Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have fired multiple shots towards the royal family since their shocking departure from the fold, and now it seems that the Queen is preparing to fight back. Last week, it was claimed she had “lawyered up” ahead of the release of Harry’s autobiography, said to be out next year.
According to reports, Buckingham Palace is turning to lawyers ahead of the memoir’s publication – which is part of a book deal with Penguin Random House, said to be worth around £29m. Royal aides are thought to consulting experts in libel and privacy cases, amid fears the book could contain more damaging accusations.
And Paul Burrell – who worked within the Palace walls as a butler for a decade – says this move shows that the Queen is ready to hit back. Traditionally, she has adopted a “never complain, never explain” mantra, stoically refusing to get involved in the press frenzy around any scandals.
Paul, 63, says, “The Queen lawyering up is totally unprecedented – it’s her way of saying, ‘Enough is enough now’. The Queen is a warm, fair, loyal, forgiving, compassionate woman – but if you cross her more than once, or tell her lies, you lose her respect. And it seems things have gone too far – Harry and Meghan show no signs of stopping the missiles.
“Back in the day, the ‘never complain, never explain’ rule could work, and it added to the mystery and privacy of the royals. Nowadays, with how quickly news travels and social media, it simply can’t work, especially given Harry and Meghan’s allegations.
“This constant drip of information from across the Atlantic, which seems never-ending, has the potential to do an awful lot of damage to both the monarchy and her family. I suspect the Queen is apprehensive about what could come next from Harry and also Meghan, and so their next claims will no doubt force the Queen to fight back.”
Harry, 37, and Meghan, 40, have made a series of damning allegations against the royal family since they stepped away from duties last year. During their bombshell Oprah interview in March, they claimed Meghan’s cries for support amid mental health issues and suicidal thoughts went unanswered.
They also hinted at allegations of racism, saying that a member of the family expressed concern over the colour of their unborn son’s skin. In response, the Palace said they were “saddened to hear” about the couple’s experiences, adding that, “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
This week, the couple’s biography Finding Freedom is also re-released with added chapters, detailing the build-up to and fallout from the shocking interview. It’s claimed that Harry and Meghan “considered naming” the royal who made the remarks about Archie’s skin, that they found the Oprah chat “liberating” and also that they were disappointed that “full ownership was not taken” by the royals. Although Harry and Meghan have distanced themselves from the unauthorised book, Meghan admitted last year during a court case that she’d given information to the authors via a third party.
Check out: the bombshells that could be to come
the royal bombshells that could be to come
Paul says, "The publisher, Penguin, will no doubt want their money's worth in this book deal. That means they won't want vagueness – they'll want names and specifics. So Harry could very well name the alleged 'racist' within the royal family. I personally don't believe there is any racism within the royal family whatsoever, having worked in the Palace for a decade. I never got a hint of anything."
Paul says, "He'll no doubt go in depth about his feelings after his mother's death, and the subsequent events. After the reports she was involved in his parents' marriage and then stepped into Diana's shoes as Charles' wife, I suspect Camilla will be in his sights, so I'd say Harry's set to reveal any Camilla secrets. He's already said he enjoys The Crown, which painted Camilla as the 'wicked stepmother' in a way. Charles will be livid if he does go there."
Paul says, "The brothers' deteriorated bond is one of the saddest aspects of this whole ordeal, and I imagine Penguin will know it's what people want to hear about. But I'd advise him to be very careful when talking about William – he will be King one day. Not only that, but I really believe that Harry will one day return to the royals and so would do well to keep him on side and not burn that bridge for good."
WATCH: Abi, Aaron and Clarisse expose UNAIRED Faye Winter scenes | Love Island Secrets
Now, Paul tells Closer that the royals seem to finally be taking decisive action to limit the damage from the ongoing slights against the royal family.
Paul says, “I think, for the royals, the drawbridge is up now. With Harry’s autobiography in the offing, they are regrouping and realising they need to do something.
“Prince Philip was always the Queen’s number one source of advice and solace, but now that he is very sadly gone, I believe she’ll be turning to Prince Charles and Prince William. And they will no doubt be of the opinion that there needs to be a modernising of the royals now, a new era. I imagine the younger royals are advising her, ‘It’s time to get real and speak up’.
“The Queen’s duty as monarch and her family are the two most important things in the world to her. Unlike Meghan, who seems to have no loyalty to her father, she is fiercely protective of her family and I think that’s why she’s seeing red now – she’s in protective mode and she’s determined to fight back.”