Before Dan Wootton was screeching in weekly Daily Mail columns, he worked for the Sun, where he got a series of not-so-mysterious leaks from Kensington Palace. Wootton has connections to KP staffers, and Wootton was the one who first reported on the Sussexit in January 2020, among other stories he broke around that time about Meghan and Harry. It’s a joke for Wootton to now claim that Prince Harry is lying about how he and his wife were briefed against, considering Wootton used to be one of the KP’s favorite leak-recipients, and currently Wootton is still receiving a number of briefings and leaks. Interestingly enough, Wootton now seems to claim that he has an inside source in Buckingham Palace, and the source – possibly a high-level person on King Charles’s communications staff? – claims that there are disagreements within BP about how Charles should handle Netflix’s Harry & Meghan docuseries. Some highlights:
Charles doesn’t realize the Sussex threat: How long is it going to take for King Charles III to realise the clear and present threat he and the British monarchy itself are facing from Harry and Meghan? That’s the question ricocheting around the corridors of Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace as staff, still reeling from the loss of Queen Elizabeth II, try to get to grips with an unprecedented friendly fire attack by the monarch’s own son from his Montecito mansion.
Courtiers in chaos: I can reveal a growing gulf between some courtiers, who acknowledge the need to protect the British Royal Family from one of its own out for destruction, and the king himself, who maintains that, while he is deeply saddened by the intrafamily rift, he will not allow counter punches to be thrown against his own flesh and blood. Indeed, the King, somewhat naively, is said to still hope and believe a rapprochement with his son and daughter-in-law is possible before the coronation on Saturday, May 6. While such a position is sweet, I believe it underestimates where Harry and Meghan are at themselves.
The funeral red carpet: The red carpet was rolled out by Charles and the wider family in the wake of the late Queen’s death, only for the couple to press ahead with the Netflix hit piece and the release of Harry’s autobiography Spare, expected to be even more incendiary, early next year. The Sussexes have declared war and know there is no going back, no matter how hard Charles tries to open the pathway for communication.
Royal sources speaking to Wootton: A royal source told me: ‘The message from the king via his senior team continues to be that he is sad rather than angry and hopes that, in time, the issues can be resolved within the family. But that underestimates the mission Harry and Meghan are embarking on, which is about tearing down the institution of the monarchy. Many courtiers believe the king needs to allow the Palace to take a more aggressive response over the next month, with both part two of the Netflix series and the release of Spare, or the damage done, especially internationally, could be hard to counteract…. The time has come for a step-by-step analysis of why what virtually everything Harry and Meghan are saying completely misrepresents the help and support they were given from day one by the institution, but also the right they were given to make their own decisions.’
The Sussexes shouldn’t blame the courtiers: They also need to stop hiding behind unleashing their fury at the institution or so-called ‘men in grey suits’ who work for the most senior royals. Those senior courtiers are still answerable entirely to their principal members of the Royal Family, meaning all the major decisions had to have the sign off of either the Queen herself, Charles or William. My source added: ‘The idea that these courtiers were making decisions without the sign off from members of the Royal Family is for the birds.’
Wootton says the Sussexes’ claims are nonsense: When it comes to the media coverage, I was personally involved in the biggest stories of Harry and Meghan’s time in the Royal Family, from Tiaragate to Megxit. I will wait for Thursday’s episode before speaking out in full, but I can be clear that it’s nonsense to suggest the Royal Family was planting negative stories against the Sussexes. In fact, for many months they did their utmost – and largely succeeded – to keep a host of negative but true stories out of the newspapers, usually at the behest of Harry and Meghan.
It’s fascinating to watch Wootton apply pressure to the literal king to try to convince Charles to cut ties with the Sussexes. I would imagine that Wootton is, as always, working as an unofficial mouthpiece for Prince William, meaning there is a chasm between “how Charles wants to handle the Sussexes” versus “how William wants to handle the Sussexes.” In March 2021, KP went off on its own and launched the unhinged smear about Meghan’s bullying, and KP basically forced Buckingham Palace and QEII to go along with the clownery. I strongly suspect that William thinks he can do that again – go off and launch another massive, obvious, clownish campaign against Harry and Meghan, and William thinks he can force Charles to cosign it. I suspect William is right – he will get backing from Charles, because Charles is left with his village-idiot son who can’t problem-solve his way out of a paper bag.
Again – it will be ridiculous to watch Wootton lie about how the royals never “planted negative stories” with him. He was the one receiving all of those briefings. Incidentally, he was also the one who broke some of the “rural rival” Rose Hanbury story.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar.