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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle face being “frozen out” of the royal family both during and after their visit to the U.K. next week, a friend of Prince Charles told The Daily Beast, after Meghan appeared to threaten the royals with the revelation of further secrets in her interview with The Cut.
The friend told The Daily Beast: “Charles adores Harry, and would like nothing better than to get the relationship sorted. But a meeting next week is unlikely. Everything was already on hold until they saw what was in Harry’s book, but if Meghan is actively threatening to reveal further secrets, and telling interviewers, ‘I haven’t signed anything, I can say anything I want,’ then it’s not surprising they are being frozen out.”
The couple’s decision to visit the U.K. on a quasi-royal tour next week has been greeted with irritation behind the walls of Buckingham Palace. While outsiders may simply see the couple as altruistically giving up their time to support causes which are, as they say, “close to their hearts,” Crown loyalists and their critics argue that the couple are provocatively treading on the territory of the actual royal family.
The couple certainly have a packed itinerary. They are expected to arrive in Windsor on Sunday, and Meghan is being advertised as the “keynote speaker” at a charity youth event on Monday in Manchester, which Harry will also attend.
On Tuesday, the couple are due to fly to Düsseldorf in Germany for an Invictus Games preview event.
One evening, fashion sources say, will be given over to attend the launch of her friend Edward Enninful’s memoir. The British Vogue editor invited Meghan to guest-edit the September issue of Vogue in 2019 and has consistently been one of her most ardent supporters.
Wednesday is free of pre-announced engagements. In the unlikely event the couple do make a dash for Balmoral, Scotland, to meet Queen Elizabeth, this is their window. However, the fact that on Tuesday, the queen is due to perform one of her most solemn constitutional duties and swear in a new prime minister, gives her a pretty solid alibi if she chooses not to issue an invitation to the couple. Strategically, the queen is likely to be keenly aware of the risk of welcoming Harry and Meghan to Balmoral the day after what may be her historic final anointing of a British leader.
Indeed, the queen’s declining health—amply illustrated by her decision to anoint her new PM at Balmoral rather than in London, for the first time in her 70-year reign-hangs over everything.
It was notable that HM issued the news she would not travel to London to bid farewell to Boris Johnson and anoint his successor on the day of the 25th anniversary of Diana’s death, comprehensively wiping that small matter, which the palace defiantly refused to mark, from royal news feeds. Appearing in the traditional photo of the hand-kissing ceremony (immortalized in the 2006 film The Queen) making some small concession to her health—holding a stick or sitting down, for example—would blow away coverage of Harry and Meghan in the domestic press for days.
On Thursday evening, Harry is due to attend the WellChild awards, an event he used to go to when he was a working royal. Critics say that the couple are attempting to continue casting themselves as, to all extents and purposes, full-fat royals.
It will be interesting to see which British newspapers (if any) choose to devote Friday’s front pages to Harry and which to William and Kate’s children, all three of whom have their first day at their new school, Lambrook, on Thursday, following the family’s move to Windsor over the summer.
William and Kate are likely to do the school run themselves, their presence an implicit rebuke to Meghan’s assertion in The Cut that to do the school run in the U.K. would have involved her running a gauntlet of 40 photographers. One photographer will be present for the official photo which will then be distributed to all media.
The British publicity strategist Mark Borkowski told The Daily Beast: “I’ve regularly advised people in adversarial situations to be the bigger person and invite the other party round for a cup of tea. But in this situation, to do that would be a risky thing for the British royals, as there is a significant chance confidentiality could be breached. They are extremely risk-averse, so I have no doubt they will just carry on as normal, safe in the knowledge that Meghan, in particular, is coming into a country where she has little support or empathy.
“The interview may have been designed to threaten the royal family, but it could end up helping the Cambridges in particular. The mad quote about her wedding being a cause of celebration equal to the freeing of Nelson Mandela in South Africa [Meghan claimed a South African told her: “I just need you to know: When you married into this family, we rejoiced in the streets the same we did when Mandela was freed from prison”], a claim which has been refuted by Mandela’s own son, completely plays into the hands of William and Kate. All they have to do is not do anything, and they seem authentic and relatable in comparison to Meghan, who is rapidly becoming a caricature media monster.”
Ultimately, it seems the British royals’ response to Harry and Meghan’s quasi-royal tour will be best encapsulated by that old World War II maxim: Keep Calm and Carry On.
Read More:Prince Harry and Meghan Markle ‘Frozen Out’ by Charles, Royal Source Says