Endgame: Why did the Windsors wait to respond to the Sussexes’ Oprah interview?

Over the summer, royal reporter Valentine Low released the paperback edition of his most recent book, Courtiers: Intrigue, Ambition, and the Power Players Behind the House of Windsor. In the paperback edition, he added some new details, one of which got a lot of attention: that the current Princess of Wales was the one who argued, in 2021, that “recollections may vary” be added to QEII’s official response to the Sussexes’ Oprah interview. The phrase was always designed to negate Meghan’s story and to gaslight Meghan about the abuse she suffered at their hands. Well, Omid Scobie’s Endgame picked up the thread of what was really going on behind-the-scenes within the Windsor clan in the hours and days immediately following the Sussexes’ televised interview in 2021.

The palace’s slow response to the “concerns about the baby’s skin color” issue: The issue may have later been briefly discussed between Meghan and Charles over letter (and this is why the incidents were not repeated in the Sussexes’ 2022 Netflix series or in Spare), but the Palace’s initial response was not a swift one—they would instead wait until the interview’s U.K. broadcast aired the following day before planning anything. The family, a Palace aide told me, was keen to hear what the nation thought and see which way the wind was blowing in the court of public opinion.

The Windsors’ math: If the Sussexes—whose overall popularity in the country had been on a downward trajectory since they stepped away from their roles—received minimal sympathy from the British public, they would get minimal from the institution, too. After morning television hosts mocked Meghan’s stories, newspapers called the couple liars, and a nationwide poll found that more than a third of Britons (36 percent) had more sympathy with the royal family (compared to just 22 percent for the Sussexes), the Palace issued a carefully worded statement to mirror the public’s mixed reaction.

Recollections may vary: Those three words, recollections may vary, artfully submarined the issue by casting it as a he said–she said situation, effectively throwing the hounds off the scent without any mea culpas or promises of investigations. With a large swathe of the public instantly taking the side of the royal family, it felt like mission accomplished for Prince William’s then communications secretary Christian Jones and private secretary Jean-Christophe Gray, who helped devise the caveat during multiple drafts of the statement. They worked closely with Charles’s chief press aide, Julian Payne, on the perfect response “to plant that seed of doubt in people’s minds,” said a former staffer, who was also involved in communications efforts at the time. “The last thing they wanted was for people to start pointing fingers at the bosses [William and Kate].”

Whether Kate was involved: Someone else also keen to protect the family’s reputation was Kate. Years later, The Times’ royal correspondent, Valentine Low, reported that the then Duchess of Cambridge was the one to suggest that the statement needed something to reflect how the institution “did not accept a lot of what had been said . . . [She] clearly made the point, ‘History will judge this statement and unless this phrase or a phrase like it is included, everything that they have said will be taken as true.’” A source later told me, “She was really passionate about defending the family.”

[From Omid Scobie’s Endgame]

“She was really passionate about defending the family” – she’s a toxic, racist Karen who thought only about her own survival. Something I’ve always wondered is whether William and the rest of the family knew the extent of Kate’s racist bitchery towards Meghan before the Oprah interview. With Meghan quickly and efficiently butchering Kate’s years-long smear of “Meghan made Kate cry,” Kate was desperate for some way to negate Meghan’s story. What’s also interesting is that Scobie pointed out that QEII’s private secretary Edward Young kind of hated “recollections may vary,” because he thought it would lead to the Sussexes dropping receipts. Which they should have done, because these people are f–king dirtbags.

Also, just a reminder: in Meghan’s mind, the biggest headline from the Oprah interview was that she was suicidal from the palace and press’s sustained campaign of character assassination, and she absolutely hoped that the palace response would be to (at long last) acknowledge her pain. Instead, the main focus from the media and monarchy was on racism and the institution was in a clownish scramble to cover their asses.

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Screencaps courtesy of CBS/Harpo, additional photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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40 Responses to “Endgame: Why did the Windsors wait to respond to the Sussexes’ Oprah interview?”

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  1. Lorelei says:

    I’d just like to say that I HATE this new trend of paperbacks having extra info that original books didn’t cover— it’s freaking *punishing* people from buying the hardcover. I can’t believe it’s allowed, tbh.

    • B says:

      Seriously! Do you expect to me to buy both just because you added a couple extra pages? No I would just wait for the paperback which is always cheaper. I don’t understand why publishers would push customers to spend LESS.

