Prince Harry claimed in the fifth episode of his new Netflix series that the palace put out a false, joint statement to correct “bullying” reports directed at Prince William during the royal family’s crisis talks surrounding Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to step back as working royals in January 2020.
After the meetings, which took place at a private residence of the royal family called Sandringham House, Harry said that “a story came out that part of the reason why Meghan and I were leaving was because William had bullied us out.”
“And once I got in the car after the meeting, I was told about a joint statement that had been put out in my name and my brother’s name squashing the story about him bullying us out of the family,” the Duke of Sussex claimed.
“I couldn’t believe it,” he said. “No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that.”
“And I rang M and I told her and she burst into floods of tears. Because within four hours they were happy to lie to protect my brother and yet for three years, they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us,” he said.
“Suddenly what clicked in my head was, ‘It’s never gonna stop,’” Meghan said. “Every rumor, every negative thing, every lie, everything that I knew wasn’t true, and that the palace knew wasn’t true and internally they knew wasn’t true ― that was just being allowed to fester.”
The joint statement, which was published on Jan. 13, 2020, was viewed by HuffPost at the time as a standout show of solidarity between the brothers, noting that it is “extremely rare for the royals to publicly issue a personal rebuke on an individual story, especially in a joint statement. The royal family rarely comments on the veracity of reports written about them.”
Harry added in episode five of “Harry & Meghan” that “the saddest part of it was this wedge created between me and my brother, so that he’s now on the institution’s side.”
“And I get, part of that I get. I understand, right?” the Duke of Sussex added. “That’s his inheritance, so to some extent it’s already ingrained in him that part of his responsibility is the survivability and the continuation of this institution.”
Earlier episodes alluded to bitterness between the two brothers and the relationship between the royals and the press.
Harry previously spoke of the “dirty game” that the palace and media play.
“There’s a hierarchy of the family,” the duke says. “You know, there’s leaking, but there’s also planting of stories.” (HuffPost)