The Duke & Duchess of Sussex and Family, News and Events 2: December 2020-March 2021

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Here are some excerpts from an article by Alexandra Shulman, former editor-in-chief of British Vogue. She addresses some of the subjects that have been discussed here - might be interesting for some people!

Before the Duke and Duchess of Sussex married, a professional creative, well used to the intricacies and diplomacy involved in working with Royal households, was interviewed for a role by Meghan.

A mutual friend ran into the candidate immediately after the interview and asked excitedly how the experience had been.

The reply did not sound encouraging. ‘Well. Let’s just say it was like The Devil Wears Prada. And I was not Meryl Streep.’

Judging by the bullying allegations that have now emerged in a leaked email from the Royal couple’s then communications secretary, Jason Knauf, this was not an uncommon reaction.

I have met Knauf many times and I have to say that he must have felt pretty hard-pushed to do something that could undermine any of his bosses.


The staff who work at KP, like those at Clarence House and Buckingham Palace, are a hugely industrious bunch, happy to put in incredibly long hours for comparatively low salaries because they enjoy the status of working for the Royal Family. And they care. They care a great deal about protecting the Royals in every way, from organising the details of daily life to their image and security.

I remember meeting Knauf for the first time. He was a good-looking young American (a direct contemporary of Harry) wearing a formal grey suit and the requisite palace lanyard, and I found him quite daunting.

He didn’t seem big on small talk or even the smallest joke, and clearly took the view that this meeting was mine to lose. He was the one in control. As I got to know him better, I discovered he has a great sense of humour but, even off-duty, he was implacably loyal to his bosses.

The idea that he, or anyone working alongside him, would have had any interest in not supporting the incoming Meghan Markle as she tried to navigate this new world is simply not credible.

In truth, the opposite is true. Even before Meghan arrived, I know for a fact that the KP team were busy rallying a group of interesting and influential people who might be helpful and friendly to her in a new country.

They had learnt from the sad story of Princess Diana that letting a newcomer flounder in the somewhat archaic Royal pool, where they could feel isolated and unsupported, could be disastrous.

But herein lay the problem. It turns out that Meghan did not want guidance or support, or certainly not of the kind she was getting. No, as we later learnt in her interview with Tom Bradby on the South Africa tour, she wanted to be asked how she felt.

Knauf’s email raising concerns about Meghan’s intimidating behaviour came about after a growing number of complaints – all from women – in Kensington Palace.

At that time in 2018, the corporate world was finally beginning to take accusations of bullying and bad workplace practice seriously – and Knauf, an accomplished corporate professional, had his ear close enough to the ground to know that such things couldn’t be allowed to fester, even in a palace.

The decision to confront this toxic situation would have been nightmarish to make. The last thing Knauf would have wanted was the idea that he and his colleagues were ganging up against Meghan.

I remember that interview, I also remember reading that one of Meghan's friends warned her about the British press and she either said she could handle it or didn't think it was a big deal.

What's so interesting about Harry's take on the Diana situation is that he fails to recognize that his family would have more security if they stayed in England. The British Press is going to write about them whether they are in England, the US or on Mars. The paparazzi is going to follow them in the USA but they can't do that on royal estates. Honestly, I am not sure what he was thinking. I get him wanting to protect his family but the way he is doing is questionable IMO.
Speaking of the devil, i.e. the Prime Minister and UK Government not getting involved with the drama surrounding the Sussexes, Gavin Williamson (Secretary of State for Education) was asked on the same question on Times Radio. He told the radio hosts Gloria De Piero and Tom Newton Dunn (or G&T) that "The whole nation stands up for the Queen" and the government will not be involved in matters of the Royal Family. He also talked about the Platinum Jubilee next year and how it's part of the COVID-19 recovery.
Tom Newton Dunn @tnewtondunn
Asked why the Government isn't defending the Queen against Meghan and Harry's attacks, Gavin Williamson tells G&T: "The whole nation stands up for the Queen".
9:31 PM · Mar 7, 2021·Twitter Web App​

Times Radio @TimesRadio
''The whole nation stands up for the Queen.''
Education secretary Gavin Williamson on the row between Buckingham Palace and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Listen Speaker with three sound waves
@GloriaDePiero | @tnewtondunn | @GavinWilliamson
10:01 PM · Mar 7, 2021·Twitter Media Studio​

Unlike his fellow colleague, Michael Fabricant, Conservative MP for Lichfield was not afraid to criticise Meghan for being a diva and unable to fit in with the Firm. (Ouch! :devil:) He was asked about his personal opinions and really went for it oblivious on what other might think of it :ohmy: :eek:. But then again, he is a backbench MP, who has more freedom to say what he wants than those on the front bench.
Times Radio @TimesRadio
''I just wonder whether or not they're a spoiled couple.''
Michael Fabricant, MP for Lichfield, says he thinks it's a ''great shame'' that Harry and Meghan decided to step back from their duties.
Listen Speaker with three sound waves
@GloriaDePiero | @tnewtondunn | @Mike_Fabricant
12:50 AM · Mar 8, 2021·Twitter Media Studio​

In contrast, Lisa Nandy, Shadow Foreign Secretary has sympathy to Meghan, particularly on the media's criticism though focusing more on women in the public eye. She also recognise the "horrible situation" with the royal family and would not wish it on any families. She did at one point at the start of 2020 admits that she is a republican during Labour Leadership.
Times Radio @TimesRadio
''I have a lot of sympathy for Meghan and any woman in the public eye.''
Lisa Nandy, shadow foreign secretary, says "it was a very difficult thing" for the Duchess of Sussex to become a member of the royal family.
@GloriaDePiero | @tnewtondunn | @lisanandy
10:11 PM · Mar 7, 2021·Twitter Media Studio​
Yea but I think really the direct line should always have the titles which is what is happening now. Children and siblings of the monarch or expected monarch.

So presuming that The Cambridges have no more children that the next new HRH will be potentially George's children. Siblings of the heir should be HRH though as tragically you never know and you don't know of the heir won't have kids for example.
As it currently stands, the next "born" HRH children will be William and Catherine's grandchildren UNLESS Charles becomes King before Meghan and Harry finish their family. And that assumes that H & M do not decide to have their children not use it, like Edward and Sophie did. Harry's grandchildren would not receive it under the current rules.
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