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The Sussexes’ silence over the coronation is making the palace so nervous

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have not confirmed their attendance at the coronation and Buckingham Palace is quietly freaking out about it. The British media is too – they keep publishing these treading-water stories about “will they come?!?” and “if they come, we’ll punish them!” and “they better come, or else!” It’s especially crazy because literally no one will come out and admit the obvious, which is that the Sussexes have all of the power in this situation and they can very easily choose not to come and the entire world will be focused on them either way. Over the weekend, British sources claimed that the palace is still trying to “negotiate” with Harry and Meghan:

“Tense” negotiations are underway between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in order for them to attend King Charles’ Coronation in May. As reported by The Sun, a source told OK! magazine: “The Palace are trying to wrap up negotiations as quickly as possible because they can’t go right up to the wire. It could lead to chaos. It could very well be that it ends in stalemate, and they won’t attend. But the Palace is doing everything in its power to not let that happen. The Palace are organizing two schedules. One that includes the Sussexes and one the doesn’t. They want to be prepared for any eventuality.”

[From The Daily Beast’s Royalist]

Again, the palace has only sent the Sussexes an email save-the-date. That’s all that has been confirmed. The Sussexes have not received a formal invitation. The Chubbly planners are spending all of this time and energy on contingency plans on top of contingency plans for the Sussexes, two people they haven’t even bothered to formally invite.

Meanwhile, British pollsters are treading water too – they’re still polling on whether Harry should be INVITED to the coronation. “Less than half of British people support Prince Harry being invited to King Charles’s coronation, exclusive polling for Yahoo UK shows” go here to see that story. You guys… they’re really getting nervous about it. I’m starting to see signs of it in the suddenly-cautious reporting… these deranged people are actually starting to worry that they’ve grossly overplayed their hands and that the Sussexes will actually just stay home. Good. I hope the Sussexes avoid it like the plague.

Photos courtesy of Instar.

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Why is the Mail suddenly worried about Princess Beatrice & Duchess Meghan?

It’s been clear for a while that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex are quite close to Princess Eugenie, the younger York princess. Meghan has said that she had met Eugenie before she met Prince Harry, and Harry described how Eugenie and Jack Brooksbank spent time with Meghan while Harry and Meg were first dating. It’s clear that the two couples have been close from the beginning. Eugenie and Jack lived in Frogmore Cottage for a while and Eugenie has visited California and spent time with her cousin in Montecito. So, obviously, the Daily Mail had to write a three-page screed about how Princess Beatrice feels about Meghan and Harry. Some highlights from this absolutely unhinged piece, “Princess Beatrice’s Meghan dilemma: Royal who is fiercely loyal to the Crown and her parents faces awkward choices after Fergie distanced herself – while sister Eugenie is BFFs with the Duchess.”

Beatrice is stuck in the middle: “While Meghan Markle may have fallen out with Fergie and be besties with Eugenie, there is one royal in the York family who is definitively stuck in the middle. Princess Beatrice, 34, is notoriously private and, unlike her younger sister or mother, has never offered comment on the romance between her cousin Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex. The royal mother-of-one has plenty of mutual friends with the former actress, including joint-BFF Misha Nonoo – while the two women are also believed to have attended numerous showbiz parties and royal events together over the years.

The Sussexes criticized Prince Andrew: “How the Sussexes open criticism of Prince Andrew, as well as their attacks on the royal family, have impacted Meghan’s relationship with Beatrice remains unclear.

The cousins’ WhatsApp group: “Such is the closeness between the cousins that they are all part of a WhatsApp group where they exchange messages on upcoming events and family news. And though it’s believed Beatrice and Harry likely catchup through their group chat, very little is known about her relationship with Meghan.

Beatrice hasn’t said anything about the Sussexes: Since Meghan and Harry announced their plans to step back from royal duty in March 2020, Beatrice appears to have had fewer interactions with the Duchess. That year, Beatrice herself got married in a lowkey ceremony amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, but Meghan and Harry do not attend. It’s likely the couple missed the family occasion due to the global lockdowns which were in force at the time. And a year later, in May 2021, Beatrice announced she was pregnant on Harry and Meghan’s wedding anniversary.

Beatrice’s time in the spotlight: “On the other hand, Princess Beatrice has stepped further into the spotlight after Megxit, and has been incredibly loyal to the Crown. She has been picking up additional responsibilities following Meghan and Harry’s decision to step back.

