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Nicholl: Royal reporters are still salty about Prince Archie’s birth

In 2019, there were royal reporters having complete and total meltdowns over the “secrecy” around the Duke and Duchess of Sussex welcoming baby Archie. Fully grown adults had been gleefully taking part in a massive smear campaign against a pregnant woman, then they were flabbergasted when Meghan and Harry’s people were squirrelly – for about six hours – about when she entered the hospital, when she gave birth and when she went home. During the Oprah interview, Meghan explained some of what was going on behind the scenes, and she indicated that they were not “asked” to do a hospital photocall:

Oprah raised the question with Meghan, asking if her decision to forgo the customary photos was the start of her and Harry wanting out of their senior royal roles, “It feels to me like things started to change when you and Harry decided that you were not going to take the picture that had been part of the tradition for years?”

Meghan, having already explained that it was the royals’ decision not to give Archie a title, which also meant he wouldn’t have security, said in response, “We weren’t asked to take a picture. That’s also part of the spin that was really damaging. I thought, ‘Can you just tell them the truth? Can you say to the world you’re not giving him a title, and we want to keep him safe, and that if he’s not a prince then it’s not part of the tradition? Just tell people and then they’ll understand’… But they wouldn’t do that.”

Continuing on, Oprah asked Meghan, “Was there a specific reason why you didn’t want to be a part of that tradition? I think many people interpreted that as you were both saying we’re going to do things our way?”

The Duchess then explained that she was afraid for her baby’s safety: “That’s not it at all. I think what was really hard… so picture, now that you know what was going on behind the scenes, there was a lot of fear surrounding it. I was very scared of having to offer up our baby knowing that they weren’t going to be kept safe.”

[From Cosmopolitan]

While I still have questions, I assumed that there were discussions among staffers and the family that Meghan should NOT do the hospital-pose photos and she was like “sure, okay, whatever.” As for the brief secrecy around the birth… I get why reporters were mad (they were lied to), but I also get why Harry and Meghan were like “f–k y’all, I don’t have to tell you anything, especially not about the baby.” I bring all of this up because Katie Nicholl’s The New Royals devotes a section to this bullsh-t. Much like Valentine Low and the other members of the rota, Nicholl doesn’t seem to want to include Meghan’s own words in her narrative:

Royal expert Katie Nicholl wrote about the royals’ birth experience in her upcoming book, “The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown.”

“One source described Harry as being ‘almost morbidly obsessed’ with keeping Archie’s birth as secret as possible,” she wrote, according to an excerpt obtained by Page Six. However, the secrecy broke an “unwritten contract between the royals and the public.”

“Behind the scenes, matters were so fraught that more than one official — as I know from personal experience — was reduced to tears of frustration and despair,” Daily Mail’s royal editor Rebecca English added in the book.

Prince Harry, Markle and their newborn baby were expected to pose on the steps of the hospital hours after the duchess gave birth for photos. However, the two decided not to participate on May 6, 2019.

“Harry had always enjoyed outfoxing the media,” Nicholl explained. “He and Meghan were thrilled to be safely delivered of their son in London’s private Portland hospital even before the palace press office had confirmed the duchess was in labor.”

Instead, Harry and Markle debuted Archie at Windsor Castle whenever the Duchess of Sussex felt prepared. The occasion featured one journalist and one photographer. “But it all felt stage-managed, with pre-approved questions, one journalist, and one photographer,” Nicholl wrote in the book. “It demonstrated the growing gulf between public expectations of Harry and what he felt obliged to give.”

[From Yahoo News]

Nicholl is putting the onus on Harry and Meghan, when Meghan absolutely made it sound like some of it was not her call at all. I actually liked the photocall at Windsor Castle with the baby though – it seemed less stressful for the new parents, and shouldn’t that be the priority, especially given that the pregnancy was so massively stressful? Anyway, it’s ridiculous that these people are still bitching about two first-time parents wanting some privacy on the day they welcomed their firstborn.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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The Duke & Duchess of Sussex did a private roundtable discussion in Manchester

In the days before Queen Elizabeth II passed away, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were traveling through the UK and Germany. In Germany, they did events around the 2023 Dusseldorf Invictus Games. In Manchester, Meghan gave the keynote address at the One Young World Summit. As it turns out, Meghan and Harry also took part in “an intimate roundtable discussion” prior to Meghan’s speech. Meghan’s favorite photographer Misan Harriman was there to capture some images from the roundtable, and the story and photos were given to Town & Country:

Town & Country now understands that before the Meghan’s speech, both Meghan and Prince Harry took part in an intimate roundtable discussion focused on advancing gender equality and inclusion, which was moderated by the Irish writer and disability activist Sinéad Burke. The Sussexes and Burke were joined by eight delegates, who shared how their projects are impacting social change.

