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Thread: The continuing saga of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle

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    Elite Member rollo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bootspaige View Post
    For whatever reason, she looks bigger than at the announcement of Archie.
    ... which is odd. Maybe she is on/off medication? She would have been well enough a couple of days ago to meet Trump/Ivanka and go to a D-Day event for the veterans.

    On the plus side, her outfit is low key and not the bare shoulders and big hat she wore last year.
    I have some famous friends and I have mostly not famous friends.

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    Maybe she is on steroids for some reason. Who knows.

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    And now the Times are at it, and have completely ignored the Royal-Turnip-Toff-Affair as having any influence on the brothers “split”.....








    Throne together: stern faces at the Royal Foundation Forum, February 2018CHRIS JACKSON/GETTY
    The Sunday Times, June 16 2019, 12:01am
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    It’s not a quiet place to raise a new baby. Standing outside Frogmore Cottage in Windsor one sunny morning last month, the noise of planes coming in to land at Heathrow was thunderous. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have supposedly spent 50,000 soundproofing their new house (calling it a cottage seems faintly absurd when the recent 3m refurbishment reportedly means it now has six bedrooms), but, still, let us hope Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor is a good sleeper.
    The cottage sits within the 33-acre royal Frogmore estate, whose gardens are open to the public for three charity days a year. When I visited on one of these days last month, the paths towards the house were roped off and guarded by policemen, but the Sussexes’ pale-stone, squat home is still visible from several patches of lawn. A few upstairs windows were propped open, sprinklers could be heard hissing over the flowerbeds and, as ticket-holders in sensible gilets and boat shoes strolled past the gate, multiple security cameras swivelled to follow them. “Sir, no photos please,” shouted a weary policeman as a man tried to snap the cottage on his mobile.
    When Harry and Meghan moved to Frogmore in April, it was described in an official statement as “a very special place for their Royal Highnesses”. It was where the couple’s official engagement pictures were taken, where they held their wedding reception last year. But they also wanted space away from Kensington Palace — and perhaps specifically from William and Kate.
    Talk is now quite open among royal staff, commentators and Sloaney friends of the rift between the Sussex and Cambridge households. It has been given further fuel by rumours that the Royal Foundation, the couples’ joint charitable vehicle, is about to split. The decision is expected to be formally announced at a board meeting on Wednesday.
    After several years of positive royal PR — marriages, babies, approving headlines and wedding-guest appearances from the likes of George Clooney and Oprah Winfrey — the situation behind palace walls is suddenly looking far less rosy.
    The British press is regularly accused of pushing false rumours about royal tantrums and rows, particularly when it comes to Meghan. This is especially true in America, where the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s star wattage burns even brighter than in the UK. “We’re so excited that an American is part of the royal family, and she has certainly taken some knocks in the British press,” the CBS anchor Gayle King (Oprah’s best friend) declared last month, ahead of a one-hour special called Meghan and Harry Plus One. The show featured one of Meghan’s friends, Daniel Martin, the man who did her wedding day make-up and was close enough to have visited her at Kensington Palace in January, after which he Instagrammed a picture of their tea with avocado toast and chocolate truffles. In the show, Daniel wept on camera. “Because I know her so well … I know she doesn’t deserve all this negative press,” he choked through his tears, shortly before Buckingham Palace issued a terse statement that said the duchess had “no involvement” in the CBS special, “nor has she requested or given permission to friends to participate”. The swift denial hinted that the show had caused problems behind palace walls.
    Every family has its fair share of bickering, errant behaviour and clashing personalities. The trouble is — perhaps rivalled only by the Kardashians — this family is the most famous in the world, which means everyone wants to know what’s going on. “It’s like the early 1990s all over again, when all anyone could talk about was Diana and Charles,” one ageing grandee sighed recently.
    Rumours about a rift between William and Harry go back a while. William is said to have felt sore that Harry was “dismissive” of the Middleton family when Kate first arrived on the scene (although even William’s own friends supposedly took to sneering “doors to manual” about Carole Middleton’s previous career as an air hostess). The latest trouble started almost two years ago, when an anxious William reportedly sat his brother down for a relationship pep talk. He’s said to have asked, “Are you sure?” before Harry’s proposal to Meghan in 2017. Compared with William and Kate’s sedate eight-year courtship, Harry and Meghan’s whirlwind romance lasted just over a year before Harry’s intentions got serious. The Duke of Edinburgh apparently also chipped in — “One steps out with actresses, one doesn’t marry them,” he is said to have advised his grandson. Idle dinner party gossip, perhaps, although it does sound like a Prince Philip bon mot. Harry proposed anyway, and Meghan moved to London in November, six months before they married.
    Despite being dubbed “the fab four” following a grinning appearance at Sandringham that Christmas, there were already hiccups, says one source, because “Harry felt like William and Kate didn’t make enough effort when Meghan arrived at Kensington Palace, that they didn’t roll out the red carpet for her”. On the whole, these went unreported until after the wedding, but the skirmishes reportedly included a falling-out between Kate and Meghan over Princess Charlotte’s bridesmaid dress that left Kate in tears, and Meghan’s demands over which tiara she would wear on the big day, supposedly causing Harry to shout “What Meghan wants, Meghan gets” at an aide.
    Then came the story that Meghan had demanded scent be sprayed throughout St George’s Chapel, so it didn’t smell musty.
