Scobie: Of course Prince William & the palace leaked against the Sussexes

One of the funniest things to come out of the hysteria around Netflix’s Harry & Meghan is the British media’s insistence on doing business as usual. Meaning, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are clearly calling out the collusion between various royal courts and British media, so we get “royal sources” insisting that royal sources never brief against anyone. We also get royal sources insisting that the Windsors will not respond to the Sussexes, all while the Windsors’ snipers try to attack Harry and Meghan point by point. All of this is the focus of Omid Scobie’s latest Yahoo column – “The palace DID brief against Harry and Meghan – what’s the point in denying something so obvious?” You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Of course royal sources brief against the Sussexes: When I saw a British tabloid article quoting a “royal source” (that’s usually code for someone at the palace who doesn’t want to go on the record) insisting that it was “absolutely wrong” to suggest the Sussexes had been briefed against, I had to reread the sentence a second time just to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating. It was gaslighting to the extreme. Remember the 2018 tabloid stories moaning about Meghan’s 5am emails? The drama around her tiara? These reports, and many others, included anonymous quotes from palace sources and aides.

A palace culture of leaking & briefing: The reality is, people working at the Palace did brief against Harry and Meghan while they were working royals. Regularly. And it was hardly a secret, either. While writing the book Finding Freedom, a number of the staff I spoke to complained about the culture of leaking and negative briefings within the institution. Some felt it was out of jealousy of the couple’s unrivaled popularity at the time, others shrugged and said that’s just how it goes, and a couple believed that much of it came from a place of disliking Meghan.

Aides brief against other royals: Palace aides also brief against other royals. With three different households back then—Clarence House, Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace—all with their own teams, it wasn’t (and still isn’t) uncommon for an aide to look out for their boss by using information about another member of the family (from a different household, and usually less senior) as currency to curry favour with the outlets you never want to be on the wrong side of. This doesn’t really happen with TV media, but is common with print and online press.

The “William worried about Fragile Harry” story in 2019: On a 2021 primetime royal documentary, I suggested that it was no coincidence that stories of Prince William’s “fears” for Harry’s “fragile” state of mind had appeared in newspapers less than a day after the Duke of Sussex revealed the growing distance between the brothers during a TV special. The fact that a senior member of the then-Duke of Cambridge’s staff had used supposed concerns about Harry’s mental health as an opportunity for positive press about brother William was very much noticed by the Sussexes, I added. Kensington Palace quickly intervened. And producers behind the show were put under pressure to remove my words. Aides for Prince William warned that it was “potentially defamatory”.

KP will complain & explain often enough: The tug-of-war went as far as executive level at the network until an 11th hour agreement to mute the audio of my voice for several seconds in the airing of the documentary was made. Certain journalists were then briefed by Kensington Palace—who did not reach out to me beforehand—that I had “no evidence” to support my claim. “It provided a vivid example that Kensington Palace is certainly more prepared to wade in to influence media coverage when it chooses to,” says director of the William and Harry: What Went Wrong? documentary, Richard Sanders. “On the day of transmission, the Palace demanded that we remove [the] quote. People more important than myself acquiesced, although it seemed to me perfectly legally defensible.”

How Scobie learned of the “fragile Harry” briefing in 2019: For full transparency, these articles were not my confirmation on the origins of the original briefing. I was briefed by a senior aide at another royal household. The individual—who, at the time, felt strongly about a line being crossed by someone working for William—had sent me text messages about the briefings relating to William’s concerns for Harry’s mental health the night the newspaper stories went to print with the information. This is just one example of the games that have long gone on behind the scenes at the palace. And what so many there, including some of the family, get dragged into, no matter how much they resist.

[From Yahoo UK]

Yeah, I’m glad at least someone is saying it. Personally, I think the British media is rolling their eyes as they play along with the Windsors’ idiotic position that no one in any palace briefs against other royals. The media is going along with it because they know they have skin in the game too – in this particular instance, the Windsors and the British media are on the same side, with their interests perfectly aligned, because Harry is targeting them both. The Windsors know full well how badly they’ve mistreated Harry, and the British media knows full well that they went along with every unhinged briefing straight from Jason Knauf, a salty Pegasus and a backcombed wig.

Photos courtesy of Kensington Palace, Netflix and the Sunday Times.

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45 Responses to “Scobie: Of course Prince William & the palace leaked against the Sussexes”

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  1. ML says:

    If you click on the yahoo link, pictures of the front pages of The Sun and Daily Fail are embedded in Omid Scobie’s article. Those happen to be the papers that H&M have legally gone after…

  2. Amy Bee says:

    For either the Palace or the press to deny that there were briefings against Harry and Meghan is a prime example of gaslighting.