Swara Patel, whose work is focused on combatting the taboo surrounding menstruation, described the impacts of period poverty; Shilpa Yarlagadda, CEO of the ethically sourced jewelry company Shiffon Co., spoke on the importance of supporting women-led businesses; and Nhial Deng, the founder of Refugee Youth Peach Ambassadors and SheLeads Kakuma, detailed the needs of women living in refugee camps.

Other participants in the conversation included Senior Prosecutor at the Kiribati Office of the Attorney General Tabotabo Auatabu, founder of C Talent Keely Cat Wells, civil rights activist Isra Chaker, founder of the Empowerment Initiative for Rural Women and Girls-Zambia Ireen Chikatula, and football coach Nagin Ravand. Misan Harriman, who has photographed the Sussexes on several occasion, was also on hand to capture the moment, in new pictures, first shared with T&C today.

Meghan has been involved with One Young World since long before she met Prince Harry, and she once described the organization as “the best think tank imaginable.” The Duchess first joined the organization as a counselor at the 2014 Summit in Dublin, and subsequently attended One Young World Summits in Ottawa in 2016 and London in 2019.

[From Town & Country]

This is so cool. I love that they did this and that, frankly, no one knew about it at the time. You’d think that the stalkers in the British tabloid media would have caught this, but it just shows that those dreadful people have no idea what Meghan and Harry are up to. I would also imagine that the photos were supposed to be released soon after the Manchester trip, only everything got hijacked by the funeral.

Earlier this month, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle joined an intimate roundtable discussion about gender equality. See new pictures from the event taken by photographer Misan Harriman here.

— TOWN&COUNTRY (@TandCmag) September 30, 2022

Meghan hugs civil rights activist and humanitarian advocate Isra Chaker during a roundtable discussion focused on advancing gender equality and inclusion at @OneYoungWorld in Manchester.

— Misan Harriman (@misanharriman) September 30, 2022

This morning, Harry and Meghan shared new images from a roundtable discussion on gender equality.

— Caroline Hallemann (@challemann) September 30, 2022

Photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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Nicholl: ‘There’s no real warmth’ between the Sussexes & Waleses

When Prince William invited the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to go on a brief walkabout outside of Windsor Castle on September 10th, it was a big deal. It was such a big deal that both William and King Charles III wanted credit for it – Charles’s people were briefing the media that he “ordered” William to call Harry and invite him. Meanwhile, William’s people were briefing the media that William alone decided to make the call. For a brief moment, it made William seem diplomatic and conciliatory. It was all for show, of course. It was just a performance for an hour. Nothing substantial changed, but at least we knew that William and Harry could be in the same space briefly without killing each other. Well, Katie Nicholl has some thoughts about that walkabout, what didn’t come next and what it all means.

Queen Elizabeth II’s death was “a missed opportunity” for brothers Prince William and Prince Harry to make peace, says a royal expert.

“I think it’s very sad [that] in the days Harry was here, there was an opportunity given they were just a couple of hundred yards away from each other for a meeting or dinner or gathering of some sort where they could actually just try to thrash things out,” “The New Royals” author Katie Nicholl exclusively tells Page Six.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were in the UK for 11 days after the Queen passed away on Sept. 8 at age 96. During that time, the couple stayed at Frogmore Cottage, not far from Adelaide Cottage where the Prince and Princess of Wales are located.

Nicholl notes that although William “extended the olive branch” by inviting his estranged brother and sister-in-law, Meghan Markle, to join him and wife Kate Middleton on a walkabout outside Windsor Castle, it was not the ice-breaker royal watchers were hoping for.

“When you look closely back on it there’s no real warmth there,” Nicholl opines. “There’s no real coming together, it’s very clear the ‘Fab Four’ are not fab anymore, they were going through the motions. I’ve had it on very good sources that there was no meeting done privately and so yes [there was] a missed opportunity but reflective of how intensely both brothers feel about things.”

