Wednesday, 7 December 2022

An Archewell X RFK Human Rights Collaboration, Archetypes Wins People's Choice Award & Harry's Pearl Harbor Visit

Hello, dear readers, I'm back with several updates!

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It's understood in conversation with Kerry Kennedy, Harry and Meghan said they know "a ripple of hope can turn into a wave of change". CNN's Don Lemon attended the event and said the couple were "mobbed, swarmed by people". Max Foster described the event as "an endorsement" of their message. Don added: "They thanked all of us in the crowd for coming out."

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Harry joked with the crowd: "I actually thought we were going on a date night."

Below, the couple talking about Archewell. Harry was really charming the crowd :)

A sneak peek inside the event.

Mingling inside with guests.

There was also exciting news about a collaboration between the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights organisation and Archewell.

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More from RFK Human Rights:

'In partnership with the American Federation of Teachers and the Tribeca Festival, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights created the annual Speak Truth to Power Video Contest, encouraging middle and high school students to use film as a tool to discuss human rights issues that resonate with them. In creating these short three- to five-minute videos, whether they be documentaries, narrative films, or experimental, students not only learn about human rights but also become champions of change and social justice. Students from all backgrounds can participate in the contest without needing expensive equipment or prior video editing skills. This year, special awards will be presented to filmmakers who use only an iPhone to create their videos.

The Grand Prize winner will participate in a Tribeca Festival event in New York City, where their video will premiere.

This year’s Speak Truth to Power competition will also bring together students, educators, and human rights defenders, for the first-ever Archewell Foundation Award for Gender Equity in Student Film. The Award will recognize students who have harnessed the power of visual storytelling to highlight a woman who has uplifted her community and, in doing so, changed the course of history for women everywhere. The new award will be presented along with the Grand Prize winner during a 2023 Tribeca Festival event in New York City.

The Grand Prize winner and The Archewell Foundation Award for Gender Equity in Student Film winner will participate in a Tribeca Festival event in New York City, where the videos will premiere'.

Finally, a word on Meghan's earrings. The Duchess wore Carolina Herrera's Kaleidoscope gold-plated drop earrings with embellishment. They retail for about £150 (with thanks to What Meghan Wore).


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Whilst Harry and Meghan were at the event, very exciting news was underway at the People's Choice Awards where Archetypes was crowned Best Podcast of 2022. In a statement released today, Meghan thanked the supporters and fans of her first podcast: "I loved digging my hands into the process, sitting up late at night in bed, working on the writing and creative. I loved digging deep into meaningful conversation with my diverse and inspiring guests." Meghan thanked her "amazing team" for bringing the "labour of love" to life. Thanking those who voted, she said: "Your support means the world."

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For the 81st commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day, Archewell shared images from Harry's visit to Honolulu last month.

A statement read: "In November, ahead of the 81st commemoration of Pearl Harbor Day, The Duke of Sussex visited Pearl Harbor National Memorial in Honolulu – a monument honoring the thousands of servicemembers and civilians affected by the tragedy. As part of The Duke’s continued commitment to remembering and honoring military personnel, veterans and families, he toured the sites of the USS Missouri and the USS Arizona alongside Admiral Samuel Paparo (Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet) and Admiral John Aquilino (Commander, U.S Indo Pacific Command), paying his respects with a ceremonial laying of flowers at the reflection pool."

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Before I sign off, we're on the eve of Harry and Meghan's docu-series airing on Netflix. As has been customary on MAM since the first days of the blog, there's a good deal of vitriolic in comments. It feels like a good time to remind those leaving them they will not be published. If you've been leaving such aimed in my direction, you are equally wasting your time.

I know some of you have followed Harry and Meghan and have expressed disappointment regarding this docu-series. That is perfectly fine and you are entitled to your opinion. Looking at it all from a purely logical perspective, I can say, I think it would have been categorically a better decision to lay the entire reality of their lives 2016-2019 and the events which led to them leaving the UK in its entirety back in January 2020. Many (if not most) people simply do not understand the situation which erupted after they married. The why, the who, the what... Sometimes in life it's easier, cleaner and more convenient to believe in the concept of the lone 'villain'. In this case, the title has been awarded to Meghan. Though you will of course be aware, in the intricacies of family and personal relationships, it is rarely so simple. It may be more palatable, but it is not the truth.

I cannot tell you what precisely occurred within Palace walls over those years, but there is simply no point in rewriting history. A vicious, unrelenting and monumentally damaging smear campaign left Meghan suicidal during her pregnancy. 

Again, I know many of you don' believe that. Fear not, because Palace courtiers were briefing a Times reporter she was a terrible state of distress. Even the most personal details regarding her mental health weren't considered private.

The press didn't sit down huddled in a room together and decide to destroy Meghan -- they were fed those stories and to suggest otherwise now is preposterous. In turn those stories began to feed an insatiable beast.

You may not like her and you may not agree with the Sussexes' decisions, but ask yourself, if this was your daughter, sister or friend rather than a person presented as a media caricature, would you feel differently? 

This, from Times correspondent Catherine Philp today.

From the BBC today -- 'Harry and Meghan: UK press monetised hatred of couple, says MP':

'Rhondda MP Chris Bryant said newspapers had "filled their online sites" with "hateful Meghan Markle material".

"It is becoming their richest clickbait scene… it drives viewing and earns advertising income," he said.

He made the comments in a speech introduced by Hugh Grant at the annual Leveson Lecture held by press-reform group Hacked Off.

Mr Bryant said the monetary incentive was "why so many British opinion writers penned so much drivel about the couple".

"Not because the story matters. It doesn't. Not because the writers genuinely cares about it. They don't. But because it makes money," he said.

"That is not journalism. It's a perversion of journalism and it means, yet again, the press see people lives as commodities to be traded."

Veteran royal correspondent Robert Jobson, who has close sources and working relationships across the royal households.

How quickly after the wedding was BBC reporter Jonny Dymond receiving negative stories? "Within days."

From ITV's This Morning earlier this week. Philip Schofield speaks to the Telegraph's Camilla Tominey.