[From The Daily Mail]

Can someone explain what the hell this was about? Why did the Mail feel the need to underline the fact that the Sussexes are particularly close to Eugenie but not Beatrice? Like, I think Beatrice is kind of quietly messy, but to her credit, she’s never said one word about the Sussexes and she’s not leaking a bunch of sh-t about them behind-the-scenes. Part of me thinks that this is Beatrice emphasizing to her uncle, King Charles, that she can be loyal to the crown and be a working royal. Like, “See, I’m not even close to Harry and Meghan, let me be a working royal!” Which is what I think she wants – she was clearly auditioning for a public role last year, and she and Edo definitely want to keep on the good side of King Charles. Is the best way to do that by pointing out all of the times Meghan and Beatrice weren’t in the same room at the same time? I don’t know???

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Instar and Cover Images.

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Wootton: Prince Harry’s ‘Spare’ removed the ‘context’ of William’s violent assault

Last week, Oprah Winfrey appeared on CBS This Morning to promote her latest Oprah Book Club pick. During the interview, Gayle King (Oprah’s BFF) asked Oprah about whether the Sussexes should go to the coronation. Oprah replied, diplomatically: “I think they should do what they feel is best for them and their family. That’s what I think. That’s what the bottom line comes down to. What do you feel like is the right thing for you? They haven’t asked me my opinion.” Reading it back, it sounds like Oprah is making her peace with the idea that the Sussexes will probably end up going, even though Prince Harry’s dogsh-t father is making it clear that the Sussexes will be treated poorly. In any case, Dan Wootton saw the Oprah clip and he decided to fill his Daily Mail column with rage about how Black women need to sit down, shut up and listen to him. There’s a really f–ked up part where Wootton references Prince William violently assaulting his brother too.

Oprah’s CBS comments: Oprah Winfrey is now a sworn enemy of the British Royal Family. So while she might regard herself as the queen of the US chat show, it’s high time she shuts her big gob when it comes to highly sensitive matters relating to the coronation of King Charles. In yet another bid to destabilise our monarchy, following her despicable TV hit piece where she allowed Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to utter countless mistruths, including fantastical racism claims, without a hint of journalistic pushback, she has now weighed in on the crisis surrounding the Sussexes potential attendance at the event of great significance.

The Sussexes should not consider their own feelings! Harry and Meghan have not once done what’s best for their family, illustrated by the fact they granted Oprah their vile score-settling ‘interview’ as Prince Philip was literally on his deathbed. And, for once, this decision should not be about what is right for them. Of course, it’s right for Harry and Meghan to be at the Coronation. Despite displaying a visceral hatred for the institution and the members of their family within it, the Duke and Duchess of Woke have had a crushing realisation recently that their proximity to the Royal Family is largely responsible for whether the Hollywood pay cheques will keep on rolling in. Their stock is lifted for their paymasters like Netflix and Spotify – both companies suffering from commissioning too much woke content ­– if they’re seen at one of the most consequential royal events in living memory.

But the Sussexes’ attendance wouldn’t be right for Peg!! But the Sussex sideshow overshadowing the crowning of our new monarch is absolutely not the right thing for Harry and Meghan’s family. Especially not Prince William, still understandably incandescent with rage over the string of attacks about him published in Harry’s vindictive autobiography Spare, including accusations of violence and bullying, which had all their context removed and whose effect was to cast a shadow over the future king’s reputation forever more.

Meghan is “obsessed” with American morning shows? Meghan is obsessed with US breakfast TV, believing it’s the best way to turn increasingly sceptical Americans to her floundering cause. While still in the Royal Family, I remember one of the Sussex Survivor Club members telling me that Meghan was so obsessed with the big three US breakfast anchors – Savannah Guthrie of NBC’s Today Show, Robin Roberts on ABC’s Good Morning America and her aforementioned pal Gayle on CBS Mornings – that announcements would often be timed to coincide with their programmes going to air at 7am New York time, with her advisers offering special briefings to the famous anchors. And Meghan hangs on every word uttered by Gayle and Oprah in particular, who she regards as queens of the American celebrity woke movement, of which she is so desperate to be a part. The message to Meghan from her pair of faux friends came through loud and clear: We need you to be at the coronation in order for us to retain our own influence as your powerhouse American media mates.