    • Tessa says:

      Yes like in the film when the husband told Paula she was losing things and imagined she saw that incriminating letter. The palace must have used the film gaslight as a reference

    • Becks1 says:

      It’s textbook! they’re literally telling us that we saw happening with our own eyes did not happen… they brief the tabloids that there was no briefing.

      It’s an insane defense.

      • SomeChick says:

        royal sources claiming that there’s no such thing as royal sources is the CB story of the year. unbelievable. it’s all in print!

        I am ready for Wednesday night!

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        So, my question @Becks1, if you don’t mind answering, is, how in the h$ll would RR’s get away with not only their printed words but also their spoken words regarding their highly placed royal sources as a definitive of their supposed factual based stories? I’m not challenging you. Just querying the statements of opposite day version by royal rots (leaving that typo). I recognize you as a CB poster with a legal background. Are there legal ramifications to journalists that outright state one thing and then out of the other side of their mouth deny what they said? Ethically it’s very negative. UK press doesn’t care. I guess, if it’s demonstrated they’ve out and out lied with supporting evidence, is there legal recourse for their b*llfuckery? Suing the individual RR might be pointless (except, maybe wanting to make a point of a liar). Which I would love to see for the lot of them.

  3. equality says:

    Very disgusting that people who supposedly support mental health initiatives would start such a rumor about PH. Perhaps that is why PW can’t “mend their relationship”. I’m glad Scobie is writing for Yahoo which, perhaps because of being US owned, isn’t bowing down to palace pressure to not publish certain things.

    • JJ says:

      What was and is still done to the Sussexes is psychological abuse. It is no wonder Meghan had suicidal thoughts and the palaces want them to not tell their story. Others will find out about the abuse they suffered.

  4. Jodes says:

    So if the palaces weren’t briefing against the sussexes then where were the stories coming from. Out of thin air.

    • CrazyHeCallsMe says:

      Exactly. And if the stories were made up, then the Sussexes should sue for defamation.

    • Becks1 says:

      Exactly what I’ve been saying. If there were no briefings, then the stories were made up. So which is it? Are all the RRs lying liars who lie, or did the palace brief them? (My guess is that its a little of both.)

      Now maybe they would make a distinction between leaking and briefing. the latter implies consent in my opinion. But if these were unauthorized leaks, there were no consequences for them. (and we know they were NOT unauthorized.)

  5. Nic919 says:

    Omid is clearly stating that a staffer at CH or BP did not like how William was running things at KP.

    I suspect it is someone at CH because Charles himself has made comments about the KP staff not being professional.

    • Becks1 says:

      And this takes us back to what we were discussing yesterday, where the pulling of the Sussexes from KP and putting them under BP made sense. There is a reason Charles and the Queen were willing to do that. It did not stop the smear campaign as we all know, but it did stop some of the leaks.

    • Digital Unicorn says:

      At one point Chuck tried to take over it was soo bad – we should remember that Catherine Quinn (kHates’ former private sec) was a Chuck hire and she barely lasted 2 years. Am convinced that the bullying report BP buried was all about kHate and Ma bullying KP staff. We know she fired a long standing employee after she allegedly organised a holiday for Peggy and his mistress. kHate and Ma are not above this petty vengeful behaviour. Peggy never had an issue with keeping his personal staff until he married her. She and Ma are bullies and the RF know it.

      kHate’s behaviour is just as toxic as his – I feel for those kids being around 2 toxic people, it will affect them.

      • Becks1 says:

        Also let’s not forget the housekeeper and gardener who left Anmer and went BACK to Sandringham, I don’t think a clear reason was ever given for that but I’m sure it wasn’t bc W&K are such lovely people to work for.

      • notasugarhere says:

        After five months Becks1, only five months. She and her husband arrived in October, left in February. The majority of that time? The Middletons (all four of them) moved into Anmer Hall *en masse* before Christmas and didn’t leave. For months. They didn’t leave until the housekeeper quit, then stayed for months after. We were told Carole and Mike took over running Anmer Hall for months (LOL) until a new housekeeper was hired. They blew through that next one in less than two years (Sadie Rice).

      • Glazer says:

        “organised a holiday for Peggy and his mistress…”
        I didn’t know this. Wow. History repeats.
        Where can I find info?

  6. girl_ninja says:

    The call is coming from inside of the palace. These fools are happy to lie and say that they aren’t briefing anyone because it benefits the press and the royal family. And they have plenty of racist royal fans to prop up the lie.

  7. ThatsNotOkay says:

    This circular logic is for the weak-minded. Unfortunately, MAGA has shown a large swath of human beings is Jedi-mind-tricked on the reg. It stuns and scares me how stupid people really can be, how gullible, how much hatred and racism simmers beneath the surface of predominantly people of the pale persuasion, in this case.

  8. Caitlin says:

    Whenever the Daily Heil quotes Scobie, they refer to him as M&H’s “friend” as a means of discrediting him. They may trust him but I don’t think they’re actually friends.