Dan Wootton, who received numerous exclusives on Harry and Meghan during their time in the UK.

From Amol Rajan's The Princes and the Press.

It's important to remember the very real human cost of all this. I've never subscribed to the belief we must 'choose sides' or 'hate' anyone involved in this. But the truth has to matter. To suggest there is justification for what happened along the lines of "They had it coming" or "She was put in her place" play into the most horrible tropes and misconceptions. When Harry & Meghan airs tomorrow, it's important to remember the decisions which led to all this and the fact they have the right to tell their story, regardless of whether anyone agrees with how they've chosen to do so.

Admin Update: Comments are now closed on this post.

115 comments:

  1. I am quite shocked about the last part of your article, never heard such accurate accusations before. It's a pity the brotherly band/family connection was killed by "the firm". I hope lessons are learned for the future (for George, Charlotte, Louis' sake), and I still sincerely hope we can see the fab 4 together again someday, one day.

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  2. "It's important to remember the very real human cost of all this. I've never subscribed to the belief we must 'choose sides' or 'hate' anyone involved in this. But the truth has to matter. To suggest there is justification for what happened along the lines of "They had it coming" or "She was put in her place" play into the most horrible tropes and misconceptions. When Harry & Meghan airs tomorrow, it's important to remember the decisions which led to all this and the fact they have the right to tell their story, regardless of whether anyone agrees with how they've chosen to do so." Very well said!! I agree!!

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  3. First, thank you for showing the earrings -- they are fun and lovely. I admit that I'm even more horrified after reading what you wrote. My take is that Harry's wife was American, dressed in her own style (or what people pretended was different), loved people, had great ideas, and was the "shiny new thing." We waited for years for William to marry Kate and then for children. Harry was going to be harder to marry off, and his choice was not what the palace wanted. Yes, she divides attention from Kate, Camilla, Sophie ... but she should not be maligned or driven into suicidal thoughts or divorce (funny we have to actually say this!). I'm glad the Queen maintained her love for them, and all her grandchildren. For people who write ugly things on this blog, you will suffer more than the blogger who reads it. There are so many sites where you can post positive things for your favorite royal -- you'll be a happier calmer person if you go there. Carrying hate for someone in the public eye will just eat at you.

    And ... I don't care if the Queen or PP or Diana "would not approve" of H&M. If so, then they would be wrong. Parents and grandparents are often wrong. As are former butlers! Diana was in her 30s when she died -- if she planned for Harry to be William's wingman, then she needed truly view her children as individuals. Her view harmed both sons.

    Thank you for being a safe place to vent!

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  4. Honest question from a fan across the pond - what does KP gain by villifying Meghan, and, by extension, Harry? I've never understood the benefit to them. Wouldn't an elevating of everyone been in The Firm's best interest?

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    1. Yes, Jenna. I agree with your question. Also KP was their base. They lived and worked there. So if there were leaks, obviously KP was involved, because none of the other royal households actually had anything to do with M&H. I love your blogs and writing, Charlotte, but, please excuse my honesty, I think you might have jumped the gun with writing this particular opinion or "accusation sui generis". This Netflix show and the campaign surrounding it are just as orchestrated and rehearsed as anything we ever see from the royals, I personally will take it with a grain of salt.
      Ella

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    2. I think Meghan was becoming too popular over the other royals who were senior. This is what I believe it boils down to. Meghan wasn’t supposed to “overstep”.

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    3. I think it has been KP and all these “inside sources” doing all of this. Who the heck are these so called “sources”?! I need for them to get better sources and not sources that KP pays.

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    4. I'm also from across the pond, but my guess is that H&M were too popular, and therefore taking the spotlight away from more senior royals. Vilifying Meghan made it so people would actively dislike her and maybe force her to just shut down? I don't know. I'm so angry about this whole thing too.

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    5. Yes Jenna, my thought exactly. How nice would it be if brothers got along, if Harry and Meghan came to Boston to support William few days ago, for example...imagine the shock on all those haters face. And what a publicity that would be for both! "Only light can make darkness go away." I still have a little hope it will happen one day.

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    6. “All Ships Rise” Yes Jenna, I believe in that & I hope the silver lining to this tragic family/firm story, is that this is learned. Imagine this happening to sweet George, Charlotte & Louis!? There’s still time to learn a lesson & change course, to protect future generations!

      Becca
      USA

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    7. That is the logical assumption. It is not supported by any study of modern royal history unfortunately. Diana was as popular as they come. If she where here she would explain to you that “blood” (their term) royals, and ultimately the Boss (whoever is monarch) is what that institution supports. Clear and simple. Anything that they perceive as detracting from that is not. (Again, Diana was an international icon - they still briefed against her - the difference was they had not yet learned how to do so very well and she was a once in a generation intuitive master at it, for better or worse). And that institution - the palace machinery - plays a very, very long game. Short term popularity is absolutely immaterial to them. This is a thousand year old institution. I am not defending that perspective - just explaining it. Read Diana’s comments about it - read Sarahs comments about it. They all speak of the same forces at work. So, while you might THINK they would view M as an asset, someone to be supported, its not how it works. Having done a rather deep dive into what happened in the 1980s and 1990s myself I can tell you that what is being described in this instance absolutely rings true. ARIAGURL.

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  5. Thank you for your wonderful coverage of Meghan and Harry's awards, and of their explanation of the humble way Archewell functions -- partnering with others to let them shine and to amplify the wave they can create.

    Thank you also for your unbiased approach to the docuseries. I do think, though, that it would have been impossibe for them or any other human in their situation to lay out for the public what happened to them while they were in the midst of so many crisis. Meghan's mental health needed attention, they needed to find a home and security. They needed to be as good parents as possible to Archie while they were feeling so insecure themselves. And they wanted to provide Archie with a sibling as soon as medically adviseable.

    I don't think they had a choice but to wait for some healing, some perspective, and to establish the family they longed for before attending to sorting out all the forces working to require them to make so many changes in such a short period of time.

    R

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    1. Especially after watching the first 3 episodes, I think that’s truly what needed to happen.

