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The Harry and Meghan book is a huge misstep…you actually think worse of them for it

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VICTIMHOOD now seeps through celebrity culture.

Hard-working folk are regularly expected to feel sympathy for multi-millionaires moaning from Hollywood mansions about all manner of minor injustices far removed from the real problems most of us have to face day to day.

AFP – Getty

The Harry and Meghan book is a huge misstep which makes you think worse of them[/caption]

There is no more pertinent example than the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, who just so happen to be two of the most privileged human beings alive — global superstars, actual royalty and so rich they never have to “work” again — asking for the world’s sympathy in the midst of an unprecedented global pandemic.

No couple in the modern history of the Royal Family has managed to overturn such overwhelming goodwill from all quarters so quickly by choosing to present themselves as victims.

The central thesis of the ridiculously titled hagiography Finding Freedom, by their favourite journalist, with whom they regularly communicate, is that the monarchy was somehow unwilling to embrace the popularity of Prince Harry and his unconventional new Duchess, Meghan Markle.

That claim is dubious and is strongly disputed by courtiers throughout the institution.

For all his faults, Prince Charles, the heir to the throne, came to quickly regard Harry and Meghan as a much-needed asset.

They were also a tool to keep the rambunctious house of William and Kate in line.

One of the great ironies of Megxit is that it has finally helped to heal some of the enduring wounds in the relationship between Charles and Wills, which sources close to them both concede was frosty.


The couple also had the full and unwavering support of the Queen, who adores Harry and accepted Meghan, despite expressing concern about aspects of her behaviour in the run-up to the wedding, especially in regards to what is now known as “tiaragate”.

There is no denying that the very obvious tensions between Harry and William were critical to what went wrong.

Strains between the previously tight dukes were evident from the moment Meghan became the driving force behind Harry’s decision-making, encouraging him to stop working with the royal reporting rota and instead embrace the use of social media.

But ultimately the breakdown was personal. From the start, Kate was horrified at the way Meghan spoke to staff members at Kensington Palace and it was clear they would never click in the way Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson had once done.

The now infamous tiara row, which I first revealed in November 2018, was the culmination of many fallouts before the wedding.

Afterwards, William and the Queen’s dresser and closest confidante, Angela Kelly, were united in their decision not to loan Meghan items from the Royal Collection, which included tiaras worn by Diana.

As I began to report these stories, it is true to say Harry and Meghan became suspicious of their own staff, incorrectly believing they had been somehow hijacked by dark forces, the so-called “men in grey suits”, at Buckingham Palace.

That categorisation is too simplistic.

AFP – Getty

The couple had the full and unwavering support of the Queen[/caption]

Meghan was not loaned items from the Royal Collection including tiaras worn by Diana

Meghan and Harry are currently in lockdown in this Beverly Hills mansion[/caption]

Who are these men? They may have existed in 1982, but the senior figures in key roles behind the scenes within the Royal Family tend to be thoroughly modern members of the metropolitan elite these days.

While it is correct to say they encouraged the couple to follow more conventional processes in terms of their dealings with other royal households and the Press, the real-life Sussex Squad was doggedly committed to the couple’s principles and goals.

For example, their communications chief Sara Latham — blamed by Meghan for any negative stories in British newspapers — was a highly successful opera- tor who had worked for Hillary Clinton.

She was prepared to pack up her life in London and move to Africa with the couple perman- ently to help achieve their humanitarian goals.

Much official time and energy was put into the South African relocation plan (they could spend up to half a year based out of the Commonwealth country) only for the couple to eventually brand it too difficult.

Instead, Harry and Meghan foolishly began to rely almost entirely on advice provided by a small team of fiercely loyal Hollywood advisers.


I managed to unpick details of this secret cabal throughout the latter half of last year, but they had been causing major headaches for Buckingham Palace long before that.

The group — attorney Rick Genow, business manager Andrew Meyer and talent agent Nick Collins — are typical Hollywood “Yes” people.

Just as important were her PR advisers from the controversial crisis management firm Sunshine Sachs, specifically Shawn Sachs and Keleigh Thomas Morgan.

They had all become close with Meghan while she was a moderate star on the cable TV legal drama Suits, an era when she was so desperate for coverage in magazines she would even set up shots with paparazzi photog- raphers.

She kept the Hollywood crew largely on the sidelines during the early days of her courtship with Harry. But as tensions with royal courtiers increased, so too did Meghan’s contact with them.

It was this team who bunkered down with Meghan over Christmas and New Year in Canada, secretly drafting the content for the Sussex Royal website that, when published, read more like a Hollywood press release than a statement of intent by two senior members of the British Royal Family.

Getty – Pool

Prince Charles came to quickly regard Harry and Meghan as an asset[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

Meghan and Kate never clicked in the way Princess Diana and Sarah Ferguson had once done[/caption]

AP:Associated Press

The couples appeared distant at Harry and Meghan’s final royal appearance[/caption]

Much has been written about how I broke the story of Megxit, with the finger incorrectly being pointed at both Clarence House and Kensington Palace.

The couple like to promote the idea that they were somehow ambushed into revealing their plans after we published the world exclusive on January 8.

However, they neglect to mention I had originally put the story to their office ten days earlier and had discussed every aspect of what we eventually published with their officials.

It is not a coincidence my first story of the move included details of the Sussexes’ unhappiness about the release of photographs over Christmas featuring the Queen, Charles, William and George.

The biography goes further by pointing to the absence of a picture of Harry, Meghan and Archie on the Queen’s table during her annual Christmas Day message.

It is inconceivable to me that this wasn’t a purposeful slight by the institution, trying to make a point to Harry and Meghan: “Come back and join the party during events like Christmas or we’ll pretend you don’t exist.”It backfired spectacularly.

So can such a toxic relationship be healed?

There is a growing acknowledgement from both sides that so long as Harry and Meghan’s romantic relationship remains strong, that is highly unlikely.


But this book is a spectacular own goal by a couple who like to insist they are opposed to bitchy off-the-record briefings and royal revelations using source quotes slagging off other members of The Firm.

Because fundamentally, that’s all Finding Freedom is.

Unlike Andrew Morton’s game-changing Diana: Her True Story, there is no revelation that makes you think differently about what went on.

A couple desperate to blame others for their unwise decisions have allowed a fanboy “journalist” to confirm a whole load of newspaper exclusives, which they incidentally denied at the time, but spun with their own, often false, narrative.

Harry and Meghan are not victims of the media, the establishment or the British public.

I will never forget that beautiful spring day in May 2018 when the entire country celebrated a royal wedding with the type of hope and joy not seen since July 1981, when Charles and Diana tied the knot.

It was one of those rare moments, like the London 2012 Olympics, when we celebrated as one.

This couple had the world at their feet — superstardom and influence any film actor or pop star would dream of, but without the cumbersome pressure of the throne hanging over them, like the Cambridges.

They had a very real chance to help reinvent and modernise the monarchy from within.

What a tragedy they have chosen to focus their energies on settling scores in tawdry tell-alls and unnecessary courtroom battles.

The Mega Agency

Finding Freedom: Harry and Meghan and the Making of A Modern Family is out in August[/caption]

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