Royals accused of double standards after latest leaks about Harry and Meghan

Rebecca Taylor
·Royal Correspondent
·4 min read

Watch: Duke of Sussex 'has spoken to Charles and William since Oprah programme' but talks 'not productive', says TV host

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle's apparent decision to leak details of conversations between the prince and his family has led to concerns that the rift between the royals will not heal.

Meghan is said to have authorised her friend Gayle King, host of CBS This Morning, to share details on her programme about conversations Harry had with Prince William and Prince Charles over the weekend.

King, who is also friends with Oprah Winfrey, said on Tuesday: "I did actually call them to see how they were feeling, and it's true, Harry has talked to his brother and he has talked to his father too.

"The word I was given was that those conversations were not productive. But they are glad that they have at least started a conversation and I think what is still upsetting to them is the Palace keep saying they want to work it out privately, but yet, they believe these false stories are coming out that are very disparaging against Meghan, still."

The comments being released in this way has led to a dispute about how the rift will be healed if details of the conversation continue to emerge via friends of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

The royal palaces are not offering comment, but some royal commentators have said they are briefing friends in the same way.

Omid Scobie, who wrote a biography about Harry and Meghan and spoke to many of their friends as he compiled it, tweeted: "Bit confused here, so just want to get this new royal protocol correct. It’s okay when info is leaked to the papers via a palace source but not when Gayle King shares it on TV? Righty-ho then."

Several newspapers ran comments from royal sources on Wednesday morning. The Mirror's royal editor Russell Myers said the revelations would "cause alarm" but that the palaces would not be drawn into a "running commentary" on the talks.

The Queen has reportedly issued a three-line whip when it comes to aides discussing the fallout from the Winfrey interview.

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Royal biographer Penny Junor said: "It’s a shocking breach of trust.

"The family will worry that anything they say to Harry will end up on American television."

Trisha Goddard told Good Morning Britain: "The thing is that beyond them being a Royal Family, they are a family.

"When they did the interview, I heard pain and anguish. They might not have got all the details right but the message was 'we are in pain'.

"The family needs time to react to that.

"I'm reminded of something, that the Duke of Edinburgh and Prince Charles were apparently having a conversation back in the days of Diana, and the duke said to Prince Charles, 'I wish you and Diana would just speak, just talk,' and Charles said 'here's the problem, every time I do it ends up on the front page of a certain tabloid'.

"If a family feels that everything they say is going to end up as a headline, they are naturally going to be more reticent, perhaps less honest and perhaps more sparing with the communication."

Meghan referred to 'The Firm' as she sat down to talk to Oprah about life in the royal family. (CBS)
Meghan and Harry revealed a lot about life in the Royal Family during the chat with Oprah Winfrey. (CBS)

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Ben Shephard, standing in on GMB after Piers Morgan quit last week, said the matters didn't sound like they could be dealt with in one phone call, adding: "If there's been such a hugely seismic moment within a family that has been suddenly thrown, very personal things have been thrown into the spotlight, it's not going to be sorted out quickly.

"It's going to take a while for everybody to be able to share their truth and be able to be honest with each other and hopefully start healing, because that's what we all want."

Fellow GMB host Ranvir Singh questioned "what is the gain?" for Harry and Meghan in allowing the information out and said it was "mean-spirited" following their two-hour interview in which they had their say.

GMB presenter Adil Ray tweeted: "Harry and Meghan do not have the benefit of a 'palace source', a 'palace insider' or a 'royal expert' with access.

"Last week Prince William was asked about private chats and expert Katie Nicholl relayed a message from Kate M rebutting Meghan’s claim. Why were we not surprised then?"