    • C says:

      I doubt they are. Wasn’t Scobie was the one who said they were in those thousand dollar “glamping” tents in Botswana which turned out to be untrue?

      • Caitlin says:

        I don’t recall but his info is never 100%, it’s just not malicious, negative and gossipy like the red top rags. He could get down and dirty with the Baldy rumours but he doesn’t stoop that low. Integrity.

      • THERoyalExpert says:

        I think it was Tom Bower that said it in his crappy book.

    • Becks1 says:

      They’re not friends. I think he and Meghan got along when she was in the UK, but that doesn’t mean they’re friends. He’s a reporter who views the coverage of Meghan through a very different lens than someone like Jobson and isn’t part of the rota, so he has a different role here. He also still has access to the Sussexes, which the tabloids no longer have (meaning, he can call their spokesperson and get a response, which the tabloids can’t since H&M said they won’t maintain contact with them.) So they probably hate that.

      • windyriver says:

        Wasn’t he one of just a couple of outside people she invited to her final event as a working royal? I think it was a meeting at BP with young people from the QCT. I’m starting to lose track of some of the details and timeline, so this may not be it, but I know he was invited to something towards the end, where he talked about how emotional the event was.

        Anyway, I basically agree. I think they’re friendly, were possibly friendlier when she was still in the UK, but not friends. Some distance is best from his perspective as well. He’s been burnishing his credentials as a journalist in the last few years, and a reputation for objectivity is necessary if people within the institution will continue to talk to him, and the (more reputable) media continue to work with him .

      • Glazer says:

        They weren’t friends. When Knauf wanted Harry/Megan to provide background info for Scobie’s book she first said no. He wasn’t trustworthy to her because of publishing something around the wedding that said Jessica M. was Megan’s stylist. Knauf talked her into it.
        Maybe after Scobie’s book was published she felt he ws more trustworthy.
        Let’s hope the next episodes drop the receipts that Jason Knauf was feeding negative stories about Megan to the rags while he was supposedly their communications secretary.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ @Becks1, I agree with your assessment. @WindyRiver, you are right that Meg invited only three reporters to her final event at BP: Omid Scobie, Byrony Gordon of The Telegraph, and Victoria Murphy. This would purely be because Meg felt she could trust them to be fair and truthful, not that she was ‘friends’ with any of them.

        Notice that M&H did not include The Telegraph among the BM publications they would no longer respond to. I strongly respect that’s only because they have a good working relationship with Byrony Gordon, who broke the mental health interview with Harry in Spring 2017. Byrony later revealed that Meghan had encouraged and supported Harry to open up for that revealing, inspirational interview. M&H probably didn’t want to cut Byrony off at the knees. Thus, as a Telegraph reporter, she still has access to them.

        Omid and Victoria Murphy wrote very poignant, affecting articles about Meg’s last royal engagement at BP, as did Byrony.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      @Caitlin, I don’t believe they are friends or that he’s ever been their spokesperson. As others have said, Meghan & Harry probably kept him at arms-length. Yet, found him a bit more reliable of sharing their words after Finding Freedom. Let’s just say it, Jason Knauf was the initiator and intermediary between Durand & Scobie during the unnamed book. Knauf fed false information that Durand went along with (look at some of the things she’s written-none of the RR’s have accused her about being a W&K friend, mouthpiece or sycophant.) Yet she is. My problem with Scobie from FF certainly is he didn’t do due diligence. I’m also one of those people who, unless I’ve seen you as someone who has time & time again reported facts from established reliable sources, my Spidey Senses are activated. Now, if you are sharing an opinion, that’s different. I will hold against Omid that he didn’t have the acumen to go against the tiaragate or crygate stories. Jason Knauf bested him there. I hope Omid makes that part of his book. Great authors show & share their weaknesses and how they were fooled. As long as it passes legal scrutiny, he should be okay. J.R. Moehringer’s, The Tender Bar, book held up. Excellent book.

      • aftershocks says:

        ^^ No guys. M&H trust Omid Scobie to be fair and balanced. In fact, while in the firm, M&H often trusted Omid to tell their side of the story fairly: Case in point — April 2019 and The Times bombshell by Tom Sykes, which revealed that William wanted the Sussexes sent to Africa, etc. M&H gave Omid rebuttal info that was published in Harper’s Bazaar. M&H were quoted as saying: “We only consult with HM the Queen, and with Prince Charles regarding our duties and logistics.” (This is paraphrased). It was a swift rebuke directed at William and KP by M&H.

        April 2019 and Easter Sunday was when I began to fully realize that William was behind the leaks, and that the smearing of Meghan had something to do with William covering up his affair rumors.

