New Book Throws More Bombs at Royals About Meghan and Harry, Even as Sussexes Seek an Invite to King’s Christmas Gathering
‘Endgame,’ by royal journalist Omid Scobie, describes the relationship between Prince Harry and Prince William as ‘nonexistent’ and Meghan as tired of the ‘soap opera of the court.’ That hasn’t stopped the Sussexes from leaking that they’d like to spend Christmas as Sandringham.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry’s latest pursuit of the spotlight – and, reportedly of a reconciliation with the royal family – may be faltering.
What appears to be a new charm offensive by the couple has been overshadowed by a new book, by a journalist known to favor the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, that throws more bombs at the royal family, describing the relationship between Prince Harry and his brother, Prince William, as “nonexistent,” and going into detail about how Harry was excluded, and Meghan specifically disinvited, when the Queen was on her deathbed.
The Duchess’s latest public appearance, at Variety’s Power of Women event last Thursday in Los Angeles, at which she wore Proenza Schouler and spoke about “exciting new projects” she “can’t wait to announce,” was compared unfavorably by royal observers to a parallel event in London where her arch rival, the Princess of Wales, greeted the leader of South Korea.
“While the Princess of Wales stole the show in a striking scarlet cape coat as she greeted South Korean president Yoon Suk Yeol at the start of his state visit to Britain, Meghan was courting the cameras on a red carpet in Los Angeles,” wrote royal columnist Richard Eden in his newsletter.
Meghan “‘posed for photographers like the wannabe starlet she once was, before being rushed along impatiently by another guest,” he continued. “Has there been any week in which it was demonstrated more vividly what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex threw away when they quit royal duties in 2020 to ‘find freedom’ and ‘find a fortune?’”
The Duchess’ appearance – sans Prince Harry – at the Variety event comes just as revelations in a new book, “Endgame” by the journalist Omid Scobie, are sure to inflame the tensions between the Sussexes in California and the Windsors in the United Kingdom.
The latest excerpt from the book, published on Friday in Paris Match, reveals that Meghan declined to attend King Charles’ coronation because she did not want to “dive back into the soap opera of the court.” Harry, Mr. Scobie writes, has all but given up on a reconciliation, after the King told family members not to trust Harry after the publication of his explosive memoir, “Spare.”
The revelations from “Endgame,” however, come just after Meghan and Harry appeared to extend an olive branch to the Windsors, with whom they have been feuding for the last three years. The Sussexes telegraphed, through an unnamed representative speaking to the London Sunday Times, that they would like to be invited to the Royal Family’s annual Christmas celebrations at the English country house of Sandringham.
According to The Sunday Times, friends of the Sussexes said the couple wanted to “change the state of play” and “would readily accept an invitation to Christmas at Sandringham, or a summer stay at Balmoral.”
“I can’t imagine the Sussexes would decline an invitation to spend time with His Majesty. As of yet, there have not been any invitations for the holidays,” the friend said.
But the trial balloon, floated in the Times, dropped like a lead balloon, according to the royal correspondent for the Daily Mail, Rebecca English, who wrote that “sources said the sudden ‘love-bombing’ from Montecito [the celebrity enclave where the Sussexes now live, outside of LA] was ‘bizarre’.”
The source continued to the Daily Mail that, “It’s so bizarre to have behaved so badly, demanded an apology and an admission of ‘guilt’ — to no avail, I might add — from the family and now suggest they’ll just waltz back in and allow bygones to be bygones if only someone would be good enough invite them.”
For his part, royal columnist Richard Eden described the Sussexes’ request, via an intermediary, for an invite to Sandringham as juvenile behavior.
“This reminds me of the school disco, where if you’re not brave enough to ask a girl to a dance you say, ‘”‘oh my mate fancies you’ or whatever,” he said. “We’re not hearing directly from Harry and Meghan, we’re hearing from friends.”
Since Meghan and Harry announced in early 2020 that they were “stepping back” from their role as senior royals and moved first to Canada, then to Southern California, they’ve lobbed a series of attacks at the royal family. There was the bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey where they accused the royal of racism. Then there were unflattering comments they made in a Netflix documentary, and, harshest of all, Harry’s vitriol at his family laid out unsparingly in his bestselling memoir, “Spare.”
But in recent months, the messaging from Montecito has been one of reconciliation, with reports in the press that the couple has been sharing pictures with King Charles of his grandchildren (who he’s barely met), and that Harry had called his father on his 75th birthday.
The Palace, according to the Daily Mail, looks at these ovations with some puzzlement, saying of the Sussexes’ gestures, “[It] begs the question, why now? Is it something to do with the fact that some of their commercial deals, such as Spotify, have fallen around their ears and they have been subject to ridicule in the U.S. in shows such as ‘South Park’ and ‘Family Guy?’”
‘Could it be that they have realized moaning about how awful being a member of the Royal Family is, isn’t such a great strategy after all?’
On Thanksgiving, the Telegraph weighed in on the prospect of a Sandringham invite for the Sussexes, with columnist Michael Deacon writing that inviting Meghan and Harry to Christmas would be “nothing short of disaster” for the Royal Family.
“For the sake of all concerned, however, we’d better hope that no such invitation is forthcoming – because I fear that the King would soon regret it. As everyone knows, even the happiest of families can end up rowing at Christmas, never mind families that are already at one another’s throats,” he wrote, positing that following their Christmas visit, the Sussexes would give another “tell-all television interview to Oprah Winfrey.”
One big obstacle to an invite to Sandringham, according to royal observers, is Prince Harry’s brother, William, the Prince of Wales. According to an earlier excerpt of Mr. Scobie’s new book that’s the cover of the new issue of People, the relationship between William and Harry, once so close, is now nonexistent, with William viewing Harry with indifference.
“In the eyes of some within the institution, Harry is a threat to the crown,” Mr. Scobie told People. “His freedom to exert his own thinking outside of the confines of the institution has made him the enemy.”
Harry, despite his anger and demands (still unmet) for an apology from his family, still wants a relationship with his father, according to Mr. Scobie.
“With Harry, there’s a reluctant acceptance that this is just who his father is. He would rather have that in his life than to cut it off completely. Hence, when they talk it is often [Harry] reaching out,” Mr. Scobie told People. “And I was surprised to learn that even Meghan has some sort of correspondence with Charles, sending over photos of the children, although they’re not directly to him. So there is a willingness there.”
Meaghan, however, “doesn’t want anything to do” with the royals, according to Mr. Scobie.
His reporting, however, predates Sussexes’ leak that they’d accept an invite to Sandringham. But whatever the couple’s state of mind, royal observers say an invite to Christmas is highly unlikely due to Harry’s penchant for spilling intimate family secrets. After Harry disclosed, in “Spare,” vivid details of a physical fight with his brother that hurt Harry’s back, and made derogatory remarks about William’s baldness, the Prince of Wales is said to be wary that anything that takes place in private between the brothers will be made public.
“Endgame,” which contains detailed descriptions, from Harry’s perspective, of how he was not invited on the private jet to the Queen’s deathbed, and how he was asked not to bring Meghan, is sure to only increase his brother’s wariness about seeing the Sussexes again.
If King Charles does extend a formal Christmas invite and it is accepted, it would be the first time he spent Christmas with the Sussexes’ young children, Archie and Lilibet (named after the Queen). But one royal insider thought the King would be more likely to invite the Sussexes to visit him in Scotland over the New Year to give Kate and William space from Harry and Meghan.
“It would certainly have the advantage of killing two birds with one stone; extending an olive branch to one son without causing difficulty to the other,” the source said.