      Becca
      USA

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  6. Thank you for this factual and accurate post. This is where I always land for thoughtful and unbiased stories about Meghan. I’m also extremely appreciative that you take the time to screen the comments before they’re posted. That can’t be easy. Well done.

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  7. This comment was probably posted to the previous blog ( NY gathering). It was meant for this blog although it is a general comment based on reading your blog for over seven years.

    True and judicious journalism is a force indeed equal, if not more than other "power" "of the three states. It is very bothersome that the profession's title is used by all kinds of media who go by that name. There are times that I wish you to establish yourself as a journalist or start contributing to major magazines. I truly believe you have a calling in this profession. I am aware you are drawn to history, and you have a day job in finance. In most cases, you also introduced or reminded your readers about your own country as well as any other place related to a story. An excellent blog is as invaluable as major publications. As it is your preference to continue doing that, no matter what the ups and downs of your blog's main characters are, you had remained true to yourself. There were times when you did not post my own comments, and I left it up to you. The collection of opinions you had gathered here, however, briefly gives the window into the underlying facts that remained out of view of the common tabloid media.
    Charlotte, I continue to wish you all the best

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  8. Susan in Florida8 December 2022 at 02:18

    I am a person who enjoys autobiographies , letters and documentaries when the person is alive and can state their point of view. So, I’m going into this with an open mind. I did read the nasty press stories in the British press and it was awful. The US press got nasty as well. And yes , I think we can be all the emotions at the same time as their followers. I’m sad for two brothers. I’m and angry at how they are pitched by press to be against each other. Charlotte you have always been fair and even-handed.

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    1. Susan, I would have to agree. It seems lately that there really is no honest and true journalism taking place anymore. It’s a lot of hyped up and falsified information and people are to naive and actually believe in it and just run with it. Not even asking the right questions nor taking it upon themselves to conduct their own research. It sickens me how journalists today report on anything. Back then, you had to actually conduct research and prove your case before writing or printing anything. What happened to that?! I hope William and Harry truly mend their relationship and wish for the hate that seems to be swirling around in the world to just simply cease to exist!!

      -FloridaGirl

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  9. You’ve always been fair and even-handed when it’s come to the Duchess. Thank you for continuing your good work and keeping your calm yet firm demeanor.

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  10. There is not one person in this whole mess who didn’t and doesn’t have a horse in the race. Therefore, it is hard to believe anything anyone says. I agree the truth has to matter, but I don’t think we’ll ever actually know what it is.
    Valentine said he knew Meghan was struggling; Harry says he didn’t tell his family. Meghan says the family made a racist comment when she was pregnant; Harry says it was when they were dating; Gayle King said last evening they don’t think the family is racist. Royal reporters say all kinds of things, many of them contradictory, all of them likely self-serving.
    At the end of the day, two formerly loving families have been ripped apart on a worldwide stage, and there’s nothing more tragic than that.

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    1. Well said Anon 02:39, it is the biggest tragedy of all.

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    2. THIS, this is the only true and accurate comment. Ella

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  11. Hello, Charlotte! Reading this today reminded me why I always come back to this blog (and Chronicling Kate)...you are everything I would like to be. You're fair and measured in your blog posts, you maintain integrity always, and I appreciate the times when you choose to take a stand and call out bad behavior, injustices, etc. because I think of you as a neutral but trusted, reliable, and level-headed source, so it means that much more to hear things like that from you--it carries more weight than it does coming from a biased person (at least to me). You are a class act. Thank you for creating this space for all of us to enjoy!

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    1. Susan in Florida8 December 2022 at 18:07

      Here! here ! These are perfect words for Charlotte to see Anon 3:12

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    2. Couldn’t agree more!
      I am a long time reader of both blogs.
      Love your work, Charlotte!
      P

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  12. Thanks for a great summary. Even if I hadn’t read it, I’d still support Harry & Meghan 1000 percent! They have a right to talk about their life & what they’ve experienced. The abuse has been evil & relentless by various media. I will never forget nor forgive those who collaborated in this abuse, especially when Meghan was pregnant. The treatment was inhumane! Anyone that thinks Meghan & Harry were treated well, perhaps one day you & your family may experience the same evil abuse; remember then to be quiet & suffer in silence as you want for Meghan.
    I’ve seen too many complaining that Meghan should shut up; tell that to the unprofessional writers & media that profit from spreading abuse & hate, cease & desist.
    Deena

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  13. I love to read both your blogs (I'm a long-time reader) but rarely comment. What you've shared here is so helpful. Thank you for your perspective and your hard work!

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  14. Dear Charlotte,
    I must congratulate you on your bravery in writing the above article.
    Yours Sincerely,
    Noor

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  15. Thank you very much for this report, the background information, and recap of this whole, horrific situation, Charlotte. As we can infer from Netflix's description of the documentary, this story is bigger than Harry and Meghan and hopefully will shine a light on the state of the British tabloid press and its symbiotic relationship with the royal family and the general impact on society beyond British shores.

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  16. The very people planting these stories against M&H, are the very ones that would he crying and carrying on of something would have happened to her while pregnant. I felt the most sorry for the Queen as she adored Harry, and her final years were spent without him. πŸ’”. I just pray it isn't W&K planting these stories. I'll be devastated 😒

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    1. Everyone knows by now that it was their own disgruntled staff that started leaking stories against MH. H &M have both implied it, reporters say they were approched by them. They were the ones that reacted before the Ophrah interview. They have signed a DNA so they retort to underhand tactics.
      It remains me of Shakespeare, the worm that turns.