      The biggest takeaway for me from the Oprah interview was that Meghan expressed suicidal ideation. She had such “clear thinking” about what she would do that she wanted to get help and the firm told her No. They said Meghan wasn’t a paid employee and didn’t qualify for benefits that would allow her to seek treatment and that if she were to get treatment it would make the firm look bad. Meghan was pregnant and being attacked everyday in the media. They would not defend her and then would not let her get help when those attacks began to take their toll. To this day I believe this is the most horrifying thing to come out of the Oprah interview and they distract by screaming and crying about the racism allegations because they think they can dispute and water that down. Its really hard to dispute and water down that they actively stopped Meghan from getting the help needed to prevent her from killing herself.

      Even with the racism distraction they make sure to focus on questions about the skin color and act like its innocuous. Questions about the skin color is very different from “concerns about what the child would look like” and having those concerns paired with conversations about wanting to change a 500 year old law so that Archie would be the first grandchild of the monarch that wasn’t a Prince and stripping him of security while he was being targeted by hate groups and was being racially abused in the British press.

      Christ that family, institution and press are sick.

  2. lanne says:

    It’s no surprise to me that Meghan’s suicidal ideation wasn’t the story. The deliberately decentered her by starting in on the “royal racist.” It’s was about putting white people firmly in the center of the story (and according to the anti-woke, being accused of being racist is worst that being a victim of racism). It very neatly negates Meghan’s experience in order to question her veracity (they didn’t MEAN to be racist so they weren’t). DARVO and gaslighting 101. The British media could teach a class on both concepts.

    The longer this goes on, the more glad I am that Meghan and Harry are away from those nasty, toxic people, and I’m so glad their children will not be poisoned by their animus. The only good thing in all this is that the royals suffer their misery together. They are all stuck together, bound by their hatred, snobbery, and jealousy. They deserve each other. They also deserve to be ignored by the world. Let their global brand diminish, and leave them to their petty nonsense.

    • Andy Dufresne says:

      @Lanne, “DARVO and gaslighting 101. The British media could teach a class on both concepts.”

      I totally agree with you! Heck, Dr. Ramani should do a case study on these people lol.

      The sad part about all of this is that there ARE people out there who cannot discern and are led to believe that the Royal Family is the victim in all of this! What has happened to our society 🤦‍♀️. Abolish the damn monarchy already.

    • swaz says:

      I read somewhere, or maybe a documentary that back in the day before becoming an active editor with the Daily Fail you had to complete a program with MI5 on psychological warfare. It’s just a mean spirited business.

    • Moondust says:

      They are not racist as long as POC know their place. See? Totally not racist…
      We don’t need them to tell us they’re not racist. Their actions are very telling. And that was before the Oprah interview. When there was a cartoon of H&M leaving the nursery with a monkey and the BRF (all of them) kept silent I was and still am shocked. But then I’m not British so probably don’t get this kind of humor .

  3. Libra says:

    The “history will judge us ” comment is not Kate. I don’t believe she has the awareness or long term vision to be remotely interested in history.

    • Fawsia says:

      I agree with you! Kate had no say how and when to respond! We saw Kate speaking and she doesn’t have the vocabulary or know how to come up with that bullshit! This is want to make Late more than she is!

    • Becks1 says:

      Kate probably said – “THEY LIED! SAY THEY LIED!” because she needed to protect herself from being outed as the royal racist.

  4. girl_ninja says:

    The Windsors waited so long to respond, because they were scrambling to figure out another lie. Par for the course for those losers.

    • Megan says:

      I fully believe they were waiting to see which way the wind was blowing. They weren’t about to apologize if the public didn’t demand it.

  5. equality says:

    Kate being so passionate about the defense makes her really look to be one of the guilty parties. I wonder what exactly was said when she made Meghan cry. I bet it was about more than just how Charlotte’s dress fit.

    • Amy Bee says:


    • Jais says:

      At this point, I think Kate said some really concerning things. Some really ugly concerning things.

      • Jaded says:

        @Jais — I agree. Kate may not be the sharpest knife in the drawer but I bet she has a tongue like a razor blade. Narcissists have a unique talent for cutting people down quickly and mercilessly. I grew up with a narc older sister who could say the most hurtful, lacerating things to me in a split second then walk away like “mission accomplished!” while I blubbered like a baby…no hesitation no remorse to paraphrase Steely Dan.

