Prince Harry said that his brother Prince William’s press office planted negative stories about him and his wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, during the time that they were working members of the royal family. The Duke of Sussex described the alleged workings of the royal family’s different press teams in the fourth episode of the Netflix docuseries Harry & Meghan, which dropped on Thursday.
“I have 30 years experience of looking behind the curtain and seeing how this system works and how it runs,” he said. “I mean, just constant briefings about other members of the family, about favors, inviting the press in. It’s a dirty game. You know, there’s leaking, but there’s also planting of stories. So if the [communications] team wants to be able to remove a negative story about their principal, they will trade and give you something about someone else’s principal.
“The offices end up working against each other,” Harry said, adding that everything is done in a way that allows employees to keep their hands clean. “You can always say, ‘I didn’t know about this,’ or ‘Don’t be ridiculous, this would never happen, I would never — are you suggesting that I condone this?’ It’s like, ‘No. But what I am asking is have you done anything to stop it?’ And the answer is no.”
The duke revealed that watching his parents, Princess Diana and then-Prince Charles, use the press to damage each other’s public image had a lasting impact on him and his brother. “William and I saw what happened in our dad’s office and we made an agreement that we would never let that happen to our office.”
“I would far rather get destroyed in the press than play along with this game or this business of trading [negative stories],” 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.”
Meghan agreed with her husband, adding, “You would just see it play out, like, a story about someone in the family would pop up for a minute and they’d go, ‘Gotta make that go away.’ But there’s real estate on a website homepage, there is real estate there on a newspaper front cover and something has to be filled in there about someone royal.”
Despite these bold assertions on the part of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, the docuseries failed to include any proof of the Kensington Palace press office providing the media with damaging stories and did not show any examples of pieces that were planted to distract from unflattering news about William or his wife Catherine (aka Kate Middleton).
Both Kensington Palace and Buckingham Palace have declined to comment on the contents of the episodes released Thursday.