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The Harry and Meghan apologists are at it again, demanding the Royal Family roll out the red carpet for the exiled Sussexes on their vanity tour of Britain next month.
I can assure them that isn’t going to happen.
The fury, outrage and disgust at the highest levels of the monarchy over Prince Harry’s decision to press ahead with the publication of his upcoming autobiography, even as the 96-year-old Queen’s health suffers, is only growing.
Indeed, the ‘intimate and heartfelt’ £14.7million Penguin Random House book is seen as the likely final straw in relations between Harry and his brother Prince William, who has still not forgiven the Sussexes for their bonanza of lies otherwise known as the Oprah Winfrey interview.
For Prince Charles, who has tried to remain magnanimous in the face of stinging public criticism from his youngest son during that discredited TV special, the book has been responsible for months of torment, as he tried to grieve the passing of his father Prince Philip.
Despite her best efforts to cultivate a positive relationship, there are fears Harry could publicly criticise his stepmother Camilla in the tome.
Those concerns grew significantly when there was radio silence from Montecito when the Queen made the historic announcement that it is her wish for the Duchess of Cornwall to become Queen Consort upon her death.
Meanwhile, many lower ranked royals are now in open revolt about the couple – and prepared to make their feelings clear behind palace walls.
Harry and Meghan apologists are demanding the Royal Family roll out the red carpet for the exiled Sussexes on their vanity tour of Britain next month
Camilla, Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince Harry pictured leaving a Grenfell Tower National Memorial Service held at St Paul’s Cathedral in December 2017
Marking that shift of tone, even Harry’s former allies Zara Phillips and Mike Tindall are said to have been highly critical of the couple’s stand-offish, haughty and arrogant attitude during their last visit for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Outside of disgraced Prince Andrew, Fergie and his two daughters Eugenie and Beatrice, who have made an extra effort to stay close to Harry and Meghan, and the Queen herself, the couple’s allies in the family are now non-existent.
Senior courtiers are aghast at the Sussexes ongoing battles with the Home Office over their demands for government-provided Met security, something they knew full well would disappear if they left their formal royal roles to make their fortune in California.
Their view is that this was all so predictable and the reason why the couple were warned about leaving the Royal Family in the first place.
It was made clear to them there was no going back at the Sandringham Summit in January 2020, less than two weeks after I revealed the couple’s decision to Megxit.
So perhaps the biggest question is, given the acrimony, why are Harry and Meghan so keen to return to the UK not long after their last disastrous visit?
The answer, courtiers suspect, is likely to be, at least in part, commercially driven.
Much to their horror, the Sussexes are discovering that the US interest in them is decreasing, as their proximity to the Royal Family and Britain grows ever more distant.
While they secured the initial big money deals, with the likes of Netflix, Spotify and the bank Ethic, needed to set up their expensive new life, making them succeed is another matter altogether.
In the 20 months since signing their Spotify deal, only one 33-minute podcast featuring their liberal mates talking about Christmas has been released, although a Meghan feminist series called Archetypes that ‘investigates the labels that try to hold women back’ was promised to be released this summer.
Meanwhile, in the 23 months since signing with Netflix, the couple have still yet to deliver any content, with Meghan’s drama Pearl axed before it was made. A behind-the-scenes series about the Invictus Games is expected soon.
Prince Charles, the Queen, Prince Louis, the Duchess of Cambridge, Princess Charlotte, Prince George and Prince William at the Trooping the Colour on June 2, 2022 in London
Both sides seem to be banking on a reality-style show offering an insight into the couple’s life, even though Harry and Meghan initially denied there was any prospect of such a show.
Crude commercial realities, especially as Netflix rejects woke content, might make it necessary for them to follow the tacky path of the Kardashians, in another blow to the credibility of the British monarchy.
There are suspicions that the UK trip early next month – ostensibly to attend a number of charity events – could be used to create more content for such a TV programme.
No wonder trust between the Royal Family and the Sussexes is at rock bottom.
Charles and William are now said to be very careful in any communication with Harry, conscious that details of private conversations have previously been leaked to favoured American media outlets.
Requests for photographs and filming involving the Queen are treated with utmost suspicion.
Of course, it’s tragic that relations have sunk to this level, but it was always inevitable, given Harry and Meghan are on the warpath, to hell with the wider consequences to the Royal Family.
It’s easy to understand why some courtiers believe Harry and Meghan no longer care about the destruction they’re causing to the monarchy, with their criticism likely to grow louder if the Queen were to pass away in the coming years, a prospect royal aides are now having to countenance.
The risks of the UK trip are significant for the Sussexes too, however.
Ever since Megxit, there has been growing paranoia about the couple being booed by the furious British public, a fear that came true as they entered and left St Paul’s Cathedral in June, although the coverage of that occurrence was overtaken by the much louder boos received by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson and his wife Carrie at the same event.
There is also the potential for embarrassment if Harry and Meghan’s offers of private meetings with members of the Royal Family are spurned.
But why the hell should Charles and William pander to Harry and Meghan anymore?
Until Harry’s autobiography is either shared privately with the Royal Family or released, there is zero chance of a genuine reconciliation. For very good reason.