After the funeral of Prince Philip in March, there were acres of speculation about whether Harry had a long and healing chat after the ceremony with his father and brother.
Now, it appears that there were no such deep and meaningful conversations, despite a deliberate effort to put on a good show for the media by the brothers. William and Harry talked together as they walked past the BBC’s fixed point camera, which was providing pooled coverage of the event. The moment was hailed at the time as a symbol of reconciliation after a fraught few weeks defined by the Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey.
However, in the third and final installment of a serialization of historian Robert Lacey’s updated edition of his book, Battle of Brothers, in U.K. paper The Times, Lacey writes that William and Charles kept silent because they were worried that any conversations would be leaked to the media by the Sussexes.
Lacey writes, “They told friends that they could see no point in talking to Harry, since any discussion of substance would go straight back to Meghan to be leaked out via Oprah or some other tentacle of the Sussex network that had not stopped spreading stories in the weeks since the interview that the couple’s friends had promised would be their final word.”
Lacey says that William and Kate, “went back to Kensington Palace together to put the children to bed.”
The revelation does not bode well for reconciliation talks when Harry returns to the U.K. to unveil a statue with William in memory of his mother. It was reported Tuesday in The Sun that Harry could return to the U.K. as soon as this week, but his office has not specified his plans.
Lacey says the family was put on their guard by one incident in particular in which private conversations were leaked to the media, even after the Oprah interview which had been assumed by the royals to be the Sussexes final public word.
The Windsors were aghast at comments by Meghan’s friend Gayle King, who said on live TV that conversations that had taken place in the wake of the bombshell interview were “not productive.” After seeing private conversations leaked once, it seems the Windsors were determined not to make the same mistake twice.
Lacey also explores a controversial moment in one of Meghan’s earliest royal tours when the Duchess, who was pregnant at the time, was hustled from an indoor market in Fiji in 2018.
Meghan had been due to spend 20 minutes at the market but left after just 8 minutes. The alleged controversy surrounding the incident has been previously reported on: A Daily Mail reporter who was covering the tour has previously claimed they saw Meghan “hiss at a member of her entourage, clearly incandescent with rage about something, and demand to leave.”
The experienced royal reporter Rebecca English, who detailed the incident after bullying allegations were leveled at Meghan earlier this year, added, “I later saw that same—female—highly distressed member of staff sitting in an official car, with tears running down her face. Our eyes met and she lowered hers, humiliation etched on her features. At the time I was unable to document anything as I couldn’t conclusively link the two incidents together, despite my suspicions. I have subsequently found out from other sources that my instincts were right.”
The Times reports that Lacey says Meghan left the engagement not because she was uncomfortable due to the heat and humidity, as her spokespeople have always claimed, but “because she resented the fact that UN Women, which was hosting the event, had not made her a goodwill ambassador when she worked with them in 2015 but only an ‘advocate.’”
Lacey quotes a screenwriter who was in Meghan’s circle at the time of her first marriage as saying, “Meghan does not cope well with what she perceives as ‘rejection.’”
The Daily Beast reported this week on claims that the publication of an investigation into claims that Meghan bullied her staff has been delayed, and today, a source described as being close to the inquiry told the Mirror, “The feeling is this is heading for a brutal showdown between the Duchess of Sussex who is understood to be disputing all allegations labeled against her.
“The Palace is taking each and every allegation very seriously and wants to get to the truth of the matter and ensure those speaking up deserve to be heard.
“But Meghan is adamant the staff were not up to their job and could not deal with the pressure of working for her and understanding how she wanted things to run.”
Separately, a spokesperson for the couple has confirmed to The Daily Beast that Harry and Meghan purchased the domain name lilibetdiana.com, ahead of any conversation with the queen about their baby’s name, saying, “As is often customary with public figures, a significant number of domains of any potential names that were considered were purchased by their team to protect against the exploitation of the name once it was later chosen and publicly shared.”