As Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle confirm they’ve been in talks with King Charles’ office about whether they‘ll attend the Coronation, royal expert Tom Bower told us their strained relationship with the royal family is beyond saving.
He claimed the “selfish” and “unintelligent” Harry doesn’t understand his actions mean there can be “no way back” for a family reconciliation.
He also claimed that relations between the Sussexes and King Charles and Prince William are too damaged and that Harry was more concerned with “monetising his life” in interviews than in repairing the relationship.
Tom, author of Revenge: Meghan, Harry And The War Between The Windsors, said “the damage is done” following 38-year-old Harry’s “hostile and vitriolic” words in his memoir, Spare, and during revealing interviews, including a recent one in which he spoke of his upbringing in a “broken home”.
Tom, 76, claims, “It’s too late for a reconciliation. There is no way back at all. Harry is a rather dim, unintelligent man who undoubtedly loves his life in California and is so blinkered, he actually doesn’t understand the damage he’s done.
“That’s the real curse of all this – he really doesn’t see how much hurt he’s created because he’s
so selfish, so self-indulgent. It’s extraordinary how someone can be so blind to the consequences.
“I don’t think Harry wants to come back because he thinks he’s on to a winner. He loves this lifestyle, he loves all the publicity and the money he’s getting from it all – and Meghan wouldn’t dream of coming back to England. They’ve made their life in California and that’s fine.”
A spokesperson for the Sussexes said a decision on whether they would be at the coronation in Westminster Abbey on 6 May – their son Archie‘s fourth birthday – had not yet been made.
A statement released days after it was revealed the King had evicted the Sussexes from Windsor’s Frogmore Cottage and offered the keys to Princess Eugenie and her husband Jack Brooksbank, read, “I can confirm the Duke has recently received email correspondence from His Majesty’s office regarding the coronation. An immediate decision on whether the Duke and Duchess will attend will not be disclosed by us at this time.”
Tom said the presence of Harry and Meghan, 41, at the coronation would distract attention from the King on a historic royal day.
“It would be unfortunate if they did attend because the focus will be on them, rather than the coronation. The ceremony would be overshadowed by their presence. It’s much better if they don’t come,” he said. “It would not be in any way a good idea for them to attend. They’ve gone so far, they’ve been so unbelievably unfriendly, hostile and vitriolic – just terribly negative – that I just don’t see how there can be a benefit. It can only really detract from the occasion.
“At the moment, it’s important to make sure, for Charles’ purposes, that Harry and Meghan realise they’d better not come because it’s not going to be in their interests.”
Tom also believes the couple won’t respond to the invitation until very close to the event.
He said, “They’ll see until the last minute whether it suits them or not. Charles, in the end, has to show some strength in character. The coronation for him is the most important day in his life. Harry will detract and shift the focus away from Charles, so why have the problem?”
Meanwhile, after months of speculation that the King would remove the titles of prince and princess from Harry and Meghan’s children, Archie and Lilibet, it has been confirmed they will use them.
The couple referred to their 21-month-old daughter as Princess Lilibet in a statement announcing that she had been christened on 3 March in California. The following day Archie and Lilibet were officially named prince and princess on the royal family’s official website.
However, Tom believes the children’s titles could still be removed. “The only thing Harry’s got are the titles and clearly the children have been given titles which is a very important point in this whole saga.
“The next thing is whether they lose the titles,” he said.
The King, the Queen Consort, and the Prince and Princess of Wales were all said to have been invited to the christening but opted not to attend.
Harry and Meghan have been at loggerheads with the royal family since leaving Britain for
the United States in January 2020 and signing a string of commercial deals.
And relations remain fraught after the couple criticised royal relatives during an Oprah Winfrey interview and in a Netflix series. In January, Harry published his memoir, in which he alleged his brother Prince William knocked him to the ground in a row over Meghan and broke a dog’s bowl during a kitchen bust-up.
In the book, he also accused the Queen Consort of leaking stories about him and William in a bid for favourable press attention, and claimed that he and his brother once pleaded with their father not to marry Camilla.
He also revealed private conversations with his father and William during a walk in the gardens of Frogmore Cottage, hours after the funeral of his grandfather, the Duke of Edinburgh. He said his father begged, “Please boys, don’t make my final years a misery.”
In a recent interview with Dr Gabor Maté, Harry spoke of the trauma of growing up in a broken home and said he’d always felt different from the rest of his family – just like his mother, Princess Diana.
In a livestream interview with the trauma expert, Harry complained he’d been starved of attention during his “incredibly painful” childhood and, as he plunged into despair, experimented with drugs which helped him deal with his issues.
In the £19-a-head online event, during which Dr Maté diagnosed the prince as suffering from attention deficit disorder, Harry said he had to move to the US to break a “cycle of pain” and described himself as a “fantastic candidate for the military”. He said, “I don’t know how it is around the rest of the world but certainly in the UK we tend to recruit from broken homes – you know, individuals who are ready for it.”
On his relationship with drugs, he admitted cocaine “didn’t do anything for me” and said, “It was more a social thing. It gave me a sense of belonging and probably also made me feel different to the way I was feeling, which was kind of the point.
“Marijuana is different, that actually did really help me.”
He’d also used psychedelics, he said. During the interview, labelled an “intimate chat about loss and childhood trauma”, Prince Harry said he’d urged other members of the royal family to have therapy.
He claimed “a lot of families are complicated and a lot of families are dysfunctional, as well”, adding that therapy had taught him a “new language” which he felt his relatives did not speak.
He explained, “I actually felt more pushed aside and then I said to my therapist, ‘OK, I’ve got a problem – this is working for me so I can now live a truly authentic life and be genuinely happy and be a better dad for my kids. But at the same time I’m feeling more and more distant from my loved ones and my family.’”
Harry also revealed he had been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after the death of his mother.
He said some elements of his childhood were incredible, while others were incredibly painful. He added that both he and his wife “try their best to make sure you don’t hand on any traumas that you have as a parent”.
The prince also suggested he was closer to his mother, who died in 1997 when he was 12,
than his older brother, William.
“I certainly have felt throughout my life, throughout my younger years, I always felt slightly different to the rest of my family,” he said. “I felt strange being in this container and I know that my mum felt the same.
“So it makes sense to me. It didn’t make sense at the time. I felt as though my body was in there, but my head was out and then sometimes it was vice versa,” he disclosed.
“But the times that I ventured towards being myself, being my authentic true self, for one shape or another whether it was through media or family or whatever it was, it was almost like the ‘don’t be yourself, come back to what you’re expected to be. I’m feeling more and more distant from
my loved ones and my family – this is a problem’.”
Tom believes King Charles will be unsettled by the fact that his youngest son continues to take part in tell-all interviews.
“I’d imagine he’s pretty upset. He’s heard these accusations before, but he goes on and on and on. Harry constantly monetises life. He’s been derogatory about his father and that’s not going to help Charles. If Harry and Meghan do go to the coronation, it will just make it even worse.”
Prince Harry has declined to reveal whether he will attend the crowning, saying, “The door is always open. The ball is in their court.”
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