martes, 6 de octubre de 2020


 The revealing biography is on sale 15 October




With royal fans still reeling from the publication of Finding Freedom, now another biography is set to offer some frank insights into the inner workings of the Royal Family. Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of a Family in Tumult, focuses on the highly-scrutinised relationship between the Dukes of Cambridge and Sussex.

Having grown up in the public eye and faced the trauma of their mother’s tragic death, Princes William and Harry have had to navigate many obstacles on their respective journeys through life. And the brothers have opted to take very different paths – with William largely following the royal rule book as he anticipates becoming king one day, while Harry has left royal life behind him for a new existence with the Duchess of Sussex in the US.

In Battle of Brothers, British historian and biographer Robert Lacey – a royal expert who acted as a historical consultant for The Crown – delves into the relationship between Prince Charles’s two sons. It examines the events surrounding Megxit, from the response among Royal Family members at what they perceived as the rapid pace of Harry and Meghan’s blossoming relationship, to what really went on at the Sandringham Summit. Written with the collaboration of a high-level insider, the book also details the alleged confrontation between Harry and the palace after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their planned departure.

With extracts of the biography having been serialised in the Daily Mail over the weekend, read on for the stand-out insights gleaned from its pages so far.

William refused to join Harry and the Queen for lunch ahead of the Sandringham Summit
Following the Sussexes’ bombshell announcement, William couldn’t face meeting Harry over lunch, leaving his brother and grandmother to dine alone. Lacey relates: ‘William maintained his distance for the Sandringham summit. The Queen had suggested the family should gather for lunch before their big pow-wow in the library that afternoon, but he refused his grandmother’s invitation… The Prince himself has not confirmed his friends’ speculation that he was so furious with his younger brother that he would not be able to endure the hypocrisy of smiling at him over lunch.’

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex emulated A-listers in their negotiation strategies
A senior Palace source stated that dealing with the couple was akin to negotiating with ‘a hard-nosed Hollywood lawyer’, with Harry and Meghan seeking ‘guarantees on every single point as if it were a contractual negotiation’.

The Queen has always felt affection for Harry – and was a fan of Meghan’s too

Lacey writes that ‘Elizabeth II had always had a soft spot’ for the Duke of Sussex and ‘had been delighted by the arrival of Meghan’, welcoming ‘the exciting new dimension that a mixed-race recruit brought to the Windsor identity’. He also alleges, however, that the monarch ultimately felt the Duke and Duchess of Sussex became ‘erratic and impulsive’, which prompted her to stop them from using the Sussex Royal moniker

Harry and Meghan’s handling of Archie’s birth and christening ruffled feathers

The couple broke with royal protocol ‘over the announcement of Archie’s birth, which unlike every other royal birth of modern times took place in total secrecy’. Lacey continues: ‘That was followed by a refusal to make public the names of the godparents. It is still expected by monarch, palace and just about anyone with a stake in the game that the world should be told who the new royal baby’s “sponsors” are… “Friends” of William suggested that the future king, only five places clear of Archie in the order of succession, could not comprehend how such a basic matter of constitutional principle had been misunderstood.’

The Royal Family objected to the ‘commercialising of the crown’

The book recognises that there ‘was nothing intrinsically taboo about royals selling something in order to generate funds’, citing the Buckingham Palace souvenir shop and Prince Charles’ Duchy Originals products. Lacey explains, however, that ‘Sussex Royal’s surprise June 2019 trademark applications’ contained ideas that raised some eyebrows, like ‘“social care services, namely organising and conducting emotional support groups; counselling services; emotional support services”... Duchy Digestives were one thing — but Sussex Royal personal therapy sessions?’

Senior royals were not consulted over Harry and Meghan’s legal actions against the press

When the couple issued lawsuits against News International, the Mirror group and Associated Newspapers during their 2019 Africa tour, Royal Family members were not informed beforehand. Lacey writes: ‘the couple had lined themselves up against three of Britain’s biggest media companies — without talking to the Queen or Prince Charles first.’

The Queen’s 2019 Christmas broadcast contained a subtle signal

The monarch opted not to display images of Harry, Meghan and Archie, her new eighth great-grandchild, in view during her 2019 Christmas message. Lacey writes: ‘Who does and who does not feature on the royal Christmas desk… showed who was in favour and who was not… The Sussex family had been ‘non-personed’ as effectively as the Soviets non-personed Trotsky and Khrushchev’.

Harry saw an official Royal Family portrait as a gesture of exclusion

An official portrait of the Queen with Prince Charles, Prince William and Prince George was interpreted by Harry as a signal from the Royal Family. Lacey relates that the image presented ‘All the living heirs — and not a suggestion of a “spare”.’ He adds that ‘the plan of depicting the direct line of royal succession was enthusiastically supported by Prince William, which might be seen as sending his younger brother a message… It was as if Harry had become un-brothered.’

The Royal Family were informed of the coming bombshell just minutes before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s announcement

Lacey explains that ‘the media shock… was nothing to the dismay and anger felt inside the palaces — to whom Harry had given just ten minutes’ notice of the news.’ He adds that ‘Prince Charles was only just getting himself organised after returning from an official trip to the Middle East — and out at Sandringham both the Queen and Prince Philip were said to be “devastated”.’

William asked Princess Diana’s brother to stop Harry from rushing into marriage

When William was concerned at the pace of Harry and Meghan’s relationship, he turned to the brother of his late mother – Earl Spencer – for help. Lacey relates: ‘From time to time Diana’s younger brother had played something of an honorary godfather to both boys in the years since the death of their mother, and their uncle agreed with William to see what he could do… The result of the Spencer intervention was an even more bitter explosion. Once again Harry refused to slow down… he was furious with his elder brother for dragging other family members into the row.’

Harry struggled with his mental health before meeting Meghan

An outspoken advocate for mental health charities, the Duke of Sussex has had his own brushes with mental illness, having stated that in his late 20s: ‘I had probably been very close to a complete breakdown on numerous occasions.’ Lacey alleges that it was William who suggested that ‘Harry went into therapy’, adding that ‘Cressida Bonas, his last serious girlfriend before Meghan Markle, came to feel he was a damaged and self-obsessed young man.’

Meghan has a similar character to Diana

Characteristics that echo that of his late mother are said to be partly what drew Harry to Meghan. Lacey writes that he ‘could sense in Meghan the quirks and originalities that made her such a similar character to Diana… She was a changer not a conformist, who fought her battles with the same non-royal – indeed, those temptingly anti-royal – qualities of his mother.’

Lacey alleges that the Queen worked with her former Private Secretary Sir Christopher Geidt and former diplomat Sir David Manning ‘to frame a plan... to get Harry and Meghan out of the country for a decent spell’ in order to ‘give everyone a breather.’ It was hoped that a solution could be reached that would ‘offer both honour and responsibility to the couple by handing them some role in her beloved British Commonwealth of Nations — a highly personal token of trust’, while appeasing ‘Harry and Meghan's wish to live an “ordinary” existence.’ It was thought that ‘Modern South Africa… could be just the spot,’ although the plan ultimately fell part.

No hay comentarios:

Publicar un comentario