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  17. Charlotte thanks for the post and your honesty. Sorry you are dealing with vitriolic comments but not surprised lots of hate, racism and angry people in this world. Do I agree with this documentary? no...and some of their timings of things? no. do I think it will damage Harry and his royal family relationship yes... could I ever do it to my family no....even if they did do terrible and mean things to me but to each their own. I wish they never left the royal family and I wish Meghan never endured what she did. Harry was the most popular member and it is sad to see his downfall and vitriol at him too. Of course there was a smear campaign against Meghan and of course she endured structural systemic embedded racism. Was she perfect no. Did they handle everything right no. Did William and Charles and even Kate make mistakes certainly. I will be watching the documentary and am sad all around it has come to this. I want to hear their side of the story but hope after this that this is the end of it all and they focus on their future. They should continue to live their best lives going forward and shake the past even though letting go of traumatic hurt is way easier said than done.Hope apologies can be made on both sides and Harry restores his relationship with brother and father and kate. We only have one family in this life .. I know I lost my mother too and Charles and Wills were close before there is genuine love there so hope against hope they can reconcile down the road. It will be hard with this documentary and memoir coming that will hurt the royals egos but wishing them the best and also wishing you don't have to deal with bs hatred in your comment section. Maybe turn off commenting if the documentary post receives too much negativity and also protect your own mental health. Thanks for all you do.

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  18. Oh my goodness, I am totally shocked by your reporting already. The most awful thing to do to a family member. I look forward to your analysis of the programme. You are always fair and factual. I am sorry you are having to vet all the comments. I give myself as an example. I am no fan of Kate and Will - I do read your other blog occasionally to see the fashion. I don’t comment ever. I completely fail to understand why people who claim to hate Meghan so much bother to read every report on her just to be hateful.. if they just stopped the click bait the constant reports would stop because they wouldn’t be making money. The age old saying… if you having nothing nice to say, just say nothing. LRB

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  19. Well said. The press and all those palace sources are panicking because they never thought Harry & Meghan would stand up to them. For years we have listened to the press/palace sources talk about H&M in the most negative way. A lot of us have our humanity. They attacked Meghan throughout her pregnancy and postpartum. No thought for her mental health.

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  20. My God! Charlotte, your comments and analyses, from the first word to the last, as I share them 200%: it is not a question of choosing a side or even hating the one who is wrong but it is only the truth that counts and that everyone draws lessons for the future: pride and hypocrisy do not pay.
    Congratulations Charlotte, I am remarkably impressed by you and your discernment and it calms me down a lot.

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  21. Thank you for your thoughts and this succinct summation of evidence. This is more "journalism" as I define it than practiced by the many of the people employed to do so! My wry observation is that the people who want to cast Meghan as a villain dragging poor hapless Harry to the States have seemingly forgotten than he is Princess Diana's child. I see a lot of modern Diana energy in their choices, which tells me that they're probably very well matched.

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  22. Whistleblowers are always personally attacked even if what they put into the public is true and useful. So far, my impression is that H&M and her mom are such fun, loving, and normal people. Harry's relatives (including his mom) were too busy to spend much time with him. I think he felt very much alone before meeting Meghan and would do anything to keep her (which is why we love him). Sounds like this series will tell their truth, and if that embarrasses anyone, I'm afraid they should have done better to begin with.

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  23. Hi Charlotte. I rally like this post. All the coins of the world have two sides. This means that there will be as many versions as protagonists involved. At the end of the day it il so sad how far people can do for money or maintain what they belive is power and position. As you rightfully asked : what if that person was your child or someone you trully love ?

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  24. Susan in Florida8 December 2022 at 18:17

    If I’m allowed a second comment, Charlotte , I want to say thank you for covering Harry’s visit to Pearl Harbor. It’s a very humbling, emotional place to visit. Throwing flowers in the water over the sunken ship is considered respectful.

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  25. Brilliant, unbiased coverage. Thank you, Charlotte.
    I think we all need to consider that giving KP as a source doesn't mean William and Catherine were that source...it probably means the courtiers there (the "grey men" as Diana called them). Those people have a vested interest in the monarch and direct heirs being the main focus of attention. That was the reason Diana had to be brought down a notch(as mother of future monarch, but not born royal) and even more so, Harry and Meghan. Harry himself recognized that his father and brother were controlled by this system in the Oprah interview. Harry also elsewhere indicated that he and Meghan didn't have a long time to get their goods works established before the focus went to the next generation once George, Charlotte and Louis became teens/young adults. Harry has his mum's emotional intelligence, and he saw what the role and lives of those older generation entailed. That was never what he wanted. Meghan didn't change his ideas, she is merely the support and encouragement he needed to expand them and fully act upon them. Yes, the situation is very sad, but lives were truly at stake here. I hope everyone involved can find peace at some future point. In retrospect it truly amazed me just how strong and capable Diana was. I can't stop thinking about how she was a teenager and young adult with a troubled family background who somehow managed to stand up to the the Firm despite everything stacked against her. Yes, she was flawed as are we all, but she raised two wonderful sons who clearly learned her most important lesson: when you find the one you love, be faithful and protect her and your family to the best of your ability.

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    1. Beanie, yes, both sons found a firm family as their main goal.

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  26. Thank you so much for your work here. I love coming here to read your detailed, fair and balanced blog. It's some of the best Royal Reporting I can get on this side of the pond. :)

    I'm really looking forward to watching the docuseries, but I am beyond horrified that they not only had to go through this, but it was KP themselves planting the seeds for the smear campaign. Sure, MM might not have been their first choice for Harry's wife but that's who he chose, and as the spare, had some further leeway. I'm just disappointed and disgusted with everything surrounding this. Frankly, I hope they name names (I doubt they will but).

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  27. Thank you for this write up Charlotte. This will come off a bit corny, but it takes guts and stamina to keep this space safe, informative, poignant, and honest. I loved watching ‘Suits’ which led me to an interest in Meghan and then Harry. As a reader, their journey has been very emotional to witness. Perhaps it’s like this for the older readers who witnessed Diana through her life and death. For me, there’s palpable fear for Harry and Meghan and possibly their children. There’s this constant threat which hangs over them, similarly to one that doomed Diana. The UK media frenzy is nothing I’ve seen in the free press world. It’s truly out of control and fearsome.

    Just a note below “mingling inside with guests” line, there’s a photo of Keegan-Michael Key, of the famous Key and Peele comedy duo. They are hysterically sharp and their riff/parody/commentary of American culture, race relation, and the establishment are often spot on.

