Since news of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry's upcoming interview with Oprah was announced, the British tabloids have run many reports about how appalling, blindsiding, and insulting it is to the Queen and British royal family. These same tabloids harassed Harry and Meghan for years (to the point that they sued some of their publishers) and seem to forget the couple no longer needs consent from the royal family to make career moves, as they stepped back from their working member roles a year ago. The Sussexes made that move permanent earlier this month and lost all their royal patronages and military honors given by the Queen as a result.
Us Weekly joined the U.K. tabloids' smeary chorus this week, with a source's hot take on how Kate Middleton and Prince William feel about Meghan and Harry having a "candid" discussion with Oprah about their experiences as working royal family members.
The Cambridges are not happy, naturally—in fact, Us's source said the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are “appalled” and painted a grave picture of the situation: “It’s just beyond the pale for William and Kate, especially in light of the dreadful timing with [Prince] Philip in the hospital. They are utterly aghast,” the source said.
Meghan and Harry's interview was announced before the Queen's husband and Prince Harry's grandfather was hospitalized. Philip, 99, sought treatment as a precaution for a non-COVID-related issue, and is "comfortable and responding to treatment," the palace said earlier this week. He is feeling “a lot better,” Prince Edward told Sky News, per BBC's report yesterday.
A separate source told Us that Kate and William, who never publicly defended or spoke out against the tabloids' treatment of Meghan and Harry during their marriage, don't have to worry about being called out during the interview. "They won’t talk negatively about Prince William and Duchess Kate,” that source said. “They don’t want to put any more fuel on that fire.”
William and Harry's relationship has been strained for years, and they had several fallouts prior to and after Harry and Meghan's wedding, according to Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand's book Finding Freedom. A source told Entertainment Tonight earlier this week that "it's not where it once was. However, they are brothers and will support each other and are committed to coming together to honor their late mother's legacy."
The Sunday Times reported last weekend that multiple sources close to William revealed that the Duke of Cambridge thought his brother and sister-in-law had been “insulting and disrespectful” to the Queen in their statement in response to the Queen's announcement that she was stripping them of their royal patronages and military honors.
For context, Meghan and Harry's spokesperson said in response to the Queen's statement: "As evidenced by their work over the past year, The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain committed to their duty and service to the U.K. and around the world, and have offered their continued support to the organizations they have represented regardless of official role. We can all live a life of service. Service is universal."
It will likely take time for William and Harry to heal, but the brothers both want their relationship to improve. “It’s still raw,” a friend of William told The Sunday Times. “He’s very upset by what has happened, though absolutely intent that he and Harry’s relationship will heal in time.”
A source close to Harry and Meghan told the outlet, “Both sides see that there’s a difference between the personal relationship they have in the family and the professional relationship in terms of the family business.”
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Alyssa Bailey is the news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she's not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.
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