[From The Daily Mail]

The rest of the column just sinks further and further down into Wootton’s delusions about a woke cabal of royal-obsessed Black power brokers, all of whom need to “butt out” of white men’s business, namely, the monarchy. It’s also hilarious that Wootton can’t pick a f–king lane to save his life: the Sussexes MUST come, but even if they do, it’s only because that’s what their “paymasters” want, but their attendance isn’t wanted by William (who is engorged with rage) or Charles. And the part about “accusations of violence and bullying, which had all their context removed and whose effect was to cast a shadow over the future king’s reputation forever more.” Like… is there a context in which William’s violent assault of his brother is acceptable?

The thing about Meghan being “obsessed” with American morning shows is news to me, and it’s especially interesting given the Windsors’ interest in appealing to the American media. Honestly, many of the Windsors’ announcements are timed specifically for the American media time zones and that didn’t start with Meghan. Also: Wootton trying to insult Gayle and Oprah… whew, I wish both women were as petty as me, because I would rip him a new one in their place.

Photos courtesy of CBS/Harpo.

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The Palace seems to be lying about what the Sussexes spent on Frogmore Cottage

In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “paid back” the cost of renovating Frogmore Cottage, the dilapidated servant’s quarters on the Royal Windsor estate. They had already paid, in real time, for all of the furnishings and all of the “decor” (paint, finishes, wallpaper). But once they had enough money, they “reimbursed” the Crown Estates for the full cost of the renovation (reportedly around $3 million). Later, the Crown Estate and the National Audit Office confirmed that in addition to the reimbursement for a property they didn’t own, the Sussexes also paid a lump-sum lease payment to continue their lease on Frogmore for the foreseeable future. Meaning, instead of paying a monthly rent, the Sussexes forked over a huge lump sum upfront. In 2022, the National Audit Office said it was “satisfied” with the arrangement and called it a “good deal” for the Sovereign Grant. Well, someone in Buckingham Palace decided to lie about the arrangement and you would think that Frogmore Cottage is the only royal property in the entire Crown Estate.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex struck a deal with Buckingham Palace to pay no further rent on Frogmore Cottage after refunding the £2.4 million taxpayers paid for its refurbishment, The Mail on Sunday can reveal. It had been reported that the Sussexes would pay a ‘commercial rate’ for the five-bedroom mansion on the Windsor estate. But Palace officials last night confirmed that the lump-sum payment wiped out the couple’s rental obligations as the increased value of the property following the work was taken as ‘rent in lieu’.

It’s estimated the property would cost between £150,000 and £230,000 a year to rent, which means that the Sussexes may have saved up to £690,000. They will not renew their lease when it ends later this month.

A Palace spokesperson said: ‘The Duke and Duchess of Sussex made a contribution of £2.4 million to the Sovereign Grant which covered the refurbishment of Frogmore Cottage. They have fulfilled their financial obligations in relation to the property. In line with usual practice for the Sovereign Grant report, the accounting treatment was scrutinised and signed off by the National Audit Office and the Treasury. As with any such agreement between landlord and tenant, further details regarding the Sussexes’ tenancy arrangements would be a private matter.’

But last night one critic reacted angrily to the emergence of the deal. Norman Baker, a former Cabinet Minister and Privy Counsellor, said: ‘It is outrageous that Harry and Meghan should be able to live in a huge house on these terms while regular people struggle to put food on the table.’ He is now demanding to know how many Royal Family properties are rented out below the market rate.

The Sussexes quit Royal duties officially in March 2020 and a Palace spokesman told the BBC they would continue to pay a ‘commercial rate’ of rent on the property. In fact, they paid five months’ rent but then gave a £2.4 million lump sum in September to cover the refurbishment costs. Today we can reveal that a deal was agreed in which the payment wiped out any further financial obligations.

It was not a deal which was publicly announced by the Palace. Nor was it easy to see by looking at the official Sovereign Grant reports which outline public spending on the monarchy. Last night Buckingham Palace confirmed that the £2.4 million was split into three headings and recorded across two sets of accounts. In the 2020/21 figures, the lump sum is listed as both ‘rental income’ and as ‘recharges for functions and other income’.

[From The Daily Mail]

So now the Palace is telling the media that Harry *only* reimbursed the cost of the renovation and he did not pay for the lease extension? No, because… everyone made it clear in 2021 and 2022 that Harry did both: he reimbursed the Crown Estate for the cost of the renovation AND he paid a lump sum towards the lease. The palace is basically admitting as much, saying that the money was “split” between reimbursement and rental income. Is the palace saying that Harry only “paid” £2.4 million and that’s the exact amount of the renovation cost, so they gave him a sweetheart deal on the lease? Yeah, that doesn’t sound like Buckingham Palace. Clearly, Harry and Meghan believed they were paid up on a valid lease too. Anyway, the Sussexes better be reimbursed fully for everything they put into Frogmore (and I think that’s what this is about – Charles looking for a reason to avoid reimbursement to the Sussexes).