    Meanwhile, Sloaney noses were out of joint because certain pals of Harry’s — including his former Gloucestershire wingman Tom “Skippy” Inskip and Astrid Harbord — hadn’t been invited to the wedding’s evening do at Frogmore, whereas newer pals James Corden and the Clooneys had. (“One of the most boring men I have ever met, he kept going on about his wife,” a junior royal later grumbled about George Clooney to a mutual friend.)
    When I asked the same source why some of Harry’s old muckers had been excluded, I was told firmly: “Anybody who voiced any kind of reservation about Meghan has been sidelined.” The torrent of gossip about Meghan’s “diva-like” behaviour kicked up a gear immediately after the wedding. She sends emails at ungodly hours of the morning was one accusation. Other stories included four Kensington Palace staffers supposedly resigning because she was “demanding”, and Meghan yelling at someone for suggesting she wear “garbage” tights from M&S. The rumours led to some dubbing her “Hurricane Meghan” or “Me-gain”. I have also been told that a very senior member of the royal family had taken to calling her “the degree wife, because she’ll only last three years”. Courtly gossip during Henry VIII’s marriage to Anne Boleyn could scarcely have been as unkind.
    The announcement in March (although first revealed by The Sunday Times in October) that the households were splitting and Harry and Meghan were moving out of their home in the grounds of Kensington Palace seemed only to confirm that the couples weren’t getting along. Harry and Meghan hired a new communications chief, an American called Sara Latham, a former adviser of Hillary Clinton. The Sussex office is also due to move out of Kensington, where William and Kate have theirs, to Buckingham Palace late this year — though some say this has been deliberately engineered by the Queen’s office. It hopes to be able to keep an eye on the Sussexes — so that events such as Meghan’s 330,000 baby shower, which Buckingham Palace reportedly knew nothing about in advance, cannot happen again. “The intention is to ensure what they do is co-ordinated with the rest of the household, so you don’t get an Independent State of Frogmore,” revealed a well-placed source.
    This echoes a move made by Buckingham Palace some years ago, says a former member of royal staff, when “much of the attention was on Charles and Diana and Andrew and Fergie. The Queen was much younger and doing more, and she didn’t much like being pushed off the front pages, so there was a group formed at Buckingham Palace called the Co-ordination and Research Unit, which was about diary and media planning. That’s what they’ve got to do now, co-ordinate diaries better and co-ordinate what they’re all putting out.”
    Not that this latest strategy has done much to halt the rumours. In April it was reported that Kate had hired a stylist, a former Vogue retail editor called Ginnie Chadwyck-Healey, prompting mutterings that she was feeling outdone sartorially by Meghan. It must be tiresome to be constantly set up against your sister-in-law. There has been inside talk about the two women not being very friendly since before Harry and Meghan’s wedding, that they were “very different people”. The blame for this is often pointed at Meghan: “Palace insiders are actively briefing against Meghan because people are finding her so difficult to work with,” a mole told me. Kate and William, for their part, continue to put on their best faces, including at the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, where William publicly congratulated his brother and Meghan after Archie’s birth. That the Cambridges didn’t visit their new nephew at Frogmore Cottage until a week after Archie was born (compared with Harry dropping by Kensington Palace the day after Prince George was born) was seen by some as a deliberate snub — though William had already publicly said he and Kate would visit only once things had “quietened down”. Perhaps the Cambridges were just being mindful of the exhausted new parents.
    Surely some distance was always going to be inevitable as soon as Harry married and formed his own family unit? Not so, says the royal biographer Penny Junor. When she interviewed the princes’ former private secretary, Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, he told her the goal was always for William and Harry to work together “to the full”.
    The goal certainly wasn’t for Harry and Meghan maybe to move to Africa, as The Sunday Times revealed in April. “What’s he actually going to do there?” asked another insider. “I suppose he could fly helicopters over conservation areas and catch poachers, but he can’t do that all the time. And what’s she going to do? And where are they going to live — a gated community in Constantia, living the life of pampered, rich privilege? It’s such bad PR.”
    The suggestion of rivalry between the Sussexes and Cambridges is echoed by an insider who worked for the Prince of Wales for many years. “William’s quite controlling, and he was in control when it was just the three of them, but now he’s not,” he says. “I personally wouldn’t overegg Meghan’s role in all this because it’s unfair, but equally she knows what she’s doing as an actress from Hollywood. She knows all the tricks, she understands the power of social media, and Harry’s getting into all that because he doesn’t much like traditional media either. So they’re maxing up their standalone brand. William’s going to have to get used to it.”
    In April, the @kensingtonroyal Instagram account, which previously covered the activities of all four, was split and a new @sussexroyal account launched. A day later, with ill-judged timing, Harry gave a speech at a YMCA in west London, warning that social media is more dangerous than alcohol and drugs. Not that his advice seemed to put many followers off. The Sussexes currently boast 8.4m followers, while the Cambridges have 9.1m.
    Charles is apparently “averse” to getting involved with his sons’ relationship, so is staying out of it. Meanwhile there are whispers that Meghan is planning a Vogue cover shoot at her new house in Windsor. Kate remains busy with her own three children and the running of two households — Kensington Palace and Anmer Hall in Norfolk. There is apprehension in royal circles about what comes next. The Royal Foundation, set up by William and Harry in 2009, and later joined by Kate and then Meghan, is seen as a solid, working example of the goals shared by all four. Its fate this week will be telling. “The foundation’s the one to watch,” a former royal staffer told me, shortly before its rupture was reported. “If it doesn’t hold together, that’s a real sign there’s a problem.”
    Spot the difference
    The Sussex crests, left, and the joint Cambridge crest