      • Becks1 says:

        Yeah, I don’t think she said “we need to redo the FG dresses” and that was it. remember Meghan wouldn’t say what it was during the interview, just that Kate was “going through some things.” Even with Meghan already on edge bc of her father and the wedding, Kate must have been a total bitch in those texts. Enough that she brought over flowers and an apology note.

  6. They waited so long because they were caught and didn’t know how other than say we are not a racist family they should do so they fumbled. So here we are. They are very much a racist family.

  7. Amy Bee says:

    In my opinion, recollections may vary has come back to bite the Royal Family in their ass. The statement was always problematic. This is Karma.

  8. Fawsia says:

    I am sorry I don’t believe Kate was consulted or had any saying how to respond to the interview! We saw when Meghan and Harry leaving that the wife was not part of the conversation! That family do not confer with the married in! As far as Meghan thinking her pain will be the center of the conversation it was, but they denied that she was suicidal!

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Fawsia, I could completely see Khate speaking to KFC about changing the Letters Patent so that H&M’s kids would not be HRH Prince/ss. That would be in her best interests according to KHate. I think she’s quite manipulative. I would not be surprised to hear that she’s chosen KFC’s side even to the detriment of Wont if it serves her interests.

      Meghan didn’t stick around for the Sandringham Summit. Harry was the one navigating that by himself and he was the one who decided they would leave altogether. It was his family and his responsibility.

      How can her pain be the center of the conversation while they denied she was suicidal?

  9. Nanea says:

    Sorry, but I don’t believe that mumbling Kate, the creator of such timeless classics as “can you test the smell by smelling it” and “are they (Fabergé eggs) still being made?” – when they want us to believe she’s majored in art history… 🙄 – is intellectually capable of coming up with a phrase like “recollections may vary” when she’s mostly infamous for being seen and not heard other than laughing in inappropriate situations…

    Yeah, but no.

    Nice try, though.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Nanea, “Prince William’s then communications secretary Christian Jones and private secretary Jean-Christophe Gray, who helped devise the caveat during multiple drafts of the statement”. No one said she created the phrase.

      “Valentine Low, reported that the then Duchess of Cambridge was the one to suggest that the statement needed something to reflect how the institution “did not accept a lot of what had been said . . . [She] clearly made the point, ‘History will judge this statement and unless this phrase or a phrase like it is included, everything that they have said will be taken as true.’” A source later told me, “She was really passionate about defending the family.”

      It sounds like she wanted the phrase (that she didn’t create) to stay in the statement.

  10. Becks1 says:

    they may have tried to side with the british public in their response but “recollections may vary” definitely damaged them in the eyes of the world. Way to tell a black woman that it wasn’t racism, she just wasn’t remembering correctly.
    And if all they care about is the UK, then fine, their strategy makes sense. But that’s not all they care about.

    • sevenblue says:

      Yes, definitely! If they just stopped talking and didn’t lie about everything that H&M said in that interview, maybe H&M didn’t see the need to get more info out there through the documentary and the book Spare. Harry decided to write the book after going over there for Phillip’s funeral and both his dad and brother acted like they didn’t know what he was talking about. I imagine if they released a heart-felt, understanding statement and briefings stopped , H&M would feel they finally got their closure in some way.

  11. tamsin says:

    What an implausible anecdote to add to a paperback edition. I read that Valentine Low is retiring. He recently had to correct his story about Meghan leaking her letter to Charles. He is considered a “legend” by his fellow Rotas. Just think what that means, considering the source.

    • sevenblue says:

      lol. Is he really retiring? I wonder if it is fully or just from newspaper journalism. The british media is in rough shape financially since Brexit & then, Sussexit. Maybe he will still write books and go on tv shows as commentator? There are a lot of old men past their retirement age still doing royal commentary. It would surprise me if he didn’t do the same.

  12. VilleRose says:

    Oh the infamous “recollections may vary” statement. Those three words have been lampooned to kingdom come and if Kate was the one to insist on including them, we are indebted to her service for such an amazing contribution. History will judge that statement alright, not in a kind way lol. You don’t get to tell a black woman what is racism and what isn’t.

  13. Krista says:

    I find it hard to believe anyone gives Kate this much say in anything.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Well, I can see her being part of the conversation over the crying story. I can also see a discussion about the concerns over skin color would have included her. I’ve always believed that QE2 was given a statement to sign.

