Harry and Meghan: Queen ‘unlikely’ to withdraw titles, expert says
Dr Edward Owens has given his opinion on some of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s claims ahead of the release of Harry’s memoir next year, which he announced last week. Harry, 36, said his book will trace his journey from childhood to the present day, including his military service and being a husband for Meghan, 39. He did not say whether he would cover the couple’s departure from royal life, a process often dubbed ‘Megxit’.
The couple announced the move in January last year, saying they would step back as royals and split their time between the UK and North America.
In a statement that followed months of negotiations with the royal family, they said they wanted to “carve out a new progressive role within this institution” and become “financially independent”.
They spoke to Oprah Winfrey about their royal experience in a revealing interview in March and have continued to speak out through media such as Harry’s mental health documentary series on Apple TV +.
However, Dr Owens accused the couple of “developing fictions” that “clouded the reality” of their relationship with The Firm.
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Dispute: Harry claimed Charles (L) cut him
He claimed that Meghan and Harry had not been “entirely truthful” about discussions about their finances, although the Sussex spokesman denied any contradiction between their statements and the palace records.
Dr Owens says: ‘Because Harry and Meghan did the [race] point in the interview, I predict that there will be some uncomfortable truths contained in this brief.
“There will also be fictions, Harry and Meghan were good enough at developing practical fictions, which blurred the reality of the relationship.
“They weren’t entirely truthful, for example they said they had been cut off from the royal family in terms of finances when that was just not the case at the time.
“Harry always received for his safety from his father, but they made it clear that was not the case.”
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Harry claimed in his interview with Oprah that his family stopped supporting him financially in the first quarter of 2020.
He said: “My family cut me off financially and I had to provide security for us.
“Yes, in the first semester, in the first quarter of 2020. But I have what my mom left me and, without it, we couldn’t have done that.”
However, a senior spokesperson for Clarence House told the BBC that Harry received a “substantial sum” from Prince Charles after his decision to leave the royal family.
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Harry: It’s unclear if the briefs will cover Megxit
The Prince of Wales annual review showed funding for the activities of The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and The Duke and Duchess of Sussex with £ 4.4million earmarked for the heading.
It’s unclear how much of this went to the Sussexes, but the spokesperson insisted they were funded until the summer of 2020.
They said: ‘As we will all remember in January 2020, when the Duke and Duchess announced they were going to move away from working family, the Duke said they would work to be financially independent.
“The Prince of Wales has allocated a substantial sum to support them in this transition.
Family tree: From the Firm
“This funding ceased in the summer of last year. The couple are now financially independent.
However, a Sussex spokesperson said there was no contradiction as the timelines were different; Harry was referring to the first quarter of the fiscal period, April through July, rather than the calendar year, which would be January through March.
The spokesperson said: “You are confusing two different timetables and it is incorrect to suggest that there is a contradiction.
“The Duke’s comments during the Oprah Winfrey interview referred to the first quarter of the fiscal year which begins in April.
“The same date as the transition year began the Sandringham Agreement and this is in line with the Clarence House accounts.”
A rare statement from the Queen last year wished the couple good luck in their new life and referred to the “challenges” and “scrutiny” they have faced.
Buckingham Palace also confirmed that an agreement with the Sussexes had been made and that they “would no longer receive public funds for royal duties”.
A spokesperson said the couple had expressed that they wanted to reimburse the expenses of the Sovereign Grant for the renovation of Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, where they lived before staying in Canada and then moving to California.
The renovation of the royal residence, which reportedly cost taxpayers £ 2.4million in 2018-19, caused a huge backlash at the time.
But in September, Prince Harry’s spokesperson said the sum had now been paid back in full.