      • aftershocks says:

        @Glazer and @AGreatReckoning, no. The Durand/ Scobie book was initially (in 2018) supposed to be about M&H’s life together within the firm, as ‘modern’ royals. After Sussexit (in 2020), I think it’s the publisher who pressured Scobie and Durand to rush out the book. The focus and the title were drastically changed. It did NOT start out with the Finding Freedom title.

        M&H were not interested, in 2018, in having a book written about them, but Knauf convinced them to cooperate, for reasons which we now know, were nefarious. Thus, Omid was being used, and fed inaccurate info. I’m not sure whether or not Durand was also being used to an extent, or whether she was part of a negative plan. Later, after Sussexit, the rushed, title-changed FF turned out to be a poorly written mishmash that was very soft on W&K, despite having some interesting details about M&H’s romance.

        Furthermore, FF has nothing to do with M&H trusting Omid. When FF was brought into Meg’s court case against the DF, likely M&H and Omid realized the extent to which they’d all been used and deceived by Knauf. Notice that Omid’s new book is being written by him alone, without a co-author.

  9. THERoyalExpert says:

    It’s interesting that the Palace and media are trying to take the same side on whether there were leaks, bearing in mind the number of stories that were attributed to “Palace sources”. It’s impossible for them to be on the same side. There were either sources or there weren’t!

    I’m going to enjoy watching how they twist themselves up to explain how they repeatedly cited supposedly non-existent sources!

  10. PrincessK says:

    Two things have just caught my attention
    1. A well known ‘royal journalist’ saying some years back that William was very grumpy over the fact that the Queen had created special Commonwealth roles for Harry and Meghan.
    2. Another person has said that regarding ‘rose bush’ the affair itself was not the big one but something else…..could be a reference to clothes pegs but I suspect something else.

    • aftershocks says:

      ^^ The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust was created in 2016, specifically with Harry in mind. I suspect what happened is that after being persuaded by the firm to retire from the military, Harry spoke to his grandmother about needing something meaningful to do, if he was going to stay within the firm.

      I believe the QCT was Sir Christopher Geidt’s idea (at the time, he was the Queen’s private secretary). Thus Geidt worked with Harry to develop the organization. Then, after M&H’s engagement, Harry was announced as Commonwealth Youth Ambassador. I believe it was after M&H’s marriage that they were named President and Vice-President of the QCT. This had been planned. Let’s remember how Meg had her gorgeous wedding veil embroidered with the flowers of Commonwealth countries.

      Will can stay ‘grumpy,’ jealous, and ‘incandescent with rage.’

  11. Becks1 says:

    Of course the palace leaked against the Sussexes. It’s almost scary that they are so blatantly denying it now. So then what were the past 5 years? Just made up tabloid fantasy?

    Interesting though that someone from “another” office contacted Scobie about the “fragile Harry” stories – I bet it was someone from Clarence House.

    • Shawna says:

      Maybe someone from CH wanted to know exactly which KP staffer leaked this particular story?

    • Nic919 says:

      The staffer likely knew Harry since he was a child and thought it was too much to call Harry fragile, especially coming from a KP staffer.

      Charles really should have put William and his staff in their place and not let him embarrass the family. But it’s too late now.

  12. Harper says:

    You know how we wonder what William does all day? Omid just told us. The scheming, the leaking, the threatening, the strong-arming, the getting this pulled and replaced with that. It all takes time and energy.

  13. Izzy says:

    A “palace source” went on record to say that “palace sources” never briefed against the Sussexes.

    It’s Schrodinger’s Palace Source.

  14. Kc says:

    Does anyone have a kink to the Atlantic article mentioned in the tweet? I did some googling and can’t find it

    I hope the entire Windsor house of cards comes crashing down

  15. Vanessa says:

    This Royal Reporters are nothing but clowns they spend years on twitter gleefully doing the palace bidding . Swearing up and down that they have sources within the Royal Reporters one of the Reporters Emily has Kate and William as her profile picture on twitter Camilla another reporter said on twitter she has Kate direction number . They need to pick a lane either the palace has been briefed them for years about Meghan and Harry or the royals reporters have been making stuff up . This so called clowns think that they can get away with lying when everything they have said is available for people to check they have back themselves into a corner . Either they tell the truth that palace has been leaking stuff about Meghan and Harry or they said they have been lying for years which puts themselves in the spotlight and affect their pockets. And No American media beside the Fox News and right wing media will be using them anymore because it opens up lawsuits for defamation.

  16. NM says:

    Thanks for the laugh @Izzy. I’m still chuckling at “Schrodinger’s Palace Source”

    *edit: not sure how this posted down here, oh well

  17. BuzzKell says:

    does that printer create 3D strap-ons? I mean, then what’s it’s use?

  18. myopinion says:

    So,,,,,, who will go under the bus for this mess??? Im betting on Khate but then, whats the egg without buttons, nothing tbh.