The Royals "Will Not Engage in a War of Words" With Harry & Meghan, Say Insiders
One source says the royals won't be "swayed by the court of public opinion."
More than a week after Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan's explosive tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, the Sussexes are continuing to share their grievances with the royals, but this time, it's a friend of the couple who is doing the talking. On Monday, Gayle King, who attended Meghan's lavish baby shower in New York City in 2019 and is Winfrey's best friend, revealed new details of the fallout of the interview on CBS This Morning, including how Harry and Meghan told her they're feeling. Now, the headline-making comments have the Palace putting their foot down, insiders tell Best Life. Read on to learn the latest, and for more on the state of things in the House of Windsor, check out The One Thing William Must Do to Save the Monarchy, Say Insiders.
On Monday, King said she was told Harry had spoken to Prince Charles and Prince William over the weekend about the interview, but the calls did nothing to bridge the widening gap between Harry and Meghan and the royals. "The word I was given was that those conversations were 'not productive,'" King said.
She went on to share her thoughts on the matter, saying, "I think what is still upsetting to them is the Palace keep saying they want to work it out privately, but yet, they believe these false stories are coming out that are very disparaging against Meghan, still," seemingly referring to the allegations that Meghan bullied royal staffers.
King also revealed that no one in the Royal Family has spoken to Meghan since the interview. "I think it's frustrating for them to see that it's a racial conversation about the Royal Family when all they wanted all along was for the royals to intervene and tell the press to stop with the unfair, inaccurate, false stories that definitely have a racial slant," she said. "Until you can acknowledge that, I think it's going to be hard to move forward. But they both want to move forward with this and they both want healing in this family. At the end of the day, that is Harry's family."
The news of King's comments were met with a stoic response from Palace insiders. A royal source told Best Life that the Palace "will not engage in a war of words" with Harry and Meghan. "It is difficult to understand how the Duke of Sussex expects to heal the rift with the Prince of Wales, as he said he wanted to do during his interview with Oprah, by having others to speak publicly on a family matter on his behalf," the insider said.
According to the Daily Mail, a senior royal source said, "None of the households—the Queen, the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge—will be giving a running commentary on private conversations."
Last week, Buckingham Palace issued a brief statement on Harry and Meghan's interview after the broadcast, which said, in part, that "some recollections may vary" and the claims the couple raised would be "addressed by the family privately."
The only member of the family to speak publicly on the matter has been William. At an official engagement last week, he told a reporter that he had not yet spoken to Harry at the time, but planned to do so. When asked if the Royal Family was racist—in regards to Harry and Meghan's allegation that a senior royal questioned what color their unborn son's skin would be—William also said, "We're very much not a racist family."
"William is deeply upset by his brother's determination to see this play out in the media," said a source. "It makes no sense given how vocal Harry has been about his distrust of the press unless, of course, the reporters are hand-picked to deliver a certain message. If Harry is expecting the Royal Family to be swayed by the court of public opinion over a family matter, he is very much mistaken."
Regardless of how much the royals may want to keep their private conversations with Harry and Meghan out of the headlines, that seems unlikely. When King revealed she had spoken to the couple this weekend, she also said Meghan had "documents to back up everything she said on Oprah's interview," which means previously unseen emails and correspondence between the duchess and the royals could be made public in the future.
King made it clear that Harry and Meghan are not backing down. "The family has to acknowledge that there are issues. Right now, no one has acknowledged, you know, Houston we have a problem here," King said on CBS This Morning. "That's really all [Harry and Meghan] want. They want a conversation, they both want a conversation." And for more on which royal might be ruined by the tell-all, check out This Royal Has the Most to Lose From Harry & Meghan's Interview, Insiders Say.
Diane Clehane is a New York-based journalist and author of Imagining Diana and Diana: The Secrets of Her Style.