Before Dan Wootton heard about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s quiet visit to the Queen on Thursday, he barfed out an unhinged column, asking why the Sussexes weren’t “attacking” Prince Andrew. The main thesis is that Wootton believes that Harry will “slam” Prince Charles, Prince William and the Duchess of Cornwall in his memoir, so why is Harry sparing Andrew? Here’s the thing, and I can see this so, so clearly: when Harry’s book comes out later this year, it will be a classy memoir mostly about mental health and his time in the British Army and maybe falling for Meghan too. And once his memoir comes out, every royal reporter will say “well, of course he didn’t really attack Charles and Camilla, because he still wants to stay on their good side, we knew he would do that!” Like they haven’t been ripping out their hair for the past year over what they believe is some kind of burn book. Anyway, some highlights from Wootton:
‘Harry’s bloody book!’: Despite a plethora of problems and crises, behind-the-scenes at the royal households, the royal autobiography to end all royal autobiographies has become a persistent talking point. There is now a widespread acceptance that Prince Charles, Camilla and Prince William are likely to be left battered and bruised in a literary sense in Harry’s forthcoming burn-all-bridges-to-seek-revenge tell-all…. But courtiers are equally obsessed with another question: Why are Harry and Meghan unlikely to come for the royal outcast Prince Andrew?
Harry is suspiciously close to Beatrice Eugenie! But there is a growing sense that Harry has decided to spare the Yorks the same sort of scathing treatment being prepared for his father and brother and their wives, at least in part due to his close relationship with cousins Princess Beatrice and Eugenie. Courtiers point to the fact Oprah – close friends with the couple – seemingly never asked about the Andrew/Epstein scandal in the highly controlled CBS interview.
The Yorks didn’t appreciate the Oprah interview: Despite the absence of any direct criticism of Andrew or Fergie – who Harry and Meghan are known to view fondly – the relationship was tested in the wake of the Oprah interview. At a society event in London last year a few weeks after the broadcast, close friends of Beatrice and Eugenie told me they were stunned by their vocal criticism of the Sussexes for dragging their family’s reputation through the mud. If the two sisters had turned on their beloved cousin Harry, it showed just how much the Royal Family had given up on the Sussexes. But something changed over the past few months.
The York-Sussex thaw: The feeling among courtiers is that the York’s – especially Beatrice and Eugenie – will be able to act as a bridge between the Sussexes and the Cambridges in the future. But there is also simmering astonishment that self-proclaimed social warriors Harry and Meghan will avoid criticism of Andrew’s friendship with known paedophile Epstein, while attacking other relatives.
A royal insider speaks: ‘A royal insider tells me: ‘The fear factor around this book is off the scale. Of course, the households publicly say they are not interested and have no plans to comment on any royal book because so many are published; but there’s never been a situation quite like this. Even when the Princess of Wales cooperated with Andrew Morton, she had the veneer of deniability. These are Harry’s own words. They might want to remain above the fray, but that could become impossible depending what bombshells are unleashed. Clarence House and Kensington Palace now accept their principles will be in the firing line. There is an expectation that the Queen and Prince Philip will be lovingly praised.’
The royal insider continues: ‘But there is also an increasing confidence that Prince Andrew and his former wife will be left alone. Harry and Meghan are thought to be very conscious of the impact the Epstein scandal has had on Beatrice and Eugenie. They won’t want to add to the pile on. Meghan is also very fond of Sarah, the Duchess of York, who she feels has had a not too dissimilar journey. They’re not expected to bear the brunt of Harry’s anger and frustration with the royal establishment.’
[From The Daily Mail]
As I said, when Harry’s book comes out and he barely mentions Camilla, all of these same reporters and columnists will say that they knew all along that Harry would pull his punches, for this and that reason. The truth is that Harry has never given any indication that he was going to “slam” anyone. These are guilty consciences screaming into the void, remembering all the times they belittled Harry, smeared him and attacked his wife. As for the Andrew thing… I was honestly surprised that Oprah didn’t ask about Andrew during the interview too. Oprah claimed that she wasn’t given any guidance and no topic was off-limits, so I guess she simply wanted to focus more on Harry and Meghan’s story. As for Harry and Meghan’s closeness to the York princesses… Wootton is targeting the Yorks, that much is clear. I hope Eugenie and Jack GTFO and soon.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar, CBS.