Robert Lacey has a new interview in the Times of London, the same outlet which published the Finding Freedom excerpts. Lacey’s Battle of Brothers: William and Harry – The Inside Story of a Family in Tumult was excerpted in the Daily Mail all of last week, to much chagrin. First, the royal reporters were so happy to publicize the book because they thought it would be an anti-Sussex screed. They stopped tweeting about it once they read a few days’ worth of excerpts and realized that Lacey was actually undercover-trashing Prince William. The excerpts about William and Kate’s courtship and the Middletons were practically buried by the Daily Mail. Curioser and curiouser! Anyway, this Lacey interview is FULL of some piping hot tea. Some highlights:
He’s getting hate mail from furious Prince William fans. “There is such anger that the book has dared to suggest Prince William is not perfect… Portraits of William are always so idealised because he is our future king. Charles III and Queen Camilla is not an appealing prospect, but there is William and his wonderful wife — and that’s what everybody has their hopes set on.”
Lacey now believes the rift is even more serious than reports have claimed. Lacey suggests, among other things, that William has a formidable temper and that — perhaps more wounding — he has gained his reputation for steadiness and sense of duty at the expense of his younger brother. Yet this was not the book he had been hoping to write. The heir and the spare he originally had in mind were Charles and Prince Andrew, but he dropped that plan after talking to his friend Peter Morgan, the writer of The Crown, who bluntly advised: “They aren’t the princes that matter any more.”
For years, William has emerged unscathed while Harry is smeared: “This [their Eton days] was the beginning of the relentless popular media stereotyping that would eventually drive Prince Harry out of Britain. The other face of that stereotype was, of course, the impeccable image of his perfect elder brother, golden boy Prince William.”
Sigh, Meghan as “Wallis Simpson”: It is Harry’s marriage — to a woman the author describes, with Wallis Simpson in mind, as “the second American divorcee to screw up the monarchy” — that has proved particularly divisive. “The palace expected Harry to marry a nice girl called Annabel or Henrietta and to go and live in the country. They didn’t expect this bombshell.”
Someone in the palace hated Meghan: Presented with the opinionated and outspoken Meghan Markle, the palace didn’t know what to do. “There was personal animosity in the palace towards Meghan — and the feeling is mutual,” says Lacey. “There was somebody in the palace — and I can’t name them — who hated Meghan. There is no love lost there.” This revelation was removed from the book on legal advice.
The courtiers were initially more concerned with Prince Andrew’s situation: Palace officials complained that talking to Meghan and Harry was like dealing with a hard-nosed Hollywood lawyer, although Lacey suggests the attention of courtiers might have been elsewhere: “One of the reasons things went wrong over Christmas and new year was that the palace was so preoccupied with the Andrew problem, they didn’t see the Harry problem coming.”
Whether William & Harry will reconcile: Lacey doesn’t expect any reconciliation: “I was optimistic, but I’ve become less so. It’s rather worrying that Buckingham Palace is taking William’s side against Harry. The problem with the royal family is that it doesn’t know how to do ‘woke’. Woke is not going to go away. It’s here to stay, and Meghan is the very embodiment of it.”
A few things… “The palace expected Harry to marry a nice girl called Annabel or Henrietta and to go and live in the country.” I’m sure that’s what many *expected* but game that out for a minute and see where it goes. Say Harry had married a Cressida or an Annabel, some beautiful blonde with aristocratic pedigree, someone who would have been “acceptable” to the Turnip Toffs and Buckingham Palace. Guess what? Something similar would have happened. Sure, it wouldn’t have been as racist and anti-American as it was with Meghan, but Will & Kate STILL would have done the most to make Harry’s Wife into persona non grata, they would have smeared and treated her horribly. It’s because no one is allowed to pull focus from this dull and lazy couple. It’s because Kate doesn’t play nice with other girls and William plays too nice with other women.
And this is the most obvious blind item ever: “There was personal animosity in the palace towards Meghan — and the feeling is mutual. There was somebody in the palace — and I can’t name them — who hated Meghan. There is no love lost there.” Does the person’s name start with “W” and end in “leaks”? But truly, it could be anybody in the palace. The Queen’s courtiers despised Meghan, as did Prince Andrew, as did Kate.
Photos courtesy of Backgrid.