors know that they’re being used by the Palace to cover up the Windsors’ overspending and general laziness and incompetence? For sure. But the British media – and not the Windsors – are playing a longer game. The Windsors are limping from crisis to crisis, scandal to scandal, controversy to controversy, thinking of short-term remedies for their plethora of issues. The Sussexes are convenient to them as a distraction tool. But that won’t always be the case. Because more and more, it feels like the British media has plenty of information stockpiled for a rainy day, and a storm is coming.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.

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50 Responses to “Scobie: The Windsors are using the Sussexes to deflect & distract from scandals”

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  1. Noki says:

    Why cant they just behave like other royal houses, why does there have to be drama and briefing wars !?Maybe what started as a simple briefing to burry some scandal a hundred years ago has grown legs and cant be contained.

    • Swaz says:

      Because the British Royal Family is a FRAUD😀😀The future king of England accepting plastic bags of cash, that’s mafia moves😀and William is just pathetic, a late bloomer.

    • PaulaH says:

      British Royal Family spends over 100 million pounds in 1 year and all the media has to say is…Meghan, Meghan and Meghan again. Can you imagine spending over 100 million dollars without earning a single cent of that money. Just show up to a few engagements and spend 30 minutes for the perfect photo op and in return 100 million dollars.

    • Flowerlake says:

      At this point, even Monaco’s royal family looks more proper and posh to me than the British Royal family.

  2. Noor says:

    Omid Scobie having a column in Yahoo news is a godsend to royal watchers. Say it as it is Omid!!

    And the best part of it is that his articles are being carried by some tabloids

    • Alexandria says:

      US news outlets should hire writers like Omid and Kaiser to call out the hypocrisy (too easy, too many examples).

    • Jais says:

      ❤️the column and how it cuts through the BS

    • Polo says:

      Yes and I hope it encourages more people to start exposing the farce that is the royal family. I noticed a couple new writers for Newsweek that also cut through the crap with their writing. ( Not Jack Royston).

    • Athyrmose says:

      It is amazing to me that journalists like Omid are *right there* and somehow people like Kate Nicholl still have a job. 😐

  3. C-Shell says:

    Omid may end up single-handedly demonstrating that reporting on the Rotten Royals and their 🤡🤡🤡, without “fear or favor,” can be done without dire consequences. There are bound to be other so-called journalists near or at the tipping point who are watching. I’m here for it.

  4. Hic says:

    There are also many games at play. Charles is deflecting from his financial shenanigans but I think the hiring of DF tells me he may be gearing up to fight Boris Johnson ( dumped by Rothmere and Murdock yesterday) to become an activist king. Use DM person to smeared keep other family members in place through leaking and targeted messaging.
    KP is a mess so expect them to muddy the water with their own pettiness which will damage PC.

    The global media is hip to BM and RF shenanigans with HM. The Hello linking of Archie’s pic to a hate account was quickly called out and removed. Also the KK bots targeted a Sussex NHS website too.

    UK is going through some serious hardships and I think the RF needs to pay more attention to the little folks because the monarchy is simply white welfare.

  5. Amy Bee says:

    Anybody who believes that BP’s refusal to release the findings of their HR (bullying) investigation was them protecting Meghan is delusional. If there was evidence that Meghan was a bully it would have been included in the Sovereign Grant report. The only logical reason for it being there would be to distract from the Royal Family’s high spending. Some people on Twitter have pointed out that the last 4 years Sovereign Grant report has used Meghan and Harry to distract from their ridiculous spending and Omid’s piece only confirms this Palace tactic. There is no doubt the Palace actively guides the press in what to highlight in the report.

    • Layla says:

      @amy bee right? Like how thick does one have to be to bot see the obvious. “Protecting Meghan” b please (referring to the palace here” if they were so keen on protecting Meghan (who btw was their strongest asset) they would’ve shut down KP’s smear campaign from the get go the same way they issues statements against Botox and wigs

    • PaulaH says:

      The ONLY thing the “Royal Family” is protecting is their 100 million a year (which we all know is a lie, it’s much more). The Brits would rather focus on the WOC who lives in another country and doesn’t give a rat’s ass about them …..yet…………Meghan this and Meghan that

    • Becks1 says:

      Yeah the BRF and the press have never been in the business of protecting Meghan, why would they start now?

      The deflection and distraction, as Omid puts it, is so obvious but I do think more people are seeing through it.

    • molly says:

      Releasing the “we’re investigating a bullying allegation!” statement the week of the interview was the most obvious and ham-fisted PR stunt I’ve seen in a long time.

