In the fifth episode of Netflix’s Harry & Meghan, Prince Harry explicitly details what happened in his family in the weeks after he and Meghan Markle announced their plans to exit the royal family. He specifically aims his fire at Prince William for his behavior during a meeting at Sandringham to discuss the couple’s plans for the future. He also mentioned King Charles III and Queen Elizabeth II’s roles during the summit.
“It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and have my father say things that simply weren’t true and have my grandmother, you know, quietly sit there and sort of take all of it,” Harry said, adding that he thought he understood why the queen made the decision to tell Harry and Meghan that they could either be in or out of the royal institution. “But you have to understand that from the family’s perspective, especially from hers, there are ways of doing things, and her ultimate sort of mission, goal-slash-responsibility, is the institution. People around her are telling her ‘By the way, that proposal of these two doing X, Y, Z, is going to be seen as an attack on the institution.’ Then she’s going to go on the advice that she’s given.”
Harry and William are grappling with ancient grudges. Will it be mended?
“I mean, the saddest part of it was this wedge created between me and my brother so that he’s now on the institution’s side,” Harry added. “And I get… Part of that, I get. I understand, that’s his inheritance. So to some extent it’s already ingrained in him that part of his responsibility is the survivability and the continuation of the institution.”
Harry also accused William of putting out a joint statement in Harry’s name without seeking Harry’s permission. “A story came out saying that the reason why Meghan and I are leaving was because William had bullied us out,” Harry said. “I was told about a joint statement that had been put out in my name and my brother’s name squashing the story about him bullying us out of the family… I couldn’t believe it. No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that.”
For Harry, the accusations continue a previous complaint about the difference between the way the palace press office handled negative stories about him and Meghan versus the ones about William and Kate Middleton. In episode four of the series, Harry claims that earlier in life, he and William had decided that they wouldn’t allow their offices to replace negative stories about one person in the family with stories about someone else. “There’s leaking, but there’s also planting of stories,” Harry explained. “I would far rather be destroyed in the press than play along with this game, this business of trading. And to see my brother’s office go along with this thing we said we would never, ever do. It was heartbreaking.”
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