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bitchy | The Windsors think the Sussexes ‘need’ to constantly remind people they’re royal


Roya Nikkah at the Sunday Times did a lengthy piece about the return of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the “royal reaction” to everything that has been happening in recent weeks. I’m left with the distinct impression that the Windsors are obsessed with everything Meghan and Harry do, everything they say and everything they’re involved with. Instead of simply shrugging off Harry and Meghan’s charitable visit and flatly ignoring the “wayward couple,” the Windsors can’t help but telegraph their own creepy, intense interest with all things Sussex. The Windsors have to complain and explain why Harry and Meghan are bad, why they’re hurting the poor Queen, why Charles is beside himself, how William is (as always) full of rage. At some point, you’d think the Windsors would instruct their communications people to strike an ambivalent tone regarding the Sussexes. But they can’t – the Windsors know that the Sussexes sell papers, and the British media is constantly demanding their pound of flesh, so here we are.

The Sussexes are breaking the terms of the Sandringham Summit! A royal source says: “It is hard to see how what they’re doing would equate to the values of the Queen, who has never encouraged people to discuss deeply personal family relationships in public.” The monarch soldiers on, but as a source who knows her well says: “She doesn’t want to be on tenterhooks all the time, waiting to see what the next nuclear bomb will be — that will take its toll.”

Charles finds this all dreadfully painful: Charles’s friends say the jibes continue to be “painful” for him, particularly after spending time with Harry, Meghan and his grandchildren, Archie and Lilibet, during the Platinum Jubilee in June, which Charles saw as a “minor act of reparation”, according to one friend, after the Sussexes’ explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey last year. The friend says: “For two years, there has been a steady stream of really challenging things said about a man who cannot [publicly] defend himself by a couple he obviously loves and misses. That is incredibly difficult on a personal level. He is completely bewildered by why his son, whom he loves deeply, feels this is the way to go about managing family relationships.”

The Windsors genuinely thought Harry & Meghan would never speak: A royal source, who was involved in the negotiations around the couple’s departure, says the current direction of travel is frustrating: “Everyone hoped they would go off to be financially independent, pursue their philanthropic endeavours and be happy — and that in going their own way, they might no longer feel the need to rail against the system as much as they still do. But then the star power of them requires an association with the royal family, and the fuel on those flames is the family discord.”

No removal of titles: There is no appetite from the Queen to remove the titles conferred on the couple when they married. She has already forbidden them from using their HRH styling and the word “royal” in commercial ventures. As a well-placed source says of the family’s thinking: “You can never un-royal a royal. You can take the HRH away, you could take the ‘duke’ away, but Harry is still the son of the future king.”

The palace strategy: The Palace’s strategy is not to comment on every outburst, but to hammer home the distinction between official working members of the royal family, who represent the Queen, and the Sussexes as “private citizens”. In turn, the Sussexes continue to remind the world of their royal status. In her recent interview, Meghan mused on being a royal role model: “It’s important to be thoughtful about it because even with the Oprah interview, I was conscious of the fact that there are little girls that I meet and they’re just like, ‘Oh my God, it’s a real-life princess.” As a source who knows the Sussexes says, they “need to remind everyone they’re royal” because it carries a “higher status”.

The Sussexes are ruining the Windsor Brand! The plummeting of royal stock down under will ring alarm bells for the monarchy. There are fears the Sussexes’ antics will fuel the growing republican movement in Australia, which is expected to reappraise its status as a realm when Charles becomes King.

Meghan’s humble-brag comparison to Nelson Mandela: Meghan’s comments sent eyebrows skywards in royal circles. “The whole thing is just staggering,” said a royal source. “Nelson Mandela? Who’s next, Gandhi? There are simply no words for the delusion and tragedy of it all.”

William is not incandescent these days: The Duke of Cambridge is now acclimatised to the Sussexes’ gripes, which no longer raise his hackles as much as they once did. “He’s not really spending much time thinking about it,” says a source close to Prince William, though friends concede he does not relish the prospect of Harry’s book. The Cambridges are now happily ensconced in Adelaide Cottage, their new Windsor home.

The courtiers don’t understand the Sussexes’ strategy: Courtiers are bemused by the Sussexes’ determination to rage against the past. As Davis observed of Meghan in her article: “She has taken a hardship and turned it into content.” A source who knows the Sussexes questions why Meghan “is constantly looking back at how awful it was to briefly be a royal. What does success look like, is it a number in the bank? Is it that they’ve killed off the monarchy?” Another Palace source says: “Ultimately they are bashing the institution that has put them in the position they’re in, the longevity of that strategy is not sustainable.”

[From The Times]

“The Palace’s strategy is not to comment on every outburst” – imagine the courtiers briefing Nikkah with that and keeping a straight face. Whenever Harry and Meghan do ANYTHING, the courtiers from every royal court run straight to the media to whine and cry. As much as the Windsors criticize and obsess over all things Sussex, surely they have to admit that Harry and Meghan have actually been quite conservative in what they’ve said so far. There was even a palpable sense of relief post-Oprah interview that Harry & Meghan didn’t get into the nitty-gritty of who said what and who was responsible for the torrent of racist abuse.

Nevermind the fact that – AGAIN – if the Windsors felt so strongly about keeping the Sussexes silenced and compliant, all the Queen would have had to do is accept the Sussexes’ offer of being half-in. It would have been that simple.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, WENN.


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