Sunday, 20 Sep 2020

Queen heartbreak: Monarch ‘disappointed’ Harry didn’t try to block controversial book

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s biography will cause the Queen real concern, as it details tensions and unhappiness within the Royal Household, according to a royal commentator. The monarch will also be upset at the timing of the book, as it comes as the world continues to struggle with the coronavirus pandemic, royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams said. 

Speaking about Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand’s upcoming book Finding Freedom, Mr Fitzwilliams said: “The Queen will undoubtedly have been annoyed by the extracts from Finding Freedom, which have been published in The Times and in People Magazine.

“Though Harry and Meghan have denied approving the book or speaking to its authors, the access which has been granted to their inner circle makes it painfully obvious that they could have stopped the book if they so wished.”

The Queen is unlikely to respond in any way to the biography and its claims of jealousy, infighting and competition between senior royals.

However, the royal expert believes she will be disappointed Prince Harry didn’t prevent this book from being published. 

He said: “I suspect the Queen will see this as whingeing and be disappointed that her grandson has involved himself in such a selfish and ill-timed endeavour.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have distanced themselves from the book.

A spokesman for the Sussexes said in a statement: “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom. 

“This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”

Extracts from Finding Freedom published by The Times earlier this month claim Clarence House, Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace have historically been involved in conflicts over their schedule.

An excerpt from the book read: “No workplace is perfect. In the rarefied world of the monarchy, the pressure could be insane. 

“Such were the internal politics between Buckingham Palace, Clarence House and Kensington Palace that even royal-watchers started snickering when it appeared the households were scheduling events and social media posts on the same day to outdo one another.

“’There has always been competitiveness between the households,’ admits a senior aide.

“’That will never change.’”

The book also claims to expose the real reasons behind the rift between Prince Harry and Prince William as well as the Sussexes’ difficult relationship with palaces’ aides. 

Speaking about those working behind the scenes at the palace alongside with the royals, Mr Fitzwilliams said: “It has been seen for what it is, it presents their side of things in the sad split that has occurred in the Royal Family.

It was known that the courtiers, compared to ‘vipers’, would be attacked.

“No one doubts, as Prince Philip himself discovered, that they can make life very difficult. 

“Diana believed they were ‘the enemy’.”

The royal expert then recalled one episode involving the Queen’s late sister Princess Margaret and her chauffeur.

He said: “Princess Margaret hated the real Sir Alan Lascelles so much for his role in handling her relationship with Peter Townsend, that she was possessed of an urge to run him down when he was a neighbour in Kensington Palace.”      

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