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If you have even a passing interest in the royal family and aren’t living under a rock somewhere, you’ve likely read about at least one of the dozens of allegations coming from veteran biographer Tom Bower’s latest tome, Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors. The subjects of the book, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, have not yet publicly commented on the book’s claims—and, says royal expert Gareth Russell, they likely won’t.
“You can’t respond to it all,” he tells Us Weekly. “If you go out answering every single book or allegation, it will consume your entire day. You won’t have spare time to devote to your own mental health and your own well-being.”
If Bower’s book is to be believed, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have already spent enough time “shackled” to mentions in the press, becoming obsessed with reading stories about themselves prior to their royal step back in 2020.
“Every night they scoured the internet to read the newspaper reports and the trolls’ postings on social media,” Bower writes. “Irrationally, they grouped the two together and fed each other’s frenzy about the media. Convinced that as champions of goodness they were being persecuted by mendacity and racism, they felt victimized by the mildest criticism.”
It remains unclear whether the Sussexes have read the book or even the headlines about it, but Russell—whose own book about the royal family, Do Let’s Have Another Drink, hits shelves this fall and focuses on the Queen Mother—says that it wouldn’t do much good to refute the accusations in Bower’s book.
“When you are as famous as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, there is going to be a lot of speculation,” he says. “It doesn’t always do anyone good in public life to always be answering and rebutting those claims.”
That said, the royal expert believes that Harry and Meghan, according to Us, “will go down in history as the people who upended the famous royal slogan ‘Never complain, never explain,’” a phrase popularized by the Queen Mother herself.
“I think Harry and Meghan will probably be remembered as the people who bury that attitude for themselves and for future generations of the royals,” Russell says. “And that, maybe, is no bad thing.”
Or maybe Harry is saving the couple’s response for his own book, due later this year…
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the weekend editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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