      I shouldn’t have higher expectations of the royal comms shops, but lobbing completely unsubstantiated rumors out into the public (clearly timed to get ahead of the truth coming out about some terrible crap YOU did) is what I’d expect from C-list celebs going through a messy divorce.

      The actual professional adults working for that family should be so embarrassed to work there.

      • SuzieQ says:

        Are there actually professional adults working for the RF? Because it seems to me that they’re a bunch of snooty, pearl-clutching, gossiping, racist, classist, sycophantic monarchists who couldn’t last a day in a real-world corporate office where hard work and smart problem-solving are expected.

    • Christine says:

      Word, Amy Bee.

      If there was any evidence that Meghan had done anything wrong, there would already be a children’s book, teaching about the dangers of bullying, with Cruella de’Meghan at the center.

  6. WiththeAmerican says:

    the British media, like right wing media here, exists to prop up right wing institutions and players in order to protect the wealthy, who also own those media outlets.

    I’m starting to think they won’t ever turn on the monarchy, just the right wing expendables like Boris etc, when they can’t be excused anymore. Like US media went after Madison cawthorn but only because he had turned on republicans first.

    Then I also wonder how much impact the Russians have, they were behind pushing brexit in those same tabloids. The royal family is clearly compromised financially every which way and the British media knows and don’t care. They actively covered it up with these weeks old susssex stories, which exactly as Kaiser wrote do work. They might not work on twitter but sadly, twitter isn’t the general public. Poll after poll shows that.

    • PaulaH says:

      FACT: The British Media is the British People. The media would not write the stories without a rabid audience.

  7. Layla says:

    It was so funny seeing Discount Louis XVI’s reaction walking down the church. The entire time he was making these weird grimace-like faces as if to say “I don’t like all this fanfare and whatever” but you just know that really, he was seething incandescently about H&M’s presence. 😂
    Also, I know it’s a bit late now but I was curious about why K would wear grey with yellow when they don’t match at all and then I remembered, there were quite a few times when M would grey accessories with navy blue or other colours. It’s just really hilarious and as M says “you have to laugh at a certain point because it is just ridiculous”. Ofc she was talking about avocados but the same rule applies here really

  8. Snuffles says:

    Ever since Omid got his Yahoo column he’s been dropping truth bombs. I LOVE it! He’s calling EVERYONE out!

    I wonder if he’s trying to transition out of royal reporting. Documenting the downfall of the Windsors is a way to do that.

    Because that’s what is happening. Every time the dam cracks they rush to plug it up with haphazard actions and lies. So many lies that they can’t keep track of. No one is thinking anything through. And all of their lies and crimes are finally catching up to them.

    And the royal rota are reaching a tipping point where covering for them and maintaining the facade is not profitable enough for them, but slow motion destroying them could keep them in the money for decades to come. All bets are off when the Queen dies.

    • 809Matriarch says:

      I think Omid is getting ready to work on another book about RF machinations. He has the connections and the next book will likely not have a “co-author.” He doesn’t need that anymore.

      • Jaded says:

        I came here to say that exact same thing. Only this book will be an eye-opener. He’s been developing a fan base for some time now, and he certainly has a good perspective on the utter shambles the BRF continues to create in just about everything they do. He also sees it from the perspective of a POC — racists have been ragging on him for being Persian for ages — and has enormous sympathy for Meghan and what they’ve put her through, as well as a ton of respect for the way she’s handled it.

      • Christine says:

        I agree with all of you. Omid is setting himself up nicely to be the Ronan Farrow of royal reporting, and I am here for all of it.

  9. Maxine Branch says:

    There really is not anything you can add to Scobie’s reporting re the Windsor family. He nails it every time. Those who choose to believe the gutter media’s headline will but for the larger audience he is targeting, gets it and know exactly what is happening and it speaks to the problems this family will continue to have for the foreseeable future.

    They are simply not honest people, they are racist, they feel entitled because of birthright and most glaringly, it is quite obvious, they are not very smart. They will always shoot themselves in the foot because of their hubris. The more they target the Sussexes, the more obvious this becomes. I am happy the Sussexes has drawn their line while continuing to live their best lives and dreams far away from those clowns.

  10. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Wait a minute, everyone! Wait!… Is water actually wet?!!

