DAN WOOTTON: Why is Meghan distancing herself from Spare? Royal insiders fear Duchess’s next move
It was Meghan Markle herself who publicly proclaimed that her relationship with Prince Harry was like ‘salt and pepper’.
‘We always move together,’ she insisted.
Well, not at the moment they don’t.
That strategy has been torpedoed in 2023 as the Duchess of Sussex allows her husband to deal alone in public with the massive backlash prompted by his egotistical, puerile, nasty and divisive autobiography Spare, designed to destroy the reputation of his brother, the future king, and begin the process of dismantling the British monarchy as we know it.
While I have been told Meghan was privately supportive during the writing of the book – and heavily involved with the scorched earth strategy in regards to the royal institution and British media – publicly there has been a marked change in tone.
‘If the past two months have taught the King anything, it must surely be that Harry and Meghan are on a destruction mission and negotiation is futile’
In a striking quote seemingly briefed by those close to the couple, a source told the Daily Telegraph of Meghan’s view of Spare: ‘Is this the way she would have approached things? Possibly not. But she will always back him and would never have got involved in promoting such a personal project. This was about his own life, his own journey and his own perspective.’
The newspaper – one of the few British titles with which the Sussexes retain a working relationship – also reported that Meghan ‘may have raised gentle concerns about whether it was the right move’.
So what is really going on?
It seems hard to believe that Meghan has all of a sudden decided that publicly roasting her husband’s family is a mistake, given that’s exactly what she has done in the past.
And, apart from the specific rolling back of claims the Royal Family is racist, Spare is the continuation of a narrative she started in her infamous interview with Oprah Winfrey, much of which has been disproved (where an obedient Harry joined her for the latter portions).
Indeed, the Duchess is said to be privately ecstatic that many of the previously concealed and publicly damaging claims about Prince William’s behaviour, especially the so-called physical attack on Harry, during her time in the Royal Family have now been made public.
‘The Duchess of Sussex allows her husband to deal alone in public with the massive backlash prompted by his egotistical, puerile, nasty and divisive autobiography Spare’
That’s why, contrary to any suggestion of disunity between the Sussexes, Royal Family insiders now fear there is a far more nefarious motivation behind Meghan’s rare silence.
By keeping out of the public bunfight surrounding Spare and making no comment on its contents, Meghan could be setting herself up as a power broker in likely forthcoming negotiations between Harry and his father King Charles over his possible attendance at the coronation.
The Mail on Sunday’s Political Editor Glen Owen revealed yesterday that the King has asked the Archbishop of Canterbury to broker a deal to allow both Harry and Meghan to attend the Westminster Abbey ceremony in May.
Uber woke Justin Welby is seen as an ally of the couple, especially the Duchess, who may be able to have a breakthrough moment.
But, quite rightly, Prince William is deeply concerned about such an approach, believing his younger brother could use the internationally significant event to stage a damaging stunt.
Those fears are well-founded and not paranoia, especially after Harry recently told his close friend Bryony Gordon in an increasingly deranged interview that for relations to heal with his family ‘what I’d really like is some accountability’ and, he added, ‘an apology to my wife’.
In this context, it’s Meghan who now holds the key to appeasing her husband and granting Charles his misguided wish of family unity on his big day.
That’s a situation that Meghan will relish.
The former Suits actress was incandescent when courtiers, most likely at the behest of senior members of the Royal Family, appeared to cut her out of the Megxit negotiations by holding the Sandringham Summit when she had returned to Canada to care for her young son Archie.
One royal insider told me: ‘Meghan’s silence around Spare seems highly strategic.
‘She can now appear to be the peacemaker while making it very clear to her husband what concessions they will need before they agree to attend the coronation.
‘She’s put herself in a position where it’s now almost impossible to circumvent her.
‘But, make no mistake, Meghan still wants to cause the ultimate damage to the Royal Family. Her fingerprints were all over the Netflix series which even questioned the role of the Commonwealth, the life’s work of Her Late Majesty.
‘There’s no trust there anymore, but what choice does anyone have if Charles is determined to have them both there.’
I believe that is the fundamental mistake the new king is making.
If the past two months have taught him anything, it must surely be that Harry and Meghan are on a destruction mission and negotiation is futile.
For Charles to put his wife Camilla, who Harry described as ‘dangerous’ and a ‘villain’, and son William, subject to the most toxic of the bile from his younger brother, in the position of having to be face to face with the Sussexes at the coronation seems needlessly cruel.
And, after witnessing everything that went on, including Meghan’s alleged bullying of royal staff, the idea that Wills would even countenance being party to an apology to the Sussexes is ludicrous.
Charles is playing with fire by allowing Welby, who has clearly fallen under the spell of the Sussexes, such a position of power.
He has previously said of Meghan: ‘She’s a person of profound humanity and deep concern for people, seeking to carry out her role with every ounce of her being – and I think she’s a remarkable person.’
Yeah right she is! Meghan is actually a person of profound selfishness with a deep concern to seek revenge on anyone who gets in her way.
It’s also a miscalculation to suggest that non-attendance at the coronation by Harry and Meghan would overshadow proceedings.
As William worries, the bigger risk is the couple, who feel they have nothing to lose in their pathetic mission, hijack the national moment of celebration for their own purposes.
Charles and the rest of the royal institution metaphorically opened their arms up wide opens to the Sussexes during the funerals of both Prince Philip and the late Queen, and the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, only for the couple to use the access to reveal more lurid private details in their commercial projects.
It’s time for the Royal Family to wise up to the Sussexes’ strategy and realise there’s imminent danger in Meghan’s current silence.