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  28. Marci Andy in Utah8 December 2022 at 21:29

    Oh Charlotte, I do feel for you, having to moderate the vitriol. But I strongly agree with your position on reporting Meghan and Harry's story after it airs. Thank you. It is so sad what has happened; but the only way to effect true change is to air out the errors of the past. Everyone has their own point of view; getting to know as many as possible is the only way to reach a semblance of reality, and I mean it can be only a semblance, because the conflicts inherent in each person's p.o.v. are never completely resolved.

    On your post's first messages, I'm happy to see that Meghan's podcasts have won the People's Choice award.

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  29. Thank you for this brave and very informative post. I haven’t watched yet but saw a clip of Harry pushing a baby stroller that was just delightful! Reminds me of Mike Tindall :)

    Anyway, back to your post… I think you left something unsaid which is who is allowing these leaks from KP to occur? Why do they continue?

    Both Harry and Diana have been critical of courtiers and in my opinion QE seemed very ill advised at times particularly regarding Andrew.

    The Palace has steadfastly said that the RF won’t watch and I understand why (although they should) but it comes across as sneering, cold and superior. The RF is an institution and must be held accountable.

    -celticgirl

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  30. Sigh.

    I am a newspaper baby. As a journalist's child and relative of other people working in the field, I grew up surrounded by reporters and editors. I also grew up proud that my family members and family friends were providing Americans with full and accurate information on a regular basis, to the best of their ability. Here in the US, despite fairly recent claims to the contrary by members of a certain political faction, journalism has long been regarded as a serious career, in which the practitioners are held to high ethical standards.

    Every journalist cultivates sources, but any experienced reporter knows when he is being manipulated and played in order to harm someone or something. If he doesn't know, his editor usually will, and there are ways to avoid or correct for this potential problem. What has long appalled me about the trashy British tabloids (and even more reputable British media) is that they do not give a damn who their sources are or what their biases and motivations might be. Nothing has made that clearer than the Harry and Meghan debacle, in which certain members of the Palace machine not only failed to recognize what a golden asset they'd been handed in the Duchess -- a biracial, self-made millionaire notably comfortable in the spotlight and with public speaking and with an established career behind her and already-established charitable/philanthropic interests -- they also apparently concluded that she was a threat to their preferred status quo and the public relations primacy of the Cambridges. There can be no other rational explanation for leaks and briefings against the Sussexes coming from Kensington Palace. And yet, the British media were almost certainly happily complicit in those leaks and encouraged them. I have little doubt of that.

    I have long maintained that, with the exception of the late Diana, who was a media manipulator par excellence, the royals themselves have been less guilty of interference and more or less planting stories than their staffers have been. I'd like to believe that is the case here, but I cannot be sure. No one can. However, it's often the case that in protecting one's employer, people overestimate a threat and badly overstep. I suspect that went on here. Whatever the case, all this merits a thorough investigation by the Independent Press Standards Organisation.

    I indicated that I would post at some point a useful discussion of the difference between American and British journalism that appears in Tina Brown's "The Palace Papers". As someone who attempted to introduce the latter to aspects of the former, to less than rapturous reviews in the US, Brown was in a good position to make some observations. If Charlotte will let me know that she doesn't mind my posting a fairly long quotation here, I will do so.

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    1. Vittoria, please feel free to post a quotation, of course.

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    2. Thank you Vittoria for your lights.

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    3. Vittoria, Many thanks for your astute commentary about journalism and journalistic ethics. I am a journalist and agree with almost everything you say. I think it is hard to believe, however, that a sustained campaign of planting stories against Harry and Meghan by Jason Knauf or anyone else at Kensington Palace could be possible without the knowledge and consent of Price William. A press officer going rogue without the permission of his or her employer would be reprimanded and/or sacked, not remain on the payroll and continue to leak stories and commentary. I think this must be explicitly stated if the truth is to be told. In the end, this is such a sad story, with all the elements of a Shakespearean tragedy.

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    4. I think you already said it- there is a world of difference between a newspaper and a tabloid. Tabloids live from drama - real, exaggerated or made up. It’s not about factual reporting or good journalism or ethics. And that’s not what they promise to deliver either. It’s basically two completely different worlds with different standards and different rules.

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  31. I am recovering from surgery, so I was up in the wee hours, when the 1st part of the Netflix Docu-Series dropped. I watched it & I truly learned so much. I had watched things unfold real time with all of you, but I truly wasn’t aware of the “unconscious bias” I myself had suffered from! It was so powerful having Harry walk through his process of learning (with the Jewish situation) & then what he has learned, & is still learning, going through life with Meghan & 2 mixed race children!

    Plus the way they wove the history of the Empire & the history of the time they were living in as a couple….. it Totally Opened My Eyes, in a way they had not been open before!!!

    I found it to be a wonderfully done job & not gratuitous in the least, which I must admit I was expecting! The fact that I not only learned things about them, but also about myself? That says a lot!

    From one who had her mind made up before it even began & now I feel I have learned to be more open & humble…. I highly recommend viewing it!

    Becca
    USA

    p.s…. It was Absolutely Wonderful to finally hear Doria & get a real sense of her, after all this time… What A Treat!!!

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    1. Becca, I think it's wonderful that you watched and feel it made some changes in your views! I am of course a 1000% H&M fan all the way, but I also learned a lot. I did not realize exactly how much Meghan, and Harry, makes fun and laughter a regular part of her life. And I like that Harry was attracted to her with a dog filter. How cute is that? I think what I saw confirms that no one should be afraid that Meghan wants to be Queen! Aside from the fact that she won't be, it's not a match so why can't people enjoy both the future queen and the future not-queen?

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  32. Meghan’s dress is how to do beautiful, feminine, off the shoulder. Good for them. I am touched to tears that Prince Harry visited the memorial to our war dead.

