Yes, this story comes from the Daily Mail. The “Eden Confidential” column in the Mail, to be more specific. I know everyone will yell about it, but I find this piece *fascinating* on several levels. Eden Confidential’s insiders say that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are “ditching” the Queen’s go-to law firm, Harbottle & Lewis, for what I assume are the Sussexes’ daily legal needs. The thing is, Meghan and Harry have been using different lawyers for different things. Currently, Meghan is represented by the Schillings law firm for her lawsuit against the Daily Mail. I don’t know which law firm Harry is using for his suit against the British tabloids (which is larger in scope and involves more than just Harry). But Eden Confidential makes it sound like Harry and Meghan were still using Harbottle & Lewis for regular old business and charitable stuff, except they aren’t anymore.
When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex quit official duties this year, the Royal Family gave them the opportunity to change their minds by announcing that the controversial new arrangements would be reviewed after 12 months. I can reveal that Prince Harry and Meghan have, however, dropped a huge hint that they will not be rejoining the Firm by ditching the Queen’s lawyers, Harbottle & Lewis.
It’s a surprising move as Harry has been represented by Harbottles since he was a teen. So close did he feel to the firm that he asked senior partner Gerrard Tyrrell to become a director of the couple’s charity, Sussex Royal.
This week, Harry and Meghan filed official documents confirming the split. ‘It would appear to demonstrate that they have no intention of coming back,’ a courtier tells me. ‘The choice of lawyers is of great importance to the Royal Household and Gerrard was a useful neutral link man between the Sussexes and the Palace.’
Harbottle & Lewis was representing the couple’s planned not-for-profit organisation, Archewell, but it has been replaced by a rival firm, Fieldfisher. A source close to Harry and Meghan tells me: ‘They wanted to instruct their own lawyers, not those also used by the Royal Family. They are on an independent path.’
Harry has previously turned to Tyrrell every time he has needed legal advice and encouraged girlfriends such as Chelsy Davy to use the firm. Tyrrell is famous for his work with the Royals. When he was presented with a legal prize in 2017, the judges gushed: ‘Gerard Tyrrell is a name breathed with certain awe . . . in acting for the Queen, and royal families, he has throughout his career built his own reputation while protecting and preserving the reputations of others.’
Tyrrell tells me: ‘As I am certain you will appreciate, we do not comment on such matters.’
The column made it sound like this was the clearest signal ever that Harry and Meghan will not return to the royal fold next year, when their “one year review” is up. But… that’s been clear for a while, they’re not coming back. That being said, Harry continues to learn from his late mother – Diana also wanted to get away not only from the royal family and their band of lackeys, but also the professional class of people surrounding them. She went outside the establishment to find her divorce lawyer (Anthony Julius), and it worked (generally) in her favor: she got the financial settlement she wanted and she got joint custody of her sons. My point is that Harry finally understands that he will really have to work outside of the system from here on out. He won’t have the same net of Queen-approved protection, nor does he want it.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN.