Failure at the royal family crisis meeting could trigger Harry and Meghan’s nuclear option

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If the Queen ever needed a reminder of the dangers facing the monarchy ahead of Monday’s face-to-face meeting of the royal family’s feuding factions, she’d only need to fetch a copy of The Sunday Times and turn to page 25.

There, journalist Tom Bradby offers an exquisite insight into the thinking of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle in the days, weeks and months leading up to last week’s bombshell decision to pack their bags and walk away. He also gives warning that a bomb is primed and ready to go off underneath the House of Windsor.

Britain is saturated by coverage of the royal split – some of it informed and much of it total garbage. However, the Queen and her staff would know Bradby is one reporter who should be taken very seriously.

Known as the “royal whisperer”, Bradby is an accomplished journalist, news anchor and longtime friend of Harry and Prince William. He secured the exclusive 2010 interview in which William and Kate Middleton announced their engagement. He even went to their wedding.

It was Bradby who also lifted the lid on tensions inside the royal family when he last year got Harry and Meghan to open up about their struggles adapting to royal life. Bradby described the ITV interview in the African jungle as “qualified honesty” from the couple. It was in this interview that Meghan agreed she was “not OK” and Harry vowed to not let the tabloid press harm his new wife in the way they had Princess Diana.

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Towards the end of this weekend’s piece for The Sunday Times, Bradby fires a remarkable warning shot over the gates of Buckingham Palace about what the Duke and Duchess of Sussex might do if they don’t get their way at Monday’s crisis meeting with the Queen, Prince Charles and Prince William.

“If their co-operation in the ITV documentary was qualified honesty, what would the real deal look like?” Bradby writes.


“I have some idea of what might be aired in a full, no-holds-barred, sit-down interview and I don’t think it would be pretty.

“I suspect the royal family would carry British public opinion still – perhaps only just – but its international standing is a key part of its value to the British state. If that were to be tarnished, it could be very damaging indeed.”

The warning is simple: if the palace frustrates the pair’s plan to leave, make their own money and move to Canada, then expect all hell to break loose. What they might have to share would be enough to seriously damage the royal family at home and abroad. There is speculation that possible interview revelations could include allegations of sexism and racism practiced by some members of the royal family or their senior staff.

There is no evidence Harry and Meghan asked for that threat to be conveyed publicly but there is little doubt Bradby is intimately familiar with their thinking and planning.

And they are hurt and aggravated.

It seems the couple wanted to meet other family members to discuss their plans to split from the institution before it was announced but were instead encouraged to write their thoughts down and submit them for further discussion. When they did just that, the plans leaked.

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Bradby reports Harry and Meghan apparently find some family members “jealous and, at times, unfriendly” – with the exception of the Queen and Prince Philip.

And then there is this missile: “The fallout began at the time of the wedding in 2018. Really damaging things were said and done. The atmosphere soured hard and early, but few meaningful attempts were made by anyone to heal the wounds.”

A poll released in Britain over the weekend suggests the public largely supports the wishes of the Duke and Duchess to go it alone, but most respondents were angry and disappointed by the couple’s failure to tell the Queen before they made the announcement. There is huge affection for the 93-year-old monarch, and Prince Charles and Prince William also enjoy good public approval ratings.

But a damaging, no-holds-barred interview could change all that in an instant. It’s why the most likely outcome of Monday’s meeting at Sandringham is a win for Harry and Meghan and the cost of a permanent fracture at the heart of the royal family.


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