    I didn’t learn anything new watching Netflix today. They seem to be a loving family that deserves every happiness but I very much doubt any hearts and minds will be changed. It’s incredibly self-absorbed. I believe them, I do. They were manipulated and ill-treated.
    Maybe because I am his father’s generation that I think it’s time to stop and move on.
    I don’t know. I wish them well.
    Karen in Virginia

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  33. I enjoy the readers' comments and the opportunity to share perspectives. It is so much more interesting when there are different points of view, as long as there is a civil tone and a polite level of discourse. So I hope you aren't going to reject everything that isn't fully supportive of what H&M do. Your balanced reporting would be ill-served by becoming a fan club.

    I think the Netflix series is a mistake that could even be harmful to Harry and his mental health because it will widen the schism between him and his family. Harry has everything to lose by doing this -- his support system, his place in history, and his place as a trusted member of his family. I don't say this to be a source of "negativity" but to express my concern for Harry. Actions have consequences.

    It makes one ask: why are they doing this? I see the Netflix and the autobiography as H&M selling their own privacy and the privacy of others.

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    1. What support system from his family? Isn’t that the whole point he is saying the people who should have protected and supported him and his family were actually briefing deliberately against them? LRB

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    2. Although I understand you anonymous 01:46, I also ask you this question: What do the victims of rape, crimes and other ambient violence or scourges go through that their long-armed tormentor exercises and whose vices we do not suspect? Do you think that revealing the abuse they have suffered is a piece of cake for them in the eyes of the world? You will ask them to be quiet to preserve the image and the private life of the idealized executioner? So this is what is normal for you? The priority for you is to preserve appearances because you must not disturb the order and the lives of certain beautiful and rich people who are sometimes idealized a little too much without objectivity.

      It is not a question here of stoning X or Y as "we" wanted to do with the Sussexes, but of reflecting on the consequences of our actions and learning from our mistakes despite the price it costs for the image. Now maybe you think that Meghan woke up one fine morning and concocted and dreamed up a whole bunch of lies to antagonize certain members of the royal family (because so far she hasn't accused all the members of the royal family as some like to report to discredit it even more but she mentioned some people and in my opinion given the position of the people pointed out, I think that the words of the Susses are even still moderate knowing to whom they confront each other) then it would be a suicidal and silly approach which does not fit with the personality of Meghan who I have seen since childhood prefers to denounce what she feels as an injustice by seeking a change in behavior from the part she denounces.
      Moreover, she is not the girl to corrupt her principles and values to take care of and preserve her image: with her dad and her sister, she could have chosen to give in to their blackmail by buying their silence from the tabloids. She could have with their popularity chosen to be silent and put up with vile and treacherous low blows and slander to continue to appear on the Buckingham balcony, but she opted with her husband for a very difficult choice which would put them even more at the mercy of their detractors. You can't make omelettes without breaking the eggs.
      Now just wish the senior royals would take advantage of this storm to clean up the issues. Charles has only 2 children and William has only one brother... For the rest, Harry's absence from them in this animosity would not be good for sovereigns who advocate unity and respect for differences.

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    3. The Sussexes were not looking for "privacy". They wanted to control their own narrative rather than leave it to others (such as the sleazy British tabloids) to do it. One can hardly blame them for this.

      To suggest that Prince Harry's mental health is endangered by the documentary is to deny him autonomy and the right (and ability) to make his own decisions. It is also to imply that he is a weak, fragile creature wholly at the mercy of others -- his wife, Netflix, his publisher, and so forth. I think it's rather condescending for anyone else to assume that he/she knows what is best for the Prince, that he does not. At close to 40, he is well into adulthood, a married father of two. His support system is largely his wife, now (his family and the Palace machine have not proved to be particularly supportive, because that is not their standard modus operandi and never has been), and as for history -- well, as a historian, I think I can assure everyone that Harry's place in history is in no danger. He is not somehow going to be erased from the historical archive because of this documentary and book. Indeed, posterity may well find him the more interesting because he tried to take control of his own life, however that attempt turns out. The good little soldiers rarely make history. The rebels generally do.

      It remains to be seen what the effects of this documentary and the autobiography will be. I've had my own doubts about them, just as I did when Meghan Markle married into the royal family in the first place. I strongly suspected she would not adapt easily to royal life and British tabloid culture, and I was not surprised when she did not. However, I cannot criticize an attempt to take control of one's life by, among other things, distancing oneself from toxic and rigid expectations and people who represent not a support system so much as a set of golden handcuffs that have, historically speaking, sometimes done more harm than good. Prince Harry is not, after all, the only royal who has suffered from their effects.

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    4. I am Anonymous 1:46. Your impassioned defense of Meghan is your opinion but it's off topic for what I was trying to say. My comment did not speak about Meghan or attack her. I expressed concern about Harry and the unintended consequences to him of the Netflix series.

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    5. Anon 1:46, I completely understood your meaning and quite agree with you. It is hard to comment when you express a concern that as you say 'isn't fully supportive of H&M' and without it being perceived as a slight where none was intended. There are indeed unintended consequences of any action, and none of us will ever truly know the end result that the Sussexes want to achieve with this documentary, nor how it will all actually play out. I genuinely have concern for Harry and wonder what more is to come with the next episodes and his book. Whatever has happened to get it this point, this documentary was not the answer. The Sussexes said that they wanted to leave because of the heightened public interest and the media intrusion into their lives. There is no going back and changing the beginning and this constant ruminating on it is not healthy for anybody. In trying to convince the world of who they are and controlling their own narrative it has created its own toxicity. I am reminded of an old Irish triad, on the "three things that cannot be retrieved: The arrow once sped from the bow. The word spoken in haste. The missed opportunity." There has been enough damage, they don't need to contribute to it more.

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    6. Except the Susssexes never said they left because of heightened public interest or media intrusion.

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    7. It was on their Sussex website, in print.

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  34. As Meghan mentioned, they would lie to protect someone else in the family but wouldn't tell the truth to protect them. The RR is reaping what they're sowing.