    THE ROMANCE
    Sussex 16-month whirlwind
    Cambridge Eight-year courtship

    THE ENGAGEMENT
    Sussex At Kensington Palace over a roast chicken
    Cambridge A log cabin in Kenya on a walking holiday

    THE HEN-DO
    Sussex A low-key party at the spa retreat Soho Farmhouse, organised by her friend Markus Anderson
    Cambridge A quiet night in with her girlfriends, organised by her sister, Pippa

    THE RING
    Sussex (right) Designed by Harry and made from yellow gold, with two of its three diamonds coming from his mother’s collection
    Cambridge A 12-carat sapphire and 14 diamonds set in 18-carat white gold. It previously belonged to Diana, Princess of Wales

    FIRST SOLO PROJECT
    Sussex A charity cookbook with the women affected by the Grenfell fire
    Cambridge Volunteers at the Scout Association

    THE HOUSE
    Sussex Frogmore Cottage. Cost of refurbishment: 3m
    Cambridge 1A Kensington Palace. Cost of refurbishment: 4.5m

    Frogmore Cottage, left, and 1A Kensington Palace

    RENOVATED BY
    Sussex The designer Vicky Charles, favoured by the Beckhams and the Clooneys. Signature aesthetic: laid-back luxury
    Cambridge The architect Ben Pentreath, purveyor of modern English style, who has worked for Liv Tyler and Sarah Jessica Parker

    AT HOME, YOU’LL FIND HER...
    Sussex Upside down in the mother-and-baby yoga studio
    Cambridge Walking their cocker spaniel, Lupo, around the gardens in Hunter wellies

    YOU’LL FIND THEIR CHILDREN...
    Sussex In the gender-neutral nursery with vegan paint
    Cambridge Dressing up in Daddy’s polo gear (Princes George and Louis) or trying on Mummy’s LK Bennett high heels (Princess Charlotte)

    THE LARDER IS STOCKED WITH...
    Sussex Avocado, kombucha, matcha smoothie bowls
    Cambridge A freshly shot Norfolk partridge, eggs from the garden, gin

    ON INSTAGRAM
    Sussex A Trump-free zone — used to highlight worthy causes
    Cambridge Lots of family and official snaps — including Trump’s visit

    THE SIBLINGS
    Sussex Half-brother Thomas, a window-fitter, and half-sister Samantha, author of The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister
    Cambridge Brother James is an entrepreneur. Socialite sister Pippa is married to hedge-funder James Matthews

    LIKELY TO SAY...
    Sussex “Cheerlead for humanity”
    Cambridge “Keep calm and carry on”

    THE PARENTS
    Sussex Doria, hands-on grandma, and Thomas, who talks through the tabloids
    Cambridge Carole and Michael of Bucklebury Manor, faithful followers of the Royal Ascot dress code


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