Photos courtesy of Netflix.

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King Charles willing to acknowledge Archie’s b-day ‘even though it’s his grandpa’s big day’

King Charles is so bad at being a warm grandfatherly figure and he’s so bad at being king. Like, just take a moment and understand how badly the coronation planning has been going that we’re six months away from the Chubbly and every story is like “this is Camilla’s victory lap” and “Prince Harry and Meghan Haven’t Confirmed Their Attendance: Day 25!” Instead of showing the warmth of a benevolent king and grandfather and simply inviting the entire Sussex family to the coronation, Charles and his advisors are making the Sussexes’ attendance entirely transactional and conditional. This is so stupid. The palace has basically told Harry and Meghan that IF they confirm their attendance, maybe (maybe!!!) Charles will find it in his heart to include his mixed-race grandchildren in the proceedings.

Harry and Meghan’s children could have a role in King Charles’s Coronation – if the Sussexes confirm they are attending. Royal officials are waiting for the couple to decide whether they will be accepting their invitation to the big day in just seven weeks’ time – and whether they will be bringing Prince Archie and Princess Lilibet with them. Once Palace aides get that response, they can open discussions on what roles the children may play.

Yesterday it emerged that Prince George, Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis will form part of the King’s procession out of Westminster Abbey after the ceremony. Initial reports suggested that Prince Archie, who will turn four on the big day itself, and Lilibet, one, had not been invited to take part. But a royal source last night said they were waiting to hear from the Sussexes before discussions around the King’s youngest two grandchildren could begin.

A source added: ‘Two versions of the plans [for the day] are being drawn up. One includes Harry and Meghan and one doesn’t. Timings are all approximate at this stage, but they are working towards a timetable now.’

[From The Daily Mail]

But wait, it gets worse! Not only does Charles think it’s appropriate to dictate Lilibet and Archie’s involvement, conditional to the Sussexes confirming their attendance, he’s ALSO making big plans to snub his mixed-race grandchildren in favor of his all-white grandchildren. AND Charles is making it clear that his grandson Archie’s birthday is nowhere near as important as Charles’s big Chubbly.

Rehearsal plans show that Prince and Princess of Wales and their three children will process out of the abbey, the newspaper reported. They will be joined by the Princess Royal, her husband Vice Admiral Sir Tim Laurence, the Duke and Duchess of Edinburgh, the Duke and Duchess of Gloucester, the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra.

Prince Andrew, Princess Beatrice, Princess Eugenie, Harry and Meghan are not expected to participate. There is little chance of the Sussexes’ children being part of the ceremony itself given their ages – Archie will turn four on the big day itself and Lilibet will be one.

A source said: ‘I’m sure they would also acknowledge the little prince’s birthday even though it’s his grandpa’s big day.’

[From The Daily Mail]

“Grandpa’s big day” = a 74-year-old man wearing stolen jewels while his rottweiler wife smirks at everyone. Anyway, this is such a stupid own-goal from King Charles and his advisors. But it’s always been awful, Charles has the PR instincts of a bridge troll. What should have happened (from the beginning!) was Charles personally extending an invitation to the entire Sussex family and ASKING THEM if they wanted to include the children in any way or not. It’s that simple. You can dress up all of this hand-wringing and palace leaking anyway you want, but every single day of the Chubbly lead-up, we’re seeing why Charles is a dogsh-t father, a dogsh-t grandfather and a dogsh-t king.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.

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Princess Kate doesn’t want her kids to have a ‘normal’ or middle-class childhood

There’s a new “royal book” coming out called Gilded Youth, written by Tom Quinn. Quinn bills himself as some kind of royal expert, mostly to American tabloids. From what I’ve seen, Quinn has little to no insider information, but he’s also not a deranged lunatic frothing at the mouth about Meghan. He just sort of goes by vibes. Well, in Gilded Youth, Quinn writes about how Kate is much different than Princess Diana, and how Meghan hated being controlled by the palace.