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  35. For something called a "snoozefest," there sure is a lot of "reporting" on the first three episodes!! :) So far, I feel like I've gotten to know more about my "friends"! They are just the cutest, and the sweetest with their babies. I do think they should have insisted on having Meghan's niece come to the wedding. I see that as a mistake. Also, I'm sure there will be "horror" at Meghan making fun of her curtsy. Harry looks freaked out, which is bad. These are two people who love to be silly. They had a party and wore penguin onesies!! And like to dress up in costume. I'm not like that but I can appreciate that they are. Americans are not used to curtsying! When I see "deep" curtsies, I am a little horrified. I doubt I would curtsy because I don't believe anyone is better than another, and bad on Harry for not letting Meghan know earlier that something like this would happen. The curtsy is a sign of respect I guess for the person or institution, but Americans are rebellious. I used to protest the Vietnam conflict when I was a preteen. And Meghan is acting out a curtsy you might see in a movie like Cinderella. She loves to laugh and poke fun at herself. I just wanted to get this in.

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    1. Meghan Sussex seemed to me to be mocking herself, not the Queen. And yes, she should have been warned, prepared, for a curtsy, but the British royals and their staffers have long had a bad habit of assuming that people will simply know (by osmosis? telepathy?) what to do, what is expected, how this or that works. Prince Harry has been as guilty of that as anyone else. Once striking example involved the Duchess's ignorance of how titles and royal status worked -- the fact that great-grandchildren of monarchs don't get royal titles or security coverage. Perhaps everyone assumed Harry would explain all this to her, but he proved to be just as clueless as she was -- no one had spelled it all out for HIM. The result was that the Duchess made a couple of unfortunate assumptions. It didn't have to happen.

      I should say, though, that one is not generally expected to curtsy to someone else's royalty. It is generally regarded as tacky and inappropriate to do so. Americans who have bowed or curtsied to royalty have been roundly criticized. The late Queen Elizabeth, in fact, made it clear that even the British are not required to bow or curtsy, though it can be argued that royals, merely by virtue of being royal, should maintain the tradition among themselves and that this applies to future royals as well -- even if they are still citizens of another nation.

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    2. I just wish they left that curtsy out of the video Harry looked extremely uncomfortable and of course the British Press would use it to bash her. I admit I cringed when I watched it. On a positive note nice to see their love story and how they met looking fwd to part 2

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    3. I also understood Meghan to be mocking herself in this scenario and Harry's discomfort with the fact that he had assumed she would know and hadn't thought to prepare her. I was surprised at the outcry of "disrespect" for the monarchy from many quarters.

      Others also make cultural faux pas (not the most serious offenses in the world, but noticeable if committed on a global stage). Barack Obama's combined handshake and pathetic bow to the Emperor when he first visited Japan is but one example. Drinking from the fingerbowl thinking it soup at a state dinner another. Frankly, the world has larger problems to address than those.

      I find it much more egregious that a prince buys off his accuser so that he will not have to face a court of law than anything the Sussexes have to tell. Odd how the normally vitriolic he British press has been mostly mum on that score. Of course he doesn't sweat. He doesn't have to.
      Philly

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    4. Yes, yes, 1000 times yes to your comment Philly!

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  36. What is really sad is that Diana loved the royal family and was closely associated with it throughout her life but she knew it needed modernising. She saw her son's taking on that role and starting what will be a major project

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    1. It's sad; it might have worked if attitudes were different and if the RF themselves controlled more.

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  37. Herewith the promised Tina Brown quotation, which may help some Americans grasp British media culture a bit better, and help some British understand why some Americans have been so appalled by British coverage of Meghan Sussex. From "The Palace Papers" (New York, 2022), pp. 279-80:

    "London's Fleet Street was always a dodgier journalistic address than New York's Newspaper Row. British newspaper journalism -- more rough and tumble than its U.S. cousins and less burdened by highfalutin' principles -- has always viewed itself as a jobbing craft, not a solemn calling. A typical "hack," a label a British journalist wears with perverse pride, learns his trade on the job, not in a journalism school. (The word would come to acquire an ironic connotation, too, as events were to show.) A high premium is placed on practical skills: spunky headline writing, swift storytelling, and gut-punching column writing, produced by newsrooms that are, to this day, unabashedly sexist and hard-drinking.

    The "voice" of British journalism is high-low and irreverent. American journalism, by contrast, takes itself much more seriously, especially post-Watergate. Even bloodied and gored by the fake news era, it views itself as a profession, even a priesthood, at the upper end of the scale, contravened only by the scavenger exposes of the supermarket checkout titles like the National Enquirer. No president of the United States -- except Donald Trump -- would grant access to the editor of the National Enquirer. A British Prime Minister, by contrast, will sit down readily with tabloids that in America would be considered beyond the pale....

    Digital disruption in the late 90s and aughts from Google and Facebook sent British newspapers into a competitive death match. The natural coarseness of tabloid culture turned openly brutal and plunged further down-market. The top editors were drawn increasingly from the showbiz columns, not the newsroom. As the role of traditional media gatekeepers eroded, a Wild West mentality took over, with the need for faster and faster scoops trumping all else."

    Brown goes on to discuss phone hacking and the manner in which the tabloids have exploited "popular rage and prejudices, without a care for accuracy". She also mentions the way they have monetized the royals, supporting those people and those fabricated scandals they find sell best -- again, without any interest in the facts. She quotes a Daily Mail editor from as far back as the Charles/Diana era who admitted that supporting Diana instead of Charles was a "commercial decision. Diana sells newspapers. Charles doesn't."

    I've never been a great admirer of Tina Brown, but her own, less-than-successful professional experience here in the States means that she does possess a deep understanding of the two very different media cultures. (Though she could have cited the New York Post, instead of the loony-tune Enquirer, as the one American publication that comes closest to British tabloids like the Mail. The difference is that it has low circulation even in NYC and no national influence.) In any case, I thought some people might find Brown's analysis instructive and informative.

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    1. Thank you, Vittoria, for the excerpt. That helps explain it. I should get Tina's book.

      -Victoria, Oregon

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  38. I watched all three episodes and I think Meghan came across really well!

    I’m glad that she got to share what her father and half-sister put her through. I always thought that it must of been so incredibly painful for her and so difficult to navigate. She is absolutely right to not have any contact with them.

