‘This is NOT the way to get your father and brother back’: Royal experts say Harry and Meghan need to learn ‘silence is common sense’ after Prince claims he wants reconciliation during publicity blitz for new book
- Prince Harry has hinted he wants to reconcile with his family in new interviews
- The Duke of Sussex has spoken to ITV’s Tom Bradby and CBS’s Anderson Cooper
- In trailers ahead of the interviews he said he wanted his ‘father and brother back’
- A royal expert has claimed the Duke could just be driving his family further away
A royal expert says Prince Harry is in danger of widening the rift between himself and the rest of the Royal Family despite hinting he wants reconciliation during a publicity blitz for his new book.
The Duke of Sussex claimed he would ‘like to have my father and brother back’ ahead of the release of his autobiography, Spare, next week.
The remarks were made as trailers for a pair of interviews with ITV’s Tom Bradby and CBS’s Anderson Cooper dropped today, in which Harry was heard saying his family ‘have shown absolutely no willingness to reconcile’.
But one royal expert says Harry and Meghan need to learn ‘silence is common sense’ and that airing dirty laundry in public is not likely to help bring about the reconciliation the Duke claims he wants.
Prince Harry, pictured, sat down with ITV’s Tom Bradby and CBS’s Anderson Cooper for a pair of interviews
The Duke of Sussex, pictured here being speaking to Tom Bradby, has hinted he wants to reconcile with his family in the UK
The interviews were conducted at a hired ranch in Montecito, with Tom Bradby, who has previously landed exclusive interviews with the couple, chosen as one of the hosts.
In a trailer released ahead of his interview with Mr Bradby, Harry says ‘it never needed to be this way’ and refers to ‘the leaking and the planting’ before adding ‘I want a family, not an institution’.
He also says, in an apparent reference to the royals, ‘they feel as though it is better to keep us somehow as the villains’ – something not likely to help the frayed relationship between the Sussexes and the rest of the Firm which sources say is already ‘hanging by a thread’.
Inside the Montecito ranch ‘where Harry’s bombshell interviews took place’
Royal expert Richard Fitzwilliams says proclamations made by the Sussexes in the press are not helping the fractured relationship.
‘The interview Harry and Meghan gave on Oprah did very considerable damage to the royal family, especially the allegations of racism and issues dealing with Meghan’s mental health,’ he said.
‘Over the last month, counting the new trailers about his forthcoming interviews about his memoir, Harry and Meghan have appeared in a two-part six episode docuseries for Netflix and no less than seven trailers, two for the first docuseries, three for the second and now two more.
‘The first overshadowed the second day of the Prince and Princess of Wales’s trip to Boston which was outrageous. This resembles a publicity circus which looks rather desperate.
‘Harry might like to “get his brother back” and “…his father back”, but must surely know giving this catalogue of woes even more exposure, is not the way to do so.
‘Further accusations of stories being planted against them by the Palace in both interviews show how bitter he and Meghan still are but, though their fans may support it, there will come a time when even the media tire of exposure at this level.’
He added that the public will expect claims that Tom Brady had questioned Harry closely to be backed up in the final interview.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: ‘Oprah never probed and the interview was notorious for the way “their truth” and the truth were conflated. The Netflix docuseries was hagiographic.
‘Will Anderson Cooper on CBS and Tom Bradby for ITV subject Harry to serious, detailed questioning? That would be well worth seeing!
‘Harry says in the trailer for the CBS interview, referring to the Palace’s inability to protect them from false reports, that “there comes a point when silence is betrayal”.
‘There is also a point, if they wish any relationship, however distant, with the royal family, when silence is common sense. When will the Sussexes learn this?’
In trailers released ahead of the interviews today, Prince Harry was heard saying: ‘I want a family, not an institution’
The royal, 38, also spoke to US TV personality Anderson Cooper for his popular interview programme, 60 Minutes.
A trailer shows Cooper asking why Harry had not communicated his grievances against the Royal Family in private rather than going public, to which the royal replies: ‘Every single time I’ve tried to do it privately there have been briefings and leakings and planting of stories against me and my wife.
Who is Tom Bradby? Friend of the Sussexes who asked Meghan ‘are you ok?’ in 2019 South Africa interview
Mr Bradby, a former royal correspondent who now presents ITV News At Ten, is a friend of the Sussexes and previously interviewed them for a documentary about their 2019 Africa tour.
He famously asked Meghan about her mental health, with the duchess thanking him and saying ‘not many people have asked if I’m ok’.
In their recent Netflix series, Meghan said the interview marked a turning point.
The 2019 interview in which Mr Bradby asked Meghan about her mental health
She said: ‘There is only so much you can take on your own, so you end up saying, ”Something has to change”. It was a huge turning point.
