Screaming and scheming – Harry lobs fresh grenades at William

Harry and Meghan's show expose royal family exit

The Duke of Sussex has piled fresh criticism on the British royal family in the latest episodes of his Netflix documentary series, accusing his older brother Prince William of being part of media attacks.

William, now heir to the throne, had screamed at him when he discussed leaving his official royal role almost three years ago, Prince Harry said, while he also added he believed the media was responsible for wife Meghan Markle’s miscarriage.

In the first tranche of episodes released last week, the royals had escaped relatively unscathed.

But in the final three released on Thursday, Harry accuses his relatives of not just failing to prevent negative coverage in the press, but actively encouraging it.

“It is a dirty game. There’s leaking but there’s also planting of stories,” the Duke of Sussex said.

“If the comms (communications) team want to be able to remove a negative story about their principal, they will trade and give you something about someone else’s principal.”

Australia tour success a turning point for the couple

Prince Harry claimed there was resentment in the royal family at Meghan’s popularity during the Sussexes’ official tour of Australia and New Zealand

“The issue is when someone who is marrying in who should be a … supporting act, is then stealing the limelight or doing the job better than the person who was born to do this, that upsets people, It shifts the balance” he said.

Refused to play along with ‘dirty game’

He said he and William had seen what had happened with the office of their father the King and agreed never to repeat it.

“I would far rather get destroyed in the press than play along with this game, or this business of trading,” Harry said.

“To see my brother’s office copy the very same thing that we promised the two of us would never ever do, that was heartbreaking.”

Harry and Meghan stepped down from royal duties in March 2020, saying they wanted to forge new lives in North America, away from media harassment. They said it had threatened to destroy their mental health.

Harry recounted details of a crisis summit at the late Queen’s Sandringham estate two months earlier. He attended along with the late monarch, his father and brother.

“It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me, and my father say things that just simply weren’t true, and my grandmother quietly sit there and sort of take it all in,” he said.

Both Buckingham Palace and William’s office, Kensington Palace, have said they will not comment on the documentaries.

A royal source said earlier neither the palace nor representatives of William or other royals had been approached for comment for the series, contradicting a Netflix statement that said they had declined to speak out.

In another scene from the documentary, Harry and Meghan were shown talking about a former senior aide to William. He provided evidence in a successful privacy lawsuit Meghan had brought against the Mail on Sunday newspaper for publishing a letter from her to her estranged father.

In his evidence the former aide, Jason Knauf, who had also worked for the couple, suggested Meghan knew at the time that the letter could leak.

“It’s your brother. Not gonna say anything about your brother, but it’s so obvious,” Meghan said.

Netflix included a statement from a representative for Mr Knauf, which said the claims were “entirely false”.

Harry also said he believed the stress of the case against the Mail had caused Meghan to lose their baby.

“I believe my wife suffered a miscarriage because of what the Mail did,” he said. “I can say from what I saw, that miscarriage was created by what they were trying to do to her.”

The couple have won awards and plaudits from some across the Atlantic for their charitable and human rights work. But in Britain, the media accuses them of seeking to make tens of millions of dollars from Netflix and others by using their royal status to constantly attack the monarchy.

Given five options at Sandringham summit

Harry also gave his version of what happened behind the scenes when the Queen summoned him, Charles and William to Sandringham in January 2020 to resolve the Sussexes’ plans after they issued a statement saying they wanted to step back as senior royals.

“It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and my father say things that just simply weren’t true, and my grandmother quietly sit there and sort of take it all in,” the duke said.

Harry said he was given five options, ranging from “all in, no change” to “all out”, and he chose option three: “half in, half out”.

“It became very clear very quickly that that goal was not up for discussion or debate,” he said.

A joint statement was issued on the day of the Sandringham meeting branding a front-page story about the brothers’ relationship as false, offensive and potentially harmful.

But the duke said in episode five: “Once I got in the car after the meeting, 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.

“We need to get out of here’

“I couldn’t believe it. No one had asked me. No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that. I rang M and I told her and she burst into floods of tears because within four hours they were happy to lie to protect my brother, and yet for three years they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us.

“There was no other option at this point. I said, ‘We need to get out of here’.”

Harry also told how a letter he wrote Charles about him and Meghan moving to Canada to work as royals was leaked to the media.

“I was like, ‘Wow, our story, our lives, literally got taken from underneath us’.”

According to initial figures cited by the BBC, some 2.4 million viewers in Britain watched the first episode of Harry & Meghan on the day it was released. The senior royals have steered clear, according to sources.

— with AAP

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