Nicholl explains that a détente appears dim as both brothers are digging in their heels.

“William can be very stubborn and hold a grudge,” she says. “Harry is emotional and hotheaded and they’re both very passionate and there’s a lack of understanding on both parts and resentment on both parts and anger on both parts, that hasn’t been able to be placated and worked through.”

[From Page Six]

I actually appreciate the fact that Nicholl says “there’s no real warmth there.” Too many people were like “wow, relations are thawing, maybe something will happen now!” I actually thought William put on a good performance of someone trying to make nice. Harry also made an effort. Meghan seemed terrified that at any moment, William was going to scream at her. And Kate just seemed over it and contemptuous of the whole stunt. Once again, I go back to what Omid Scobie wrote about them just before QEII’s death – Harry wants accountability, William wants an apology. I think it’s more like Harry wants justice and William wants capitulation.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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Are the Sussexes trying to shelve or edit their Netflix docu-series?

Again: all of the crap the Duke and Duchess of Sussex went through for Queen Elizabeth II’s funeral just solidified the fact that they were right to leave and that they don’t owe anyone anything. They would not even allow Prince Harry to salute his fallen commander-in-chief. They told Harry that his wife isn’t family and that she was unwelcome at Balmoral. They made a point of publicly disinviting the Sussexes from a pre-funeral reception. Harry and Meghan got treated terribly and the whole world saw it. So please excuse me if I do not believe for one moment that suddenly Harry & Meghan want to go easier on Charles and the rest of the family. If anything, QEII’s death represents the cut of the last tie to Salt Island and now the Sussexes can burn it all down. Still, Page Six’s “industry sources” insist that the Sussexes are going to cancel or edit their future projects?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are making a dramatic u-turn on their upcoming projects in the wake of Queen Elizabeth’s death, multiple sources told Page Six.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been working on a docuseries as part of their multi-million dollar Netflix deal for more than a year. Netflix chiefs — who have not even officially announced the Sussex project yet — had hoped to air the docuseries in December after the fifth season of “The Crown”on Nov. 9. Now, we’re told the couple want to make more edits to the hotly anticipated show, which would potentially push back its release till later in 2023.

Harry’s memoir, originally scheduled for release from Penguin Random House in November, has already been pushed back until sometime next year.

Many royal experts have said that Harry’s father, King Charles, will hold off giving the title of prince and princess to the Sussex children, Archie, 3, and Lilibet, 1, until the couple’s various media projects are out.

While the Sussexes were part of the usual editing process on both the show and the book well before the monarch’s death, sources said the couple is keen to take out or downplay much of what they have said about King Charles, Queen Consort Camilla, Prince William and his wife Kate, the new Princess of Wales.

One Hollywood industry source told us: “A lot of conversations are happening. I hear that Harry and Meghan want the series to be held until next year, they want to stall. I wonder if the show could even be dead in the water at this point, do Harry and Meghan just want to shelve this thing?”

One highly-placed Netflix insider revealed: “Netflix has been keen to have the show ready to stream for December. There’s a lot of pressure on (Netflix CEO) Ted Sarandos who has the relationship with Harry and Meghan, to get this show finished.”

[From Page Six]

This reminds me of the British papers desperately trying to make “Harry and Meghan’s popularity is waning in America” into a thing just before QEII’s death. The exact same people are trying to make “Harry and Meghan are desperate to edit all of their sh-t talking” happen. And again, why would the Sussexes feel that way, especially after the funeral-shambles? My prediction – and I’m talking out of my ass, same as these “sources” – is that Harry’s memoir will come out as planned and on schedule. My prediction is that whatever the Sussexes had cooking at Netflix will probably come out on schedule and with some updates.

Photos courtesy of Backgrid, Cover Images.

Meghan Markle Prince Harry royals

The Sussexes were ‘demoted’ even further down on the site

For a while now, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have been featured somewhat prominently on, the royal family’s official site which features all of the main working royals. While the line of succession on’s site was updated within 24 hours of Queen Elizabeth’s passing, it’s taken the webmasters this long to update the prominence and decline of the working royals’ jump pages. Hilariously, Meghan and Harry are still listed on the page, even though everyone is clear that they’re not coming back and they’re not working royals. So now, under King Charles, the Sussexes have been put at the bottom of the page, under the Duke of Gloucester (who??), the Duke of Kent and Princess Alexandra (who I have never seen in my entire life). Buried underneath the Sussexes? Prince Andrew. Who is also not a working royal, having “given up” his status when he paid millions of dollars in a settlement to his rape victim, trafficked to him by his good friends Ghislaine Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein. Guess which version of the story is getting all the headlines?

