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bitchy | The Sussexes cover People: They’re telling a story of ‘institutional failure’


It’s still funny to me that Prince William’s Boston Flop Tour didn’t get the cover of People Magazine last week. Kensington Palace did work with People though – they gave People Mag some behind-the-scenes photos from Earthshot, but William didn’t provide any quotes to the magazine, not even to highlight the Earthshot winners who weren’t invited to attend the awards ceremony in person. A total flop. Meanwhile, Netflix’s Harry & Meghan series has been dominating the media and conversations in America and the UK. The series is a huge hit for Netflix, proving that (as always) the Sussexes are an excellent investment. So much so that People Magazine put Harry and Meghan on this week’s cover. The cover story is fascinating too, because it’s pretty sympathetic to them, even with the quotes from commentators. Some highlights:

The series is about love: “These are two people who really love each other and who have respectively given up everything at different points to be together,” says a source close to them. “There’s a lot of beauty in that.”

The “allegations” about the palace planting stories: Such allegations, shared with a global audience by a senior member of the family, come as Harry’s relationship with his father, King Charles, 74, and brother Prince William, 40, remains strained. “It will take a long time before there is harmony between the brothers. There is a lot of anger there,” says a source close to the royal household.

How Charles, William & Kate have reacted: A palace source confides that William and his wife, Princess Kate, 40, are avoiding the series and having aides watch instead. As for Charles, the royal household source adds, “The door [to reconciliation] is always open where the King is concerned, and he would certainly rescue the situation if he could. He would love this to stop.”

Catherine Mayer’s take: The documentary places the couple “in the wider [conversation] around racism and the culture wars that they’ve become inextricably bound up with,” says royal biographer Catherine Mayer, author of Charles: The Heart of a King. “There are people in communities of color and young people who are going to take from this the message of institutional failure. And that is really powerful.”

Collateral damage: Given all that has transpired during the tumultuous past few years, “the collateral damage to the institution is not insignificant,” says another source close to the royal household, who also acknowledges, “It’s an organization that’s behind the times in terms of corporate responsibility and structure.”

Ingrid Seward’s take: Adds royal biographer Ingrid Seward, “There is always a way for reconciliation if both sides want it. As for Charles, who as head of the family and the institution is tasked with protecting both—a challenging duality that his mother, Queen Elizabeth, previously wrestled with—”the King can’t do anything more than play a waiting game,” says Seward, “and let it ride.”

[From People]

For what it’s worth, it does feel like Buckingham Palace – meaning King Charles – hasn’t gone on a briefing spree against Harry and Meghan in a few months. Charles was panicked about The Crown for a while and that seemed to take up a lot of his time. There was panic about Spare as well. But in recent weeks, there hasn’t been much of “the king thinks this or that about Harry.” Meanwhile, William literally spent hours briefing against Harry in the middle of the Waleses’ Boston trip. Willileaks by name, Willileaks by nature. I do wonder if we’ll continue to see this holding pattern in the next 48 hours, with the KP machinery locked and loaded against the Sussexes while BP tries to sit it out.

New clip!!

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Netflix, Cover Images. Cover courtesy of People.


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