Tina Brown: Prince Harry ‘felt displaced’ by Will & Kate’s ‘bougie family unit’

When discussing recent royal history, I do think that people overlook the fact that there were many problems within the royal family before Meghan and Harry even got engaged. The year of Harry and Meghan’s engagement, 2017, was the same year that Prince Charles made some power moves and tried to reorganize his staff, Buckingham Palace’s staff and Kensington Palace as well. The Queen’s private secretary Sir Christopher Geidt was pushed out by Charles that year, a moment which is cited as one of the major reasons why there were so many communications breakdowns between royal courts. It’s also worth noting that before Meghan came along, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge had been getting really bad press for a few years. They were being called lazy, work-shy and privacy-obsessed. Tina Brown made a reference to that in The Palace Papers:

The Daily Mail was the worst offender [heaping scorn on Meghan]. Still reigning at the Mail after two dozen years, Paul Dacre, the saturnine editorial minotaur who had a matchless flair for defenestrating whichever public figure crossed his Middle England moralist code, ran a team particularly skilled at monstering by association.

When Harry’s star was on the rise in 2016, Dacre, in a moment of boredom with the royals, had personally decided that Prince William was having it too easy and created a new storyline that the heir to the throne was a lazy poshie not doing enough to support the Queen. It got traction and dogged William for two years.

[From The Palace Papers by Tina Brown]

Oh, it dogged William for two years, huh? What happened in 2018 to change the (correct) narrative that William is lazy? I mean, it’s no secret. William, Jason Knauf and the Kensington Palace comms team all decided to shove Harry and Meghan under the bus and smear Meghan specifically. It was quid pro quo with the Daily Mail for William: stop attacking me for my laziness and I’ll help you smear Meghan.

Before that reference in The Palace Papers, Brown writes that Harry had already begun to back away from doing events with William and Kate in 2015-16 because he felt like a third wheel. She also suggests that Harry was bored to tears with William:

Harry felt displaced by their bougie family unit, and couldn’t understand his brother’s obsession with his Middleton in-laws, whose Bucklebury world bored Harry to tears.

The Palace communications team would get them to do things together, just the three of them. And then, after a while, they stopped, because it was so awkward for Harry. “Much though he loved Kate, he would just find himself looking like a third wheel,” a friend of his told me.

In the family tussle between the claims of a brother and loyalty to a wife, it was clear who would win. The Cambridges had become a tight unit and William a full-on Windsor country bumpkin. On weekends when he wasn’t at chez Middleton, he was tramping the grounds of Anmer Hall… wearing a flat cap and tweed jacket like his “turnip toff” Norfolk farmer friends.

[From The Palace Papers by Tina Brown]

I believe that Harry and William had already begun distancing themselves from each other before Harry even met Meghan. Like, Harry saw the writing on the wall, he knew that he was being used to pump up Will & Kate’s image, and he also knew that they didn’t actually want him to find a partner. Plus, I would imagine Harry was pretty tired of Kate’s creepiness around him? I like how Harry saw through the whole Bucklebury “normal family” cosplay too.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, WENN, Backgrid.

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