Saturday, 28 Nov 2020

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry ‘lost touch’ with British public – Diana’s ex-aide hits out

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Patrick Jephson, Princess Diana’s long-standing private secretary, has given a detailed account of the late royal’s final years away from The Firm. The former aide suggested Meghan Markle and Prince Harry are starting to follow in the footsteps of Diana, with their private ventures and desire to remain relevant outside of the Royal Family.

Mr Jephson warned the Sussexes were already starting to lose touch with the public and suggested they could be about to cross a line.

He wrote in the Daily Mail: “Once outside the royal fold, Diana would increasingly rely on billionaires for jets and bodyguards, for photo opportunities and speech platforms.

“People whose agendas and publicity instincts began and ended with their own interests.

“The temptation for some of today’s Royal Family is to live like Diana after Panorama: no longer anchored to the humdrum concerns of British subjects, preferring the ego rush of the world stage and the shallow flattery of the international rich and famous.

“As perhaps her younger son Harry has discovered, you can escape the Palace but finding relevance and respect as just another celebrity is much, much harder.

“So much easier to take the shortcut: keep lawyers and PR wizards on retainer and preach platitudes to the unenlightened masses.

“Pretty soon, you have crossed the line from setting a good example — all a member of the Royal Family really has to do — to setting yourself up as an expert in public policy without the trouble of winning an election.

“It’s surely not what conscientious princes (and dukes and duchesses) intend, but it’s the risk they run when they lose touch with real people’s everyday concerns; when their personal enthusiasms take priority over the much less glamorous traditional royal work of healing and encouraging that needs to be done every day.”

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Mr Jephson’s comments appear to be a warning to Meghan and Harry not to forgot the concerns of the British public.

His remarks also subtly urge the couple not to delve too deep into the celebrity world and remember their roots in their Royal Family.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex stood down as senior royals earlier this year and have since moved to Santa Barbara, California.

Since leaving the royal fold, the couple has participated in a number of virtual events where they have commented on issues such as mental health, the media and the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Meghan and Harry have been heavily criticised for a number of their recent appearances and most recently they were accused of carrying out a “publicity stunt” after sharing pictures of their private visit to a cemetery on Remembrance Sunday.

To mark Armistice Day, the couple paid their respects to fallen soldiers at the Los Angeles National Cemetery.

But the Sussexes were accused of “attention-seeking” for sharing photos after the event.

GMB host Piers Morgan responded to the images on Twitter and wrote: “My God, they’ve even turned Remembrance Sunday into another self-publicity stunt. Have they no shame?”

Responding to another post on social media, he added: “If they wanted to be’ ‘left alone’, they wouldn’t do PR stunts every day to get media attention.”

Political commentator Darren Grimes tweeted: “There’s something really quite tasteless about Prince Harry and Meghan at a cemetery in California, with a photographer that just happened to be there, to make sure they can get in on the action too.”

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were also heavily criticised for urging Americans to vote in the US Presidential election.

The couple were accused of breaching royal protocol by venturing into the realm of politics.

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