‘It was when we started having harder conversations about what needs to happen for us to be able to continue to make this work.’
Mr Bradby first got to know Harry when he worked with him on a documentary about Lesotho when the prince was on his gap year after leaving Eton.
The journalist went on to attend his 2018 wedding to Meghan.
‘The family motto is never complain and never explain – it’s just a motto.’
He adds: ‘They [Buckingham Palace] will feed or have a conversation with a correspondent, and that correspondent will literally be spoon-fed information and write the story, and at the bottom of it, they will say they have reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment.
‘But the whole story is Buckingham Palace commenting.
‘So when we’re being told for the last six years, ”we can’t put a statement out to protect you”, but you do it for other members of the family, there becomes a point when silence is betrayal.’
The clips appear to confirm reports that Harry will use his memoir to reveal details about disagreements between him and his brother the Prince of Wales, 40.
It comes after the duke claimed in his Netflix documentary that William broke a promise to never to leak stories or brief against one another after witnessing the fallout of such actions in their father’s office.
Mr Bradby, a former royal correspondent for ITV, is a friend of the Sussexes and previously interviewed them for a documentary about their 2019 Africa tour.
He first got to know Harry when he worked with him on a documentary about Lesotho when the prince was on his gap year after leaving Eton.
The journalist went on to attend his 2018 wedding to Meghan.
Filmed in California, where the duke now lives, ITV said Mr Bradby’s show Harry: The Interview will go into ‘unprecedented depth and detail’ about his life in and outside the Royal Family.
Meanwhile, Mr Cooper is said to have won Harry’s trust through his stance on issues close to his heart like mental health.
The 55-year-old, who is also a star of the CNN network, has campaigned to promote better mental health and hosts a podcast called All There Is. He has spoken about losing his brother Carter to suicide.
The 23-year-old fell to his death from the family’s 14th-floor Manhattan apartment in 1988. Mr Cooper also has war experience, having reported from Afghanistan, where Harry completed two tours of duty.
A television source said: ‘Mr Cooper has won Harry’s trust. This would be a coup for Mr Cooper and fits well with Harry’s campaign to promote mental health. It is a prime-time Sunday show which hosts foreign leaders and presidents. It’s the one that all the politicians and decision-makers watch.’
The Duke of Sussex, pictured here speaking to Anderson Cooper, held the interviews in his Montecito mansion
Harry was heard telling Mr Cooper that when he tried to air grievances privately stories would be planted in the press against him and his wife
Recently 60 Minutes featured exclusive interviews with US President Joe Biden and French President Emmanuel Macron.
Fifteen things to expect from Prince Harry’s memoir ‘Spare’
In 2020 Mr Cooper interviewed Afua Hirsch, the British author and former Guardian journalist who features in the Sussexes’ Netflix programme, and who made a damning verdict on the Commonwealth as ‘Empire 2.0’.
In the discussion with Mr Cooper after Harry and Meghan announced they were leaving their royal duties, Ms Hirsch described the Firm as ‘Ground Zero for Britain’s troubled history of colonialism and race’.
She added that she was ‘always concerned about Meghan Markle’s wellbeing’ when joining the family. Appearing sympathetic to the couple’s plight, Mr Cooper told Ms Hirsch: ‘The notion of being hounded by the Press is going to have such strange, weird echoes for Prince Harry given what happened to his mom.’
Mr Cooper has also joked about getting a wave from Harry during his wedding to Meghan in May 2018. He told viewers: ‘I was at the Royal Wedding, covering it for CNN.
‘Our correspondent Max Foster said, ‘You should wave at Harry because Harry is going to look up at the bright lights and I bet he’ll wave at you.’ The carriage makes a turn. I start waving. Harry looks up at the tower, we make eye contact and he waves. I almost died.’
Harry’s upcoming autobiography is said to be so cutting of his brother William that the pair may not be able to reconcile their differences following its release on January 10. Spare will reportedly see King Charles III escape severe criticism.
But it is so tough on the Prince of Wales that insiders fear the sibling relationship, which has been strained considerably since Harry and Meghan announced they were relinquishing their royal duties, will not recover.
Harry, pictured here in his interview with Anderson Cooper, held the interviews ahead of the release of his upcoming autobiography, Spare
The Duke of Sussex is expected to make claims in the book that could put even more strain on the frayed relationship between himself and his brother
A source told the Sunday Times: ‘Generally, I think the book [will be] worse for them than the Royal Family is expecting.