  14. Jaded says:

    Three little words that capture the irresponsible, deceitful, racist and manipulative machinations of the BaRF — “Recollections may vary”. Well it appears to have come back to haunt them again and again. What they thought was a fair and balanced response to being outed as racists without coming out swinging has opened up a never-ending can of worms. No matter who thought it up, it was a stupid and tactless thing to say. Where’s the Diversity Czar? What’s been done in light of being shown as the white supremacists they are? Nothing but word pablum and continued briefing against the Sussexes.

  15. Eurydice says:

    I call BS. The problem was that H&M were too popular, so the RF launched a smear campaign to lower their popularity – this was well before and up to days before the Oprah interview. They fed all those vicious BM articles and they created those poll numbers. And then what? They “consulted” with public opinion to see if their campaign to affect public opinion was still working and that their press attack dogs were still attacking? BS, I say.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Eurydice, well, when you know what the poll will say–these you.gov polls are very selective who they poll–it’s not much of a risk to do this.

  16. Mary Pester says:

    Why do they continue with the gaslighting, don’t they realise that by now, an awful lot of people are buying masks!?? To many crooked dealings, to much covering up and sacrificing aides and secretary’s, people are starting to see through the crooked walls of the Palace. There was a small piece in the paper two weeks ago, saying how Andrew and fergie along with eugenie had to repay over one million quid that they had taken from a Turkish man. 750, 000 was given to Andrew to get a British passport, a large sum ” leant ” to fergie, and money supposedly as a helping hand towards Eugene’s wedding!, that’s on top of the bags of cash to Charlie, the SUITCASES of cash to Charlie and the millions to settle Andrews sex pest case, Sophies out rider killing that old lady (was it Sophie?) then we had the farce of the way they treated Harry at the funeral and the death of the Queen, on top of evicting him, getting rid of Angela Kelly and sacking hundreds of staff. Yes people are starting to see them for who and what they are.
    Immoral grave robbing grifters

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Mary Pester, I found this, “In a High Court case, Turkish millionaire Nebahat Evyap Isbilen claims that she entrusted her financial advisor Selman Turk with £67 million, including payments to Prince Andrew totaling more than £1 million, his ex-wife Sarah Ferguson for £225,000 and his daughter Princess Eugenie for £25,000, according to The Telegraph.” I think I remember Eugenie talking about money that was really for her mom or dad. I think when this first broke a year or two ago, she immediately put out a statement.

      But this, “Included in the money paid to Queen Elizabeth’s son was a payment of £750,000 made in November 2019, days after Turk won a prize at Prince Andrew’s Shark Tank-style Pitch@Palace competition for entrepreneurs, according to the complaint.

      Isbilen says she believed the payment was for the prince’s assistance with obtaining a new passport after she fled the country, where her husband is imprisoned. However, Turk and Prince Andrew’s office allegedly later told her bankers that the sum was a “wedding gift” for Princess Beatrice, who married Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi in July 2020.” Evidently, Andrew paid the money back?

      What in the world is wrong with him? Why would he risk his daughters this way?

  17. Over it says:

    Recollection do Indeed vary on whether or not kate is capable of coming up
    With something as deep as history will
    Judge us . I mean the girl is not called mumbles and incurious and a mute woman for nothing.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Over it, the article quoted above states that it was someone else who created the phrase.

  18. Beverley says:

    Personally I think that Triple K and the Left Behinds should lean into the accusations of racism. Embrace them. Flaunt them. After all, isn’t RACISM their brand? Isn’t that what so-called royalty is about? European royalty is about being the pinnacle of whiteness. White folks being better than everyone else and royalty being the whitest-whites-to-ever-white.

    Subjects, royalty and rota rats are all crying and throwing up over the allegations of racism. Why should they care? If the consensus on Salt Island is that racism doesn’t exist (in the absence of the n-word), then there should be widespread pride and adulation for their accused royalty.

  19. Lau says:

    “Something I’ve always wondered is whether William and the rest of the family knew the extent of Kate’s racist bitchery towards Meghan before the Oprah interview.” Uh yeah William and Kate seem like the sort of couple who only agree when they can bully somebody together. As for the rest of the family I don’t really understand this sentence (and if somebody can explain I’ll be very glad) because it makes it sound like Kate was the only one abusing Meghan but we know they all more or less took part in the bullying.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Lau, no, what I understand it to say is that Khate was a participating member of the racist hate group, however, that doesn’t mean that the other family members knew everything she did.

  20. BeanieBean says:

    This is actually quite interesting. The Windsors waited for the papers to tell them what to think & hence to say. Wild.