Prince Harry has hit back over claims he told a friend his bombshell interview with Oprah Winfrey would be “shocking” and that “Brits need to learn a lesson”. A spokesman for the Sussexes said accusing the Duke was an “attempted distraction” and Harry has never spoken ill of the British public.
The Sussexes’ spokesman said on Sunday (December 4): “To pit him against his country is shameful and manipulative, especially when Prince Harry has never spoken ill of the British public.”
Harry and his wife Meghan Markle’s chat with Oprah saw them level allegations of racism against the Royal Family on top of a claim the Duchess’s cries for help when she was feeling suicidal were ignored.
A report published today claimed Harry made comments to a friend before the interview, saying the interview would be shocking.
The Sun was told by an unnamed source that Harry told the friend: “This is going to be quite shocking. Those Brits need to learn a lesson.”
Meghan adds: “When the stakes were this high, doesn’t it make more sense to hear our story from us?”
Senior aides to King Charles and the Prince and Princess of Wales reportedly plan to watch the series in order to react to any potentially damaging accusations against the monarchy.
A senior royal source has said: “There is a completely united front from the King and his family concerning the numerous attempts to privately make peace with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, which sadly have once again resulted in the other side wishing to air their repeated grievances to the world.
“If there is a need to respond to anything in the upcoming series then you can be assured that response will be swift and robust.”
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Former Chaplain to the late Queen, Gavin Ashenden told LBC there was no doubt Harry and Meghan are capable of landing “severe damage” on the Royal Family. He said: “It would be much better if this civil war wasn’t happeing, but it is. It will cause damage all round.”
Asked how the Royal Family might respond to Harry and Meghan’s series, Mr Ashenden said: “They have to ignore it and pretend it’s not happening. In the position they hold in society, they don’t have a mandate to attack. Although sometimes attacking is the best form of defence, I think the fact that they’re supposed to look dignified and restrained and should be forgiving and ought to be able to mop it up.
“They may well be able to. There is something quite self-destructive in poor Harry and Meghan’s approach. It’s a question really of what new information there is, if any, and the fact that Meghan and Harry… can only say not very much so many times before it doesn’t add anything.
“I think the Royal Family will probably say to themselves, ‘We’ll just have to grin and bear it and see it off and hope the public lose interest and that Meghan and Harry lose energy’.”
Asked how Prince William and Kate, the Princess of Wales, would respond if they felt there were inaccurate claims in the Netflix series, a well-placed source told the Daily Express: “The Prince and Princesses’ team will wait to see what’s in the Netflix series before deciding what to do, but you can see the direction of travel.”
The final straw reportedly came after Harry was accused of attempts to “sabotage” the Prince and Princess of Wales’s high-profile visit to the USA.
A decision to issue a trailer for the show on the second day of the Waleses’ visit to Boston was seen as a “declaration of war”.
And yesterday the Duke of Sussex almost stole the limelight again when a charity video of him dressed as Spider-Man was released and went viral.
Netflix is billing its six-part series as an “unprecedented and in-depth” look at “one of the most-discussed couples in history”. It is directed by Liz Garbus, the Emmy winning producer of the Netflix documentary, “What Happened, Miss Simone?”
Harry and his wife signed a multiyear deal in 2020 to produce nature series, documentaries and children’s programming for the streaming service.
The Sussexes’ statement reads: “This is a baseless hit piece masquerading as journalism. This story is riddled with inaccuracies, not least is a quote erroneously attributed to Prince Harry.
“To accuse a man who spent 10 years serving his country of wanting to teach that same county a lesson is not only an attempted distraction but an unfortunate and predictable tabloid strategy.
“To pit him against his country is shameful and manipulative, especially when Prince Harry has never spoken ill of the British public.”