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have officially been demoted. Over the weekend, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s pictures were pushed all the way down to the bottom of the list on the Royal Family’s website.

While they were still working members of the family, the couple’s dedicated pages were listed right below Prince William and Kate Middleton’s, who have since been promoted to Prince and Princess of Wales respectively.

After they stepped down from their duties on January 2020, they were pushed to sit right below Princess Anne. But now, after King Charles III ascended the throne, they sit right on top of the disgraced Prince Andrew.

Since their infamous “Megxit,” the pair have rarely returned to the UK from their new home in California — that was until Queen Elizabeth II’s death on Sept. 8. Their demotion is just the latest snafu the couple has faced in the past couple of weeks.

[From Page Six]

I hope the Sussexes’ lawyers send a cease and desist and a removal order to Buckingham Palace and Instead of treating this like a demotion, treat it like these septuagenarian a–holes are still using Meghan and Harry’s names for clout. It’s another case of the Windsors wanting it both ways – either Harry is the son of the king and treated with respect commensurate to his position in the line of succession OR he’s not a working royal and therefore should not be included in way, shape or form. Pick one.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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King Charles felt ‘tremendous flickers of hope’ for unity with the Sussexes

It should be said again and again: King Charles III and the whole palace operation proved to be utterly incompetent and tone-deaf in the days following Queen Elizabeth II’s death. The immediate focus was not on QEII, but on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. Charles and Prince William were really feeling themselves as they launched a full assault on Harry and Meghan for daring to want to travel together to Balmoral. A source close to the new king said: “Charles told Harry that it wasn’t right or appropriate for Meghan to be in Balmoral at such a deeply sad time. It was pointed out to him that Kate was not going and that the numbers really should be limited to the very closest family. Charles made it very, very clear Meghan would not be welcome.” Not right or appropriate for Harry to travel with his wife and mother of his two children. Meghan “would not be welcome” because, as other palace insiders insisted, it was “wholly inappropriate” and Balmoral was for “family” only. And Meghan isn’t “family” to them.

That set the tone for everything that followed, with Charles and William’s aides once again briefing the media about all things Sussex, with all of the messiness about who was allowed to wear military uniforms and who wasn’t. The fact that Charles and his staff want everyone to know that they’re snubbing two little kids by publicly refusing to acknowledge their royal titles. The fact that Charles invited and then uninvited the Sussexes to a diplomatic mixer. And it just keeps going, because now King Charles’s aides are briefing the media that the king thinks there’s a “thaw” in relations.

Hopes of a thaw in the ‘cold war’ between The Firm and the Sussexes emerged last night after royal insiders revealed that King Charles saw ‘tremendous flickers of hope’ when he spoke to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle at the Queen’s funeral – and even believes he might even be able to salvage the relationship with the duke and duchess.

The King’s conversations with his son and daughter-in-law at the ceremonies for the late monarch at Westminster Abbey and Windsor Castle left him feeling hopeful that he could mend relations with the Sussex after their acrimonious departure from the royal family.

An insider told The Telegraph: ‘It remains the case that the King loves both of his children. Over the last 16 days or so, there were tremendous flickers of hope. In terms of the future, there is hope of a cause for unity.’

Among the many challenges facing the King in his reign, including modernising Britain’s ancient monarchy, will be how to deal with the duke and duchess, who plunged The Firm into crisis after quitting public duties for a life free from royal obligations in California – from where they have made a string of damaging allegations against the institution.

