Britain’s royal family descended into an undignified war of tit-for-tat briefings reminiscent of the era of Princess Diana on Wednesday, as royal sources accused Harry and Meghan of “paranoia” and angrily refuted claims made by Team Sussex that Meghan and Harry were “singlehandedly responsible for modernizing the royal family.”
A source, said to be a “well-placed royal insider,” told the Daily Mail it was “just plain wrong” for Harry and Meghan to claim they had “single-handedly modernized the monarchy.”
The insider added: “Modernization is an ongoing process led by Her Majesty the queen. No one has ownership of it. It is not a competition.
“None of this is remotely helpful to the monarchy as an institution. It is promoting discord and taking attention away from the good work senior royals do across the board.”
The strikingly formal syntax suggested that the briefing was authorized at the highest levels of either Buckingham Palace or Kensington Palace, however nobody at either court was willing to confirm or deny the sentiments expressed to the Daily Beast.
Last night, Meghan received an ecstatic welcome at the official opening of the 2019 One Young World (OYW) summit at London’s Royal Albert Hall.
She was cheered to the rafters as she took to the stage, where she was introduced as “a global champion for the rights of women and girls, activist and philanthropist.”
In a careful modernizing touch, Meghan, with her hair down and wearing a stunning purple long-sleeved ‘Babaton Maxwell’ dress by Aritzia, physically stopped OYW co-founder Kate Robertson from curtseying, hugging her joyfully instead.
The reception by the youthful crowd appeared to bear out comments made by journalist Tom Bradby today, who said that the Sussexes were connecting with a younger demographic: “For the under 35s the reaction has been almost universally positive and the older you get the more mixed it gets,” he told ABC.
Just hours earlier a source close to Team Sussex had suggested to CNN that the newlyweds had “single-handedly modernized” the British royal family, and suggested they were not getting appropriate recognition or support for this task, and were surrounded by “inexperienced and fearful” staff.
This was widely perceived to be a retaliatory strike for comments William’s camp made, telling a journalist from the BBC that he was concerned for his “fragile” brother in the wake of the bombshell ITV documentary in which Harry and Meghan spoke at length about their unhappiness (which, if you are keen to see the whole thing, screens on ABC tonight, Wednesday, at 10pm EST).
Tom Bradby, who conducted the interview, admitted to Good Morning America that he and Harry had had “a couple of private heart to hearts” before the cameras started rolling. He “found a couple that seemed bruised and vulnerable.”
Today’s astonishing attack recalled for many observers the so called “War of the Waleses” in the 1990s when Diana and Charles used the press to launch a series of astonishing and deeply damaging attacks on each other.
The bitter campaign culminated in Diana’s Panorama interview in which she both accused Charles of adultery and confessed to her own.
In the comments made today to the Mail, the insider went on to say that Meghan and Harry have a mentality of “us against the world,” which they described as “a real shame.”
Meghan and Harry have appeared to be fully focused on trying to spin the documentary as a great triumph in recent days—although many have questioned the wisdom of speaking about their own unhappiness when visiting landmine victims and other underprivileged people in some of the poorest regions of the world—while also refuting the negative claims made about them.
The Sun for example reported that Harry was “stronger than ever” saying, “Harry is back at Frogmore Cottage and has never been stronger. This is an institution full of people panicked they may potentially look out of touch and ultimately to blame for a lack of support.”
The cover of the 310th anniversary edition of Tatler, the British society magazine, was also unveiled Wednesday, featuring a picture of Meghan on its cover.
The coverline of the December issue reads: “The Meghan Issue: Does she conquer or divide?” The society magazine has apparently conducted an “exclusive nationwide poll on the country’s opinions on Meghan,” and engaged leading writers like Lynn Barber and Lionel Shriver to hold forth too.