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bitchy | Scobie: Of course Prince William & the palace leaked against the Sussexes

One of the funniest things to come out of the hysteria around Netflix’s Harry & Meghan is the British media’s insistence on doing business as usual. Meaning, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are clearly calling out the collusion between various royal courts and British media, so we get “royal sources” insisting that royal sources never brief against anyone. We also get royal sources insisting that the Windsor will not respond to the Sussexes, all while the Windsors’ snipers try to attack Harry and Meghan point by point. All of this is the focus of Omid Scobie’s latest Yahoo column – “The palace DID brief against Harry and Meghan – what’s the point in denying something so obvious?” You can read the full piece here. Some highlights:

Of course royal sources brief against the Sussexes: When I saw a British tabloid article quoting a “royal source” (that’s usually code for someone at the palace who doesn’t want to go on the record) insisting that it was “absolutely wrong” to suggest the Sussexes had been briefed against, I had to reread the sentence a second time just to be sure I wasn’t hallucinating. It was gaslighting to the extreme. Remember the 2018 tabloid stories moaning about Meghan’s 5am emails? The drama around her tiara? These reports, and many others, included anonymous quotes from palace sources and aides.

A palace culture of leaking & briefing: The reality is, people working at the Palace did brief against Harry and Meghan while they were working royals. Regularly. And it was hardly a secret, either. While writing the book Finding Freedom, a number of the staff I spoke to complained about the culture of leaking and negative briefings within the institution. Some felt it was out of jealousy of the couple’s unrivaled popularity at the time, others shrugged and said that’s just how it goes, and a couple believed that much of it came from a place of disliking Meghan.

Aides brief against other royals: Palace aides also brief against other royals. With three different households back then—Clarence House, Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace—all with their own teams, it wasn’t (and still isn’t) uncommon for an aide to look out for their boss by using information about another member of the family (from a different household, and usually less senior) as currency to curry favour with the outlets you never want to be on the wrong side of. This doesn’t really happen with TV media, but is common with print and online press.

The “William worried about Fragile Harry” story in 2019: On a 2021 primetime royal documentary, I suggested that it was no coincidence that stories of Prince William’s “fears” for Harry’s “fragile” state of mind had appeared in newspapers less than a day after the Duke of Sussex revealed the growing distance between the brothers during a TV special. The fact that a senior member of the then-Duke of Cambridge’s staff had used supposed concerns about Harry’s mental health as an opportunity for positive press about brother William was very much noticed by the Sussexes, I added. Kensington Palace quickly intervened. And producers behind the show were put under pressure to remove my words. Aides for Prince William warned that it was “potentially defamatory”.

KP will complain & explain often enough: The tug-of-war went as far as executive level at the network until an 11th hour agreement to mute the audio of my voice for several seconds in the airing of the documentary was made. Certain journalists were then briefed by Kensington Palace—who did not reach out to me beforehand—that I had “no evidence” to support my claim. “It provided a vivid example that Kensington Palace is certainly more prepared to wade in to influence media coverage when it chooses to,” says director of the William and Harry: What Went Wrong? documentary, Richard Sanders. “On the day of transmission, the Palace demanded that we remove [the] quote. People more important than myself acquiesced, although it seemed to me perfectly legally defensible.”

How Scobie learned of the “fragile Harry” briefing in 2019: For full transparency, these articles were not my confirmation on the origins of the original briefing. I was briefed by a senior aide at another royal household. The individual—who, at the time, felt strongly about a line being crossed by someone working for William—had sent me text messages about the briefings relating to William’s concerns for Harry’s mental health the night the newspaper stories went to print with the information. This is just one example of the games that have long gone on behind the scenes at the palace. And what so many there, including some of the family, get dragged into, no matter how much they resist.

[From Yahoo UK]

Yeah, I’m glad at least someone is saying it. Personally, I think the British media is rolling their eyes as they play along with the Windsors’ idiotic position that no one in any palace briefs against other royals. The media is going along with it because they know they have skin in the game too – in this particular instance, the Windsors and the British media are on the same side, with their interests perfectly aligned, because Harry is targeting them both. The Windsors know full well how badly they’ve mistreated Harry, and the British media knows full well that they went along with every unhinged briefing straight from Jason Knauf, a salty Pegasus and a backcombed wig.

Photos courtesy of Kensington Palace, Netflix and the Sunday Times.

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