Kate’s parenting style: Kate is happy for her children, Prince George, nine, Princess Charlotte, seven, and Prince Louis, four, to have the ‘luxuries and privileges of a royal upbringing’. He adds: ‘Kate makes no effort – unlike Diana – to bring the children down to earth, because she doesn’t want them to have a “normal” childhood in the sense that Diana wanted it for William and Harry.’ Kate feels her late mother-in-law’s modern style created issues, ‘most especially with Harry’ by seemingly adding to his ‘dissatisfaction with his royal role’.

Diana loved shrugging off her aristocratic background: The book also quotes a former member of the palace staff, who said: ‘Diana enjoyed slumming it and was in many ways downwardly mobile – she wanted to escape her aristocratic childhood. Kate wants to escape her middle-class childhood. She dislikes burgers and chips and wouldn’t dream of taking her children to McDonald’s, and she doesn’t rock the boat when the vast weight of traditional royal pursuits bears down on her children.’

Meghan was disappointed by royal life: Writing in his new book Gilded Youth, royal biographer Tom Quinn explained he had spoken to a ‘Kensington Palace staffer who remembered Meghan well’, who said she was stunned by the reality of life in the family. The insider claimed: ‘I don’t think in the whole of history there was ever a greater divide between what someone expected when they became a member of the royal family and what they discovered it was really like. She was a global superstar but was being told what she could and could not do, what she could and could not say. She hated it.’

[From The Daily Mail]

I don’t know, I think this all sounds vaguely accurate? I think Meghan was shocked with the amount of control the palace wanted to exert over her life – all while she was paying for everything while she was in the UK – and she was shocked that no one within the royal institution would protect her or treat her fairly. That’s not a character flaw on Meghan’s part, by the way. And yes, Diana was a disruptor who wanted to expose her sons to the real world and enable them to be more than useless toffs in a colonialist institution. Of course Kate doesn’t want to cosplay THAT. Kate loves the institution. She hates being middle class. She would never raise her children as middle-class kids.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Cover Images.

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Will the Sussexes be ‘snubbed’ for an invitation to this year’s Met Gala?

We’ve seen the Duchess of Sussex three times in the past four months, right? We saw her in December at the Ripple of Hope Awards. We saw her a few weeks ago when she and Prince Harry were spotted in LA at San Vicente Bungalows. And we saw her last week when she took her Archewell team to lunch for International Women’s Day. Even though I always hold out hope that Harry and Meghan will turn up at the Vanity Fair Oscar party, I like that they’re clearly sending the signal that they can move around California quietly, that they’re private people who don’t have to show up to the opening of an envelope, that they’re not needy or desirous of attention. Their brand is “quiet Montecito living” not “LA circuit.” I bring this up because “PR experts” are trying to talk about whether the Sussexes will be invited to the Met Gala and whether they would attend.

Meghan Markle and Prince Harry could miss out on an invite to this year’s Met Gala event amid their ongoing “drama” with the Royal Family. The annual fundraising gala is set to be “Hollywood’s most prestigious red carpet event”, but the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “aren’t likely to attend”.

The Met Gala will be taking place just five days before King Charles’ Coronation, with Harry and Meghan’s rift with the royal family leaving them off the guestlist, according to a PR expert. Jordan James, CEO of Unlocked PR said: “It certainly wouldn’t come as a major surprise if they were snubbed given their current status within the Royal Family and the ensuing drama.”

Jordan said if Meghan and Harry do manage to get an invite to the Met Gala, it could “boost their public perception in America”.

However, he said they’re likely to turn down an invite if they do receive one.

“They aren’t likely to attend as they will undoubtedly face scrutiny, no matter how hard they may try to minimise fallout – especially with how close this event is to the Royal Coronation,” he said. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were also no-shows at this year’s Oscars, with Jordan saying there seems to have been a “shift” in how they’re presenting themselves. “While the couple isn’t always known for laying low, I think we are beginning to see a shift in how they want to be presented – whether this is truly by choice though we may never know, he told the Express.

[From The Daily Mirror]

Yeah, the Sussexes have never gone to the VF Oscar party – or any Oscar party – that we know of. They’ve never gone to the Met Gala. They’ve never gone to the Oscars. I tend to believe that they’ve been invited to all of the above, and they’ve turned down more invitations than we’ll ever know. This isn’t new branding, this is, as I said, their brand since 2020: quiet Montecito living. Now, do I think it would be hilarious if the Sussexes turned up at the Met Gala just days before the coronation? For sure. And I’m sure Anna Wintour would love to have them too. Please – Anna is dying to have Meghan on the cover of Vogue. Anyway, this “Unlocked PR” dude has no idea what he’s talking about.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.