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Charles won’t make Archie a prince
Prince Charles will not allow Archie, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s son, to become a prince, according to the Mail on Sunday. This apparently so “incensed” Harry and Meghan that it helped push them into making harsh claims about their treatment at the hands of the royal family.
Even if Charles wants a “slimmed down monarchy,” his intention also shows the parlous state of royal relations—and bodes extremely ill for Harry’s return to the U.K. for the unveiling of Princess Diana’s statue on July 1.
“Charles has told the Sussexes that he will change key legal documents to ensure that Archie cannot get the title he would once have inherited by right, according to a source close to the couple,” the Mail on Sunday reported.
The Mail on Sunday says the couple were only told about Charles’ decision shortly before their bombshell Oprah Winfrey interview in March, which may account for the level of anger at Harry’s father in that interview. They had always expected Archie would become a prince when his grandfather ascended to the throne.
“Harry and Meghan were told Archie would never be a prince, even when Charles became king,” a source tells the Mail on Sunday.
In her interview with Oprah, Meghan said: “They were saying they didn’t want him to be a prince or a princess.”
Meghan was accused of ignorance by some critics who said that Archie would only ever have become a prince, according to established rules, when his grandfather became monarch.
Now, however, a source tells the Mail on Sunday: “This is what nobody realized from the interview. The real thing was that Charles was going to take active steps to strip Archie of his ultimate birthright.”
William moved to eject Harry and Meghan from royal life
When an “appalled” Prince William heard about the staff bullying allegations against Meghan Markle in 2018, he “threw Harry out,” according to a friend cited in a new report. It was William, furious at the reports of Meghan’s alleged mistreatment and bullying of palace staff—which she and Prince Harry emphatically deny as part of a “calculated smear campaign”—that made William separate the two royal households immediately.
Previously, it was thought Harry had taken the lead in doing so, but according to respected royal biographer Robert Lacey it was William that made the key move.
An extract from the imminent paperback publication of Lacey’s Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult carried in the U.K. Times makes clear William’s fury. Staff reportedly targeted by Meghan were left with PTSD, Lacey writes, adding that this was especially upsetting for William to hear as he and Kate treated their staff, following the example of the queen, with kindness. “They recognize that they don’t get paid loads of money, so they are just really nice to them.”
Kate, Lacey writes was “wary of her (Meghan) from the start.”
William wanted “Meghan and the need for her subversive ‘agenda’ to be removed from the operations of the British monarchy, which she did not appear to understand or respect,” Lacey writes. “William simply did not want her or Harry around any more.”
First, William called Harry. But Harry reportedly cut the call off. Then William confronted Harry face to face over the bullying allegations, which became public this year prior to Harry and Meghan’s Oprah Winfrey interview. The showdown was “fierce and bitter,” Lacey says. “Meghan was undermining some precious principles of the monarchy, if she really was treating her staff in this way, and William was upset that she seemed to be stealing his beloved brother away from him.”
“Meghan portrayed herself as the victim,” Lacey quotes one Kensington Palace staffer as saying, “but she was the bully. People felt run over by her. They didn’t know how to handle this woman. They thought she was a complete narcissist and sociopath—basically unhinged. Which was why the pair of them were drawn to each other in the first place—both damaged goods.”
Lacey writes that Harry was “equally furious that William should give credence to the accusations against Meghan, and he was fiercely combative in his wife’s defense. Some sources maintain that in the heat of the argument Harry actually accused someone in the family of concepts that were ‘racist.’ But it must be stressed that neither brother has ever confirmed that the hateful r-word was used face to face.”
In the Oprah interview, in allegations still not substantially answered by the palace, Meghan accused a royal family member of querying the color of then-unborn Archie’s skin, and claimed she received no support while feeling suicidal.
Buckingham Palace responded: “The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning. Whilst some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.” Since the Oprah interview, and the tumultuous fallout from it, the palace has not elaborated on this.
Bullying report delayed
Those bullying accusations are back in the spotlight in today’s U.K. Sunday Times, which reports that the findings of Buckingham Palace’s investigation into allegations that Meghan bullied staff in the royal household will not be published in the annual Sovereign Grant report, due out this week, as was originally planned. Instead, with the investigation still “ongoing,” publication is likely to be delayed to next year. Given the dire state of relations with Meghan and Harry after this week’s revelations, this may be seen as politic on the part of the palace.