    (Funny thing, I learned from the Lake Superior account last week that, no, water is not wet. It makes other things wet. )

  11. Brit says:

    Facts. It’s crazy how the royal family served the Sussexes on a platter to cover and distract but get mad because the Sussexes are bigger and more interesting than the monarchy. You can’t say someone is irrelevant but yet you’re constantly leaking and gossiping about them to the same tabloids who are also obsessed. Harry and Meghan leaving was for the best because the longer they stay away the more they won’t be able use them as much. The RF are truly trapped because they need the golden geese to shield themselves but because of that they make them even more famous and rich. Irony at its finest.

    The British media loves it because it sells papers and they feel like they have power and control. The royal family are dumb because no amount of shout outs, titles and honors are going to change the BM’s spots. They gonna turn on them eventually because all they care about is there bottom dollar and it’s clear the others aren’t cutting it.

  12. aquarius64 says:

    The BM is mad its hit pieces don’t gain traction with US media at large. Fox will pick it up, but that network doesn’t cover the hearings on the Jan. 6 attack on the US Capitol. The fact that you don’t see the likes of Victoria Arbiter, Camilla Tominey and the usual gang on US TV shows RRs aren’t taken seriously. They’re glorified gossip columnists;TMZ is above them. Jobson has an ABC gig (they need to rethink him). Scobie has a job there too because he has been fair to the Sussexes.

    • Brit says:

      That’s why they keep trying to use this angle of Meghan running for President. Again it’s not working or gaining traction because it’s gossip and and legitimate news stations don’t have time for that foolishness. Piers Morgan has tried his hardest to get propaganda trending in the states and even he’s been losing.

  13. Merricat says:

    Lol, this miserable family set itself on fire and they’re still trying to blame everything on people who haven’t been around for more than two years.
    The House of Windsor isn’t known for their intelligence, and they continue to not be known for it.

    • CheChe says:

      The continuing drama stories just give the rota work that doesn’t delve into any royal truths. Can’t have the remainders not elevated .

  14. Slippers4life says:

    There aren’t enough fire and hands emojis to express the joy I felt reason this article

  15. s808 says:

    “ the British media – and not the Windsors – are playing a longer game. The Windsors are limping from crisis to crisis, scandal to scandal, controversy to controversy, thinking of short-term remedies for their plethora of issues. The Sussexes are convenient to them as a distraction tool. But that won’t always be the case. Because more and more, it feels like the British media has plenty of information stockpiled for a rainy day, and a storm is coming.”

    Period. End of. The British media 10000% has the upper hand and always have.

  16. Boxy Lady says:

    Well, I’m glad somebody is saying out loud and in writing. Harry has been used as a meat shield for the rest of the royal family for damn near his entire life. It’s like, to them, he’s not even a real, actual person with his own mind and feelings.

  17. TheOriginalMia says:

    #Omid trended yesterday. His article made a lot of noise yesterday in both pro-and anti-monarchy circles. Funny how fair and balanced reporting on the royals is seen as an attack against the BRF and a favor for the Sussexes. It’s ridiculous. All he did was point out the obvious. The BRF has used the media to distract from their troubles. Meghan is an easy target.

  18. Rapunzel says:

    I agree with Scobie, but would ads that we can never forget:

    1. This is personal for a lot of RRs. They feel personally aggrieved that Harry snubbed them by leaving and that they are throwing tantrums for lack of access.

    2. Stories about royals simply don’t make the clicks and cash Sussex stories do. So the RRs are simply following the money.

    3. The BRF (William/Kate in particular) are also personally aggrieved that Harry has abandoned them. Imo, Sussexit is first and foremost family drama between Harry, Charles, and Will. Charles is pissed his plans to use Harry for goodwill are scuttled. Will is incandescent with rage that Harry won’t be co-King and save him the worst work. These stories are punishment for Harry not coming to heel.

    4. Racism- much of the stories are to torture the mixed race Duchess for daring to outshine the white Duchess.

    So yeah, it’s distraction but it’s more than that.

  19. usavgjoe says:

    You speak on it Kaiser!!!

  20. equality says:

    “Though reporting didn’t include any examples of such behaviour (I’ve also spoken to a long list of former staff, all of whom can’t recall any moments that would fall under such a description)…” I love that he puts it straight out there that the allegations aren’t credible.

  21. Thelma says:

    Omid is SPOT-ON!!! The British Royal Family clearly believes in “you can fool some of the people some of the time. The Sussexes are leading their peaceful scandal-free life unlike the royals.

  22. Penelope says:

    I still don’t get how emailing at 6:00 am is bullying. On days when I come to work and I haven’t received like 15 emails from my boss and others I work with, I assume there is some kind of IT problem.