A Royal Mess: A Tale of Two Brothers, Part 7

This is Part 7 of a series of posts on Harry and Meghan. (tag: Royal Mess) Here’s Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 and Part 4 and Part 5 and Part 6.

When I wrote my last post on the royal family, right after the funeral of Prince Philip, I assumed it was my last. Royal family gossip is not my day job, and I figured the main family would retreat back to the country estates with their Barbour coats to putter around the grounds with their walking sticks and venture out periodically for scripted visits to various good causes. I figured that Harry and Meghan had no more bridges to blow up, so they would fade into their own Hollywood background, with occasional appearances with D-list stars like Selena Gomez.

Wrong-o! There’s more drama!

In the past few weeks, Oprah’s PR folks have been giving us a slow drip of information about “truth bombs” that Harry’s going to drop about the royal family. He also appeared on Dax Shepard’s podcast, where he rambled on about his sad, sad youth and his sad, sad wife.

What exactly did he say? There’s a lot, and it’s bit hard to sort out his word salads at times, but let’s do our best.

Harry said that his father was brought up coldly and without warmth, and that he passed that parenting style onto his kids. Harry said that he suffers from “genetic pain.” Harry said he never processed his mother’s death properly, so he drank a lot and smoked a lot of weed in his 20s.

According to Harry, when he first met Meghan, they got into an angry fight, and she told him that he should go into therapy. He did and now he sees the world more clearly. Like Plato’s cave dweller, he has shed the blindfold on reality that his family still wears.

When Meghan was pregnant, he said, she was so devastated by bullies on the Internet and the tabloid press that she wanted to commit suicide. He tried to get help from the royals, but to no avail. I’m not entirely clear why he was able to effortlessly get himself a therapist, while she was denied one. Couldn’t he have asked his therapist to hook up his wife with some talk-time? Not sure.

Harry called Prince Charles a bad father and a neglectful father-in-law on a podcast with a guy who has built an entire career around acting stupid. That’s not terribly nice. Now, how did the royal family respond to these accusations?

Well, Prince Charles probably drank quite of lot of his homemade gin and kept going to events with his puffy hands in his jacket pockets, stretching out his $1,000 suits until they looked like bathrobes. He’s clearly sad about the whole thing. The rest of the family is going full passive aggressive.

Side note: Will someone please hire an interior decorator for Prince Charles? It’s clear from all these zoom calls that his house was last decorated in 1964 or something. Even his lamp shades depress me.

Back in 2018, on the morning of the wedding of Eugenie, one Andrew’s kids, Meghan and Harry announced her pregnancy with Archie. Everyone was a little pissed about the timing of their announcement, especially Fergie. Last week, on Harry and Meghan’s third anniversary, which was completely ignored by the social media of the royal family, Eugenie’s sister, Beatrice broke the news that she was pregnant. Coincidence? I think not.

According to the royal family, the Queen is devastated, but not by Prince Harry’s “truth bombs” — whatevs — but by the fact that her puppy died. The rest of the family is going to deal with Harry in their own way. The word is that the only way back for Harry is without Meghan.

Then we have the news that Martin Bashir gained the trust of Princess Di, which led to an infamous interview in 1995, through trickery. He showed her forged bank statements, which lead her to believe that the royal family was spying on her. Diana thought that William, who was 13 at the time, had a recording device in his watch. She ripped up the rugs and the floors of her apartment looking for bugs. The poor woman was batshit crazy, because of the manipulations of a terrible man.

William immediately came out a with a statement, which the palace was careful to say was very much his own words. He said that his mother was paranoid and isolated. In other words, Diana was not perfect. Then he criticized a particular journalist — Bashir — and a particular media source — BCC — for covering up his actions. His anger wasn’t aimed at all journalists or newspapers. His anger was targeted in one particular place.

This press conference was a huge win for William. He came off as confident and smart. I think he just locked down the monarchy for another few decades with this one appearance.

Harry’s written statement was much different. He refers to Diana as brave, resilient, and perfect. She was the victim of devious practices that were widely employed then and now. The entire free press is evil and preys on celebrities. He wrote, “yet what deeply concerns me is that practices like these – and even worse – are still widespread today. Then, and now, it’s bigger than one outlet, one network, or one publication.”

This news reinforces his previous statements about the media. In his podcast with the professional dumb guy, he said that life in the royal family was like being on the Truman show or in a zoo, and that the First Amendment is bonkers.

In a weird way, Harry’s hatred of the press is very much in line with American Republicans, who actually hate him. Both Harry and Republicans are very suspicious of prominent media companies. The New York Times, CNN, and now the BCC are all “fake news.”

Harry keeps making parallels between his mother and his wife. (Not weird at all.) He has a picture of his dead mother in his kid’s nursery and must show the kid the picture so often that one of the kid’s first phrases was “Grandmother Diana.” Makes you wonder if there’s a picture of Charles anywhere.

At the same time, William is surely drawing parallels between Bashir’s manipulation of Diana, which led to isolation and paranoia, and Oprah’s manipulation of Harry, which has lead to isolation and paranoia.

How’s this all going to end? I fear badly for Harry. What will happen to him after Oprah and People Magazine (and Meghan) tire of him? There’s only so many times that he can repeat himself without people getting bored. He can’t go home again, at least not with the wifey. Maybe he can start his own gin making business. Best wishes, Harry!

UPDATE: Is Meghan playing the long game? The flood gates have opened for the Princess Di stories.