Former editor-in-chief of The Daily Beast and author of The Diana Chronicles Tine Brown told Bloomberg that Prince Harry’s decision to leave his royal roles with wife Meghan Markle is proving a bigger headache for the Royal Family than Prince Andrew’s sexual assault allegations. Andrew was stripped of his official duties earlier this year when he prepared to pay a settlement in February, reportedly worth £12million, to Virginia Roberts, who had accused him of sexually abusing her when she was 17. The Duke has repeatedly and vehemently denied any allegations of wrongdoing and says the settlement was not an admission of guilt.
He has more recently been threatened with a subpoena by the lawyers of Caroline Kaufman, who want Andrew to appear as a witness in her lawsuit against Jeffrey Epstein’s $630million (£515million) estate. Ms Kaufman claims to have been raped by Mr Epstein, and that Andrew was present in the house at the time.
She is not accusing the Prince of any wrongdoing or knowledge of her sexual assault. However, Ms Brown argued that the issue of Prince Andrew’s lawsuit is no longer as significant for the Royal Family compared to Prince Harry’s estrangement from them.
She said the “Andrew issue has been ring-fenced, making Harry a bigger problem for the monarchy”.
The royal author added that the monarchy “isn’t going anywhere”. Prince Charles, according to Ms Brown, will become a transitional monarch, to “get things in shape for William”.
She said William and Kate will need to balance the gravitas of the thousand-year-old institution with their “more European, less traditional” way of doing things. Ms Brown added that the UK was facing an “identity crisis”, between the “dropped shoe” moment of the cost-of-living crisis and awaiting the Queen’s eventual passing.
Harry and Meghan’s tell-all interview with Oprah March 2021 is said to have sent shockwaves through the Royal Family. It has been reported that the Oprah interview, along with a host of interviews that Prince Harry has partaken in since his royal exit, has angered the Palace, as well as members of the family. Speaking on Australia’s Today Show, the Daily Mirror’s royal editor Russell Myers discussed the Palace’s “fury”.
Speaking on the show which aired on June 12, Mr Myers claimed that the situation is “very very frosty”.
“The people I speak to, the Palace every day, who [are] obviously very very well connected with the top players, as it were.
“They are still absolutely furious”.
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Mr Myers added: “You can’t go on, you know, international television interview with Oprah Winfrey, complaining about your treatment with the family and then wanting to sit down with them when you’re still giving interviews”.
Mr Myers stated that there “needs to be a bit more water under the bridge” if the relationship was to be repaired.
During the couple’s interview with Oprah, they made some shocking allegations towards the Royal Family. The couple accused a member of the family – not the Queen or Duke of Edinburgh – of making a racist comment about their son, Archie.
Harry also made an admission that he had become estranged from his father, the Prince of Wales. He claimed he felt “really let down”, but added that he would make it one of his priorities “to try and heal that relationship”.
Despite settling down in the US since their royal exit, Meghan and Harry, along with their two children, visited the UK earlier this month for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
The short visit was the couple’s first official time on UK soil since 2020.