Harry wants his own journalist to cover statue unveiling
The circumstances of the unveiling of Princess Diana’s statue on July 1 are become ever more intriguing. The Mail on Sunday reports that Prince Harry wants a journalist approved by the couple to attend the event. He and Meghan loathe the mainstream media of course, so Harry presumably wants this “journalist” to record events as he doesn’t think the public record will otherwise properly do so.
Quite where this appointed scribe will publish the record of events Prince Harry approves of is unclear—possibly the Archewell website. But the report, if true, underlines how rigorously the couple desire to control coverage of them.
Omid Scobie appears to question whether William or Charles is the royal racist
Omid Scobie, co-author of Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of a Modern Royal Family, did a Q+A with the Foreign Press Association this week to promote the new edition of his book.
In the course of the hour-long session, widely reported by U.K. media including The Sun, he claimed to have been told by “one source” the identity of the person who made racist enquiries about the skin color of any of Harry and Megan’s babies. He said he wouldn’t name the person but did then add: “At the time, the biggest conversation was, ‘Did this come from a senior member of the royal family, a future head of state?’ If that individual is a head of state, then we as a public have a right to know because of course that is someone that is our head of state, head of the Commonwealth. And if they have an issue with race, we should know.”
It seems a leading turn of phrase for Scobie to use, given that there are currently only two living adults who are future heads of the British state— Prince Charles and Prince William.
Meghan: ‘The Bench’ was inspired by watching Harry and Archie
In a new interview to be broadcast by NPR Sunday morning, Meghan says her children’s book, The Bench, was inspired by observing Harry interact with Archie.
“I often find, and especially in this past year, I think so many of us realized how much happens in the quiet,” she told NPR’s Samantha Balaban for Weekend Edition’s children’s book series Picture This. “It was definitely moments like that, watching them from out of the window and watching [my husband] just, you know, rock him to sleep or carry him or, you know ... those lived experiences, from my observation, are the things that I infused in this poem.”
Indeed, Meghan bought Harry a bench for his first Father’s Day. “As most of us do, you go, what am I going to get them as a gift? And I thought I just wanted something sentimental and a place for him to have as a bit of a home base with our son,” Meghan told NPR.
On a plaque on the bench, Meghan wrote: “This is your bench, Where life will begin/For you and our son/Our baby, our kin.”
The duchess intends the book to have a message of inclusivity. “Growing up, I remember so much how it felt to not see yourself represented,” says Meghan. “Any child or any family hopefully can open this book and see themselves in it, whether that means glasses or freckled or a different body shape or a different ethnicity or religion.”
Queen returns to Ascot
The queen missed the Royal Ascot race meeting last year due to the pandemic, and for a hot minute it looked like she might not make it this year either after she failed to show on Thursday or Friday. However, she made an appearance on the third and final day of the British horse racing gathering, wearing an aquamarine outfit with pink flowers, Hello! reports. Also present this week were horse lovers Princess Anne, Zara Tindall, Peter Phillips, on his first public outing since announcing the finalization of his divorce, and Sophie Wessex.
Queen salutes Philip on Father’s Day
Will Meghan and Harry be posting about Father’s Day on their Archewell website today? Quite possibly. In the meantime, here’s a totally relatable family snap of the royals, published on the queen’s official Twitter account today, of Prince Charles larking about on a statue of a deer in their garden.
William and Kate went a bit more tech fancy:
This week in royal history
On Tuesday, Prince William turns 39. It might be a strange birthday this year, with fraternal relations with Harry apparently so terrible, and the prospect of whatever the reality of that situation is combining with unveiling his mother’s commemorative statue on the horizon (July 1). Here’s to some complication-free cake on Tuesday.
Where to freaking start? Two royal courts at war, multiple versions of events, briefings and counter-briefings, and one major statue unveiling to do all together in less than two weeks’ time. The Sun reports that the brothers are only communicating via “minimal” texts, but have called a “truce” for the event and will walk to the statue together before delivering separate speeches. The Sun adds that Harry will not meet with dad Charles, who will be hunkering down in Scotland.