[From The Daily Mail]

This is how Charles thinks he needs to rewrite the narrative which he set himself in the first ten days as king. Instead of actually focusing on his kingship, he played petty games and now he’s reaping all of the petty prizes. If anything, what the mourning period and funeral showed the Sussexes was that they were right to go, right to stay away and right to start the process of cutting ties from these awful people. As I’ve said before, the only “win” here for all parties is to stop the bleeding, which would mean William and Charles making a commitment to stop scapegoating and briefing against the Sussexes entirely. Which isn’t going to happen.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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Nicholl: QEII didn’t like that Meghan Markle wore white to her second wedding

The royal tea in Katie Nicholl’s The New Royals is so lukewarm. It’s not that surprising – Nicholl made a name for herself in her early days as a de facto talking head on behalf of the Middletons. Nicholl would simply write whatever Kate, Carole and Pippa wanted her to write. Nicholl still keeps up with her Middleton connections, and I believe she also has sources within Kensington Palace’s staff operations too. All of which makes The New Royals very carefully written and, as I said, lukewarm. There’s also a lot of “the Queen thought this” and “the Queen didn’t understand that,” all from fussy old biddies who clutch their kerchiefs when a divorced woman comes into the room. Some highlights from the Daily Mail excerpt of The New Royals:

Kate hated Meghan on sight: There had been persistent rumours about tension between the Sussexes and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, as Kate and William were then styled, from the earliest days of Harry’s relationship with Meghan. Harry had hoped that his sister- in-law, Kate, would show Meghan the way, that the two women would become friends. It seems, however, there was a coolness between them from the off – a ‘personality clash’ was how it was put to me by someone close to the Princess of Wales. Harry’s complaint was still more personal: that he didn’t truly have the endorsement he really craved from his brother and Kate, the ‘sister [he’d] always wanted’, as a source put it. William did have concerns, in fact – not least that his brother’s relationship with Meghan had progressed too quickly.

William “had reservations” about Meghan: ‘It’s probably a bit strong to say he didn’t like Meghan from the start, but William had reservations,’ confides one of the Prince’s oldest friends. ‘He was obviously happy for Harry but he was also cautious, as he always is about people getting close very quickly to his family.’

Queen Elizabeth hated Meghan’s white wedding gown: The wedding day was a great success, although the Queen had reservations about the pure white of Meghan’s Givenchy dress, designed by Clare Waight Keller. According to a source: ‘The Queen was surprised that Meghan wore pure white on her wedding day. Perhaps it’s a generational thing, but she believes if you’ve been married before, you wear off-white on your wedding day, which is what the Duchess of Cornwall did.’

The royal fast track: So anxious was the Queen to include her new daughter-in-law, in fact, that she put Meghan on a Royal ‘fast track’, granting her the patronages of the National Theatre and the Association of Commonwealth Universities, which she had held herself for 45 years and 33 years respectively. It amounted to a very public endorsement. In March 2019, she elevated the Duchess still further, appointing her vice president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust to work alongside Harry, who was already serving as its president.

Jealous Peggington: These were plum roles for the Sussexes, so significant they made William ‘slightly jealous’, according to one source. ‘[The Queen’s Commonwealth Trust job] was a role William had rather fancied for himself,’ said the insider.

Frogmore Cottage: When Harry and Meghan announced their wish to move out of Kensington Palace, the Queen offered them Frogmore Cottage in Windsor Great Park as their new home. This was not the suite of apartments at Windsor Castle they had hoped for. It was a generous gesture nonetheless, recalled Lady Elizabeth Anson, who died in 2020. ‘The cottage was a big deal,’ she said. ‘The Queen’s entrance into the gardens is right next to their cottage. It is essentially her back yard, her solitude, and her privacy. She was giving that up in gifting Harry and Meghan Frogmore Cottage. We all thought it was very big of her. She said, ‘I hope they’ll respect it.’ ‘

[From The Daily Mail]

What’s funny about the “William had reservations” conversation is that William and Kate have always wanted to have it both ways – they want to say that they gave Meghan an honest-to-God “chance” and that Meghan ruined it and they also want credit for knowing immediately that Meghan wouldn’t “work out” as part of the family, therefore they were completely justified in treating her like sh-t from the word go. Pick one, it can’t be both. The “reservations” conversation is also about William’s racism and how he was likely the one telling Harry not to get serious about Meghan because of what their children would look like.

As for the stuff about the wedding gown… God knows. QEII’s generation was like that, so it wouldn’t surprise me if she had thoughts. It should be said that Camilla did NOT wear off-white to her second wedding though, she wore a crisp white dress and coat to the civil service, then she changed into a pale grey-blue and gold ensemble for the wedding service at Windsor Castle. When Nicholl gets details like that wrong, it makes you think, huh.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.