The Daily Mail has started serializing excerpts from the book. In the first excerpt published on Saturday, Robert discusses the Sandringham Summit, where Harry’s future was discussed between him, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Charles, and Prince William. One of William’s alleged grievances with his brother had to do with the handling of Archie Harrison’s birth.
“William did not think too highly of Harry and Meghan’s ‘prima donna’ maneuvers to conceal the birth of their son. He and Kate failed to visit the new arrival for a full eight days,” Robert writes.
“By contrast, the Queen, Prince Philip, Charles, and Camilla all turned up within hours to coo over the baby — and it seemed strange that, when the Cambridges did finally pitch up more than a week later, they didn’t bring along little George, Charlotte, and Louis to welcome their new cousin.”
Robert notes that even before that, all the members of the royal family were annoyed with Harry. Yet, everyone else made their way to see Archie … except the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. Openly admitting that Will and Kate didn’t show for such minor reasons paints them as petty people in a way you wouldn’t expect.
William was also reportedly mad about Harry and Meghan’s decision to keep their choices for Archie’s godparents private.
“Numbers six and seven in the order of succession may not seem particularly close to inheriting the crown, but who knows what can happen in an age of mass terrorist attacks and global pandemics. Six and seven could well get promoted to three and four — or even higher,” he writes.
“‘Secret sponsor’ has a dodgy sound to it. And it is an ingredient of Britain’s representative monarchy that the people should have the right to know who is giving moral guidance to their possible future king or queen.”
“Here again, however, precedent, protocol, and practice all collided headlong with Harry and Meghan’s firm insistence on their privacy — and that of their new baby. Confirming the palace announcement, the Sussex Royal office made clear that the whole ‘sponsor’ issue was non-negotiable.”
“‘Friends’ of William suggested that the future king, only five places clear of Archie in the order of succession, could not comprehend how such a basic matter of constitutional principle had been misunderstood,” Robert continues.
“How could any new Windsor royal be christened in a meaningful sense without the newcomer’s sponsors being known, if not present? What does such bizarre and paranoid behavior indicate about the parents involved? One thing we may conclude is that Harry and Meghan had developed an exaggerated idea of their own importance.”
“The months since their marriage had demonstrated that the couple share a common character flaw — they both have a tendency to cascade downwards from their peaks of generous self-confidence into miserable moments of self-pitying victimhood,” he continues. “They see the world as hostile and start behaving in self-destructive ways that make that hostility come to pass.”
Indeed, many people did question Harry and Meghan’s handling of the christening and godparents, but as parents, they have the right to handle things as they see fit.
As for Archie’s place in the line of succession, it’s a fickle argument to make. He can’t simultaneously be too far from the throne to be included in certain areas but too close not to abide by certain rules with others. Keeping in mind Charles’ slimmed-down vision for the royal family, it’s nearly impossible Archie would ever get to that point.
Another excerpt from the book shared today indicates that William tried to get others to get through to Harry when he expressed concerns about Harry and Meghan’s relationship. Harry was talking about marriage early on, and William thought it was way too soon.
“For his part, William was worried that his brother was going too fast in his courtship and he didn’t shrink from saying so when Harry started talking about getting hitched,” Robert wrote.
“‘This all seems to be moving rather quickly,’ William was said to have remarked to Harry doubtfully, on the testimony of more than one friend. ‘Are you sure?'”
“William couldn’t understand how Harry could contemplate marrying this still unknown and untested quantity less than two years after their first meeting. It went against his every instinct — and his own track record.”
William and Kate were together nearly a decade before he proposed, but to each their own. Harry was older when he began this relationship. After doing emotional work to address some issues he felt within himself, he felt he knew what he wanted and Meghan was it.
“So Harry could not help but wonder whether Wills was really concerned about his personal happiness — or whether he was, once again and as per usual, thinking about the make-up and fortunes of ‘the Firm’ whose boss he would become one day?”
“The response from Harry was a brusque and offended pushback — and after several more peppery reactions, William turned to his uncle Charles Spencer for help.”
“From time to time Diana’s younger brother had played something of an honorary godfather to both boys in the years since the death of their mother, and their uncle agreed with William to see what he could do,” Robert continued. “The result of the Spencer intervention was an even more bitter explosion. Once again Harry refused to slow down.”
Robert said of Harry: “He didn’t blame his uncle. He understood why Diana’s brother should want to help. Yet he was furious with his elder brother for dragging other family members into the row.”
Adding more people to a conversation that was already deemed over does tend to ruffle feathers. You have to wonder what William’s goal really was. Would they have been happy with anyone Harry married that wasn’t a Turnip Toff? His independent streak has always seemed to sit poorly with the royal family, but at what point was an adult Harry allowed to assert dominance over his own life?