Harry and William’s relationship ‘hangs by a thread’: Duke of Sussex to ‘complain in tell-all memoir how he has always played second fiddle’ to his brother
‘Everything is laid bare. Charles comes out of it better than it had expected, but it’s tough on William, in particular, and even Kate gets a bit of a broadside.
‘There are these minute details, and a description of the fight between the brothers. I personally can’t see how Harry and William will be able to reconcile after this.’
Harry’s tell-all tale was written with JR Moehringer, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist who previously penned the biography of US tennis star Andre Agassi.
The Duke of Sussex will personally narrate the audiobook version of the memoir and will donate some of the work’s proceeds to charity.
The book will be published just weeks after he and his wife Meghan released their Netflix series detailing their relationship and split from the Royal Family, while reports have emerged that Meghan is also planning to publish her own bombshell memoir.
According to one source, the Duchess of Sussex ‘is contemplating getting entirely candid about her time in the Royal limelight… and leaving no stone unturned’.
In 2021 the couple reportedly signed a four-book deal with publishers Penguin Random House.
The Duke of Sussex (right) and Prince of Wales (left) have had a tense relationship in recent years
The Duke of Sussexes autobiography, Spare, will be released in bookshops in the UK from January 10
Lady Susan Hussey will be invited to the King’s coronation after apology
Prince Harry is said to have received a $20million (£17million) advance for Spare. The Duke has previously pledged to give proceeds from the book to charity.
Meghan has already released her children’s book The Bench with the same publisher, and it is rumoured that the couple are working on a ‘wellness’ book.
Now it is believed the mystery fourth book will be the duchess’s autobiography.
A bestselling memoir would put Meghan in a well-trodden American political tradition, amid much speculation that she may have ambitions for elected office, given her outspoken views on women’s rights and other issues.
A Hollywood agent told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I would find it surprising if Meghan didn’t publish her own story, to be honest. Spare is clearly Prince Harry’s chance to tell his story, but hers is equally compelling. I mean, how many actresses end up marrying a prince?’
The source added: ‘If she’s harbouring political ambitions it would make even more sense,’ pointing out that Presidents Clinton, Obama and Trump all wrote books setting out their beliefs before launching bids for the White House.
The Duchess, a Democrat, has become close to America’s ‘political royalty’, the Kennedy family, and was honoured last month alongside her husband with an award from the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights non-profit organisation.
There are reports that Harry’s wife, Meghan, will also write her own autobiography in the coming months
There is speculation that Meghan could be preparing to mount a run for office in the United States
Prince William secretly treated Kate to a ride in a James Bond-style 193mph Aston Martin DBX707
The organisation’s leader Kerry Kennedy – niece of former US president John F. Kennedy – said the Sussexes received the award for their stand against ‘structural racism’ within the Royal Family.
Meghan is also good friends with feminist icon Gloria Steinem who is still closely involved in liberal politics. A friend of Ms Steinem’s said: ‘Meghan has strong views very much in alignment with Gloria’s in terms of social justice and women’s rights. Gloria is encouraging her to make her voice heard.’
But some have warned that the Sussexes may be in danger of overexposure.
One senior Hollywood executive said: ‘We’ve had the Oprah Winfrey interview, then the Netflix series and now we’ve got Harry’s book. You have to ask if the world really needs to hear Meghan’s story right now? If I was advising her I would caution against releasing a book too quickly because there is a very real danger that people will start experiencing ‘Sussex fatigue’.
‘There comes a point where people might feel they’ve heard the same stories too many times. They have to change the narrative at some stage and focus on the future rather than past transgressions.’
Meanwhile, Harry’s book has been billed as being written with ‘raw, unflinching honesty’.
The duke’s autobiography, Spare, will be released on January 10.
Who is Anderson Cooper? Son of Vanderbilt heiress with a tragic family history
Cooper pictured with his mother, Gloria Vanderbilt, and brother, Carter in 1976
As a CNN anchor and host of CBS’s 60 Minutes, Anderson Cooper, 55, is one of America’s most prominent broadcast journalists.
As well as co-anchoring the 2016 presidential debates he’s carried out sit-down interviews with some of the world’s most prominent politicians, from Joe Biden to Emmanuel Macron.
Born in Manhattan, he is the son of railway heiress Gloria Vanderbilt – making him a member of one of America’s most storied family dynasties which gained unimaginable wealth during America’s ‘Gilded Age’.
Despite an estimated net worth of $200million, Mr Cooper only inherited around $1.5million from his late mother’s estate after she spent most of her fortune while she was alive.
He’s previously vowed to take a similar approach with his son, Wyatt, due to a belief that it is wrong to pass on large amounts of money.
Mr Cooper regularly campaigns on mental health issues and has spoken openly about losing his brother Carter to suicide.
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