The last time Roya Nikkhah at the Times of London got a big palace briefing, King Charles’s aides lied their asses off and Roya printed it. The king’s team lied about extending an invitation to Charles’s 75th birthday party to Prince Harry (alone) and that Harry “snubbed” the invite, and poor, poor Charles who just wants to reconcile with his darling boy. Harry’s spokesperson called out the lie quickly, after which the entire British media simply ignored that the palace now openly lies during briefings. The same British media which is now consumed with spreading the palace’s new set of lies, which is that Harry was the one briefing the BBC, the Telegraph and the Sun about Harry’s birthday phone call with his father. Please. Well, Roya got a new briefing, y’all. I hope Harry denies this story just as quickly. Apparently, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are desperate for an invitation to spend Christmas at Sandringham.
The Sussexes may have been absent from Charles’s birthday party at Clarence House for his extended family and close friends that night, but they were still keen to be part of the day’s narrative. Buckingham Palace refused to comment on a “private” call, but soon after it happened, details emerged that Harry, 39, and Meghan, 42, had a “warm” conversation with Charles, and played him a video of the grandchildren he barely knows, Prince Archie, 4, and Princess Lilibet, 2, singing Happy Birthday.
Sources close to the Sussexes hailed the call as a “turning point” in the strained relations between the King and his second son. Courtiers rolled their eyes in dismay, finding it “baffling” that a private conversation was briefed in advance and afterwards. As a source close to Charles said recently: “It frustrates him that personal issues intrude on the public duty. He’d much rather the focus was on his work, not the soap opera of the private life. It is always frustrating when family dynamics overshadow the public role.”
Meghan’s mother, Doria Ragland, who lives in California, is the only grandparent in regular contact with [Archie and Lili]. Meghan’s estranged father, Thomas Markle, has never met his grandchildren or Harry.
Friends of the Sussexes say they want to change the state of play, and would readily accept an invitation to Christmas at Sandringham, the King’s Norfolk home, or a summer stay at Balmoral, Scotland, where members of the royal family come and go in privacy and can easily avoid each other.
A friend said: “I can’t imagine the Sussexes would decline an invitation to spend time with His Majesty. As of yet, there have not been any invitations for the holidays.” Buckingham Palace declined to comment.
What if logistics, accommodation, security and royal diaries could all align, making a visit by the Sussexes feasible? After so many royal secrets have been spilt by the Sussexes’ commercial ventures, the royal family continues to struggle with how any future reconciliations could remain private.
It is a fear acknowledged even by friends of the couple. In the aftermath of Harry’s book, a source close to the Sussexes conceded: “They realise they’ve got to a place where private conversations and calls could be questioned if they’re going to be private.”
Those fears are as acute as ever. After Tuesday’s private phone call was made public, a royal insider told The Daily Telegraph: “The King and Queen worry that if stories about phone calls and private conversations make it into the public domain, they will be accused of leaking to the press, even if it’s obvious it didn’t come from them. They just think, ‘It’s in the public domain, and public domain equals bad.’ Even if this had been the most positive story in the world from the King’s point of view, it would still have generated anxiety for him.”
Let me spell it out: Buckingham Palace leaked all of the information about the phone call, then blamed all of the leaking on the Sussexes, and is now saying that Charles is afraid to speak to his son because Harry would leak about it. Plus, the layer of bullsh-t about the Sussexes “wanting” an invitation to Sandringham. Nope. I don’t believe any part of this, and even more than that, I find it despicable that Buckingham Palace’s comms people can’t take Harry and Meghan’s names out of their f–king mouths, even as they clownishly try to hide their tracks by calling themselves “friends of the Sussexes.” The real “friends of the Sussexes” would not talk to William and Charles’s favorite royal reporter at a Murdoch-owned publication. Come on. At some point, the palace surely has to stop creating and feeding this f–king psychodrama.
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