    Terri


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  39. Thank you for your information on UK reporting. We in the US have always had papers that were, in my view, worthless, but we also have those that are expected to have high standards, like the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. I tell my husband New York Times, yes; New York Post, no. Washington Times, no; Washington Post, yes. And so on.

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  40. This is exactly why the media perpetuates this narrative.....ratings. If there is a real 'culprit' here it is the collective media's need to sell drama.

    https://metro.co.uk/2022/12/09/harry-and-meghan-netflix-documentary-beats-the-crown-as-millions-watch-17913278/?ito=push-notification&ci=nU3wxACVjP&cri=FO1o8rrqyw&si=36929049&ai=17913278

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  41. I enjoyed the first three episodes. I didn't learn anything shocking, though I was confused by Meghan filming the engagement (but I'm often without my phone) - and I'm assuming she was on the phone with Jessica Mulroney? I wonder if she'll make an appearance. The context of Brexit & race was helpful - it's easy to forget events happening in tandem.
    It was so cool to see and hear from Doria! I look forward to the next three! -op

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    1. I am also confused about a lot of the video footage. Because much was filmed way way earlier than the Netflix deal at a time when
      they still, per their statement, wanted to maintain some part in the royal business, keep the patronages and H’s honorary titles. So why film it, if there wasn’t already the plan the publicise it?
      Brexit is a bit more complicated than just racism. It plays a part but there were many factors at play and nationalism was probably the biggest on. By touching the topic in such a superficial way, they don’t do themselves no favour.

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  42. Charlotte, I'm so grateful for your clear presentation of the media/KP sourced campaign against Meghan. She is a remarkable woman who could have been such an asset to the royal family, had she been treated fairly. Not even promoted, just honestly presented for her many strengths and the shortcomings that every human being has. The media portrayed her viciously, and Harry, sadly, has had to endure yet another evisceration of a woman he loves. Again, thank you for your dedicated support for Meghan and the causes she supports so generously.

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  43. Such a pretty header! Makes me think of yummy cookies and snow. Thank you!

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  44. Charlotte, thank you for exposing what most media haven’t the courage to say—the source of the anti-Sussex hate campaign. And let us recognize as relevant the recently retired head of Met Counter Terrorism’s public admission that the ultra-right is the fastest growing domestic terrorism threat, his “dear friend the head of Mi-5 would agree with that”and there is a “disgusting” level of death threat targeting Meghan and Harry. Clearly the anti-Sussex palace campaign feeds that. Also this is a veiled way of disclosing that the government authorities tasked with royal protection never advised the cessation of the Sussexes, nor would they support the governments position in Harry’s current court case to be permitted to pay for that security himself.
    KP is playing a lethal power game here, and it smacks of a contemporary twist on a Shakespearien history play, where one royal brother seeks the destruction of another but in today’s environment must hide the agenda in plain site and try to maintain an aura of outraged righteousness and deniability to confuse the rubes…

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  45. Interesting post thank you.

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  46. I believe Harry and Meghan. That being said, in my opinion I think it would be best for them to move on and continue doing their good works. Meghan in particular is extremely articulate and I think could do very well in politics in the future, if she chose to do so. Just my two cents. Happy holidays everyone!

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  47. The reports of Palace and media collusion make a mockery of the supposed “never complain and never explain” policy. H & M going public may actually help to end this toxic relationship.

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    1. I agree. The Palace may never "explain" or "complain" but instead work with the media to do that. Unfortunately, I don't see this toxic relationship ending...the Royals need the media to remain relevant.

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  48. I tried to post a comment yesterday but it’s not showing so trying again. (I don’t think anything I wrote was offensive but my post was kind of long so shortening it up.)

    The Netflix series has been interesting, but nothing shocking. I’m definitely getting a better sense of the difficulties involved with being a high profile member of the BRF, especially marrying into it, and can better appreciate the tremendous challenges that Meghan faced as a biracial woman, especially at the time of Brexit.

    But even as my sympathy for H&M’s situation grows, my warmth towards them is lessening. I think that started w the Oprah interview, which left me disappointed in the way Meghan perpetuated a Kate v Meghan storyline that she knew Kate couldn’t respond to. I also thought Meghan’s professed ignorance of the way Royal titles are bestowed to be disingenious. I just couldn’t imagine that a smart, well-read woman, with a personal stake in the protocols, wouldn’t have researched the history and standards. The whole discussion seemed like a waste of the Oprah platform, especially since the motivation behind leaving the UK was to ditch the silly trappings of royalty.

    The Netflix series continues to leave me feeling sort of cold about them. Harry always struck me as a damaged soul and it’ll never not be heartbreaking to see the images of him behind Diana’s casket, but I really wonder why he didn’t do a better job preparing his great love for all the nuances of Royal life.

    As for Meghan, I found her mocking reenactment of curtsying to QE to be in very poor form. (To his credit, Harry seemed pretty taken aback by it too.) I really had a problem with Meghan laughing off how uncomfortable William and Kate were with Meghan’s hugging them upon first meeting. I don’t think it’s fair to chalk that up to W&K being Royal or oddly formal. Like all of us, W&K have a right to put up boundaries to being physically touched by people they don’t know well, and that has nothing to do with Royal status or some kind of character defect. Meghan’s relating of that story was clearly designed to compare her informal and fun loving manner to the stuffy Royals, but I came away feeling like she undercut her own message of understanding and celebrating each other’s differences.

    I’ve been hoping that once these “hear our side of the story” activities, there might be a path to reconciliation with Harry’s family, but after seeing the first part of this series, I’m doubtful.

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    1. +1.
      Also, are we not going to comment how planned in advanced all of this was? Having photographers following them while still royals, videos while leaving...

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    2. I agree with your comment, especially the part about hugging. I am an American and probably more informal in my behavior than a member of the British Royal Family, but I dislike hugging people I don’t know well. It seems like a basic boundary that should be respected without issue.

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    3. I see harry as a man that hate injustice..... A damage soul as you said serve his father's land, create invictus games, sentebale etc.... That's not fair. Remember you don't know him personally

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    4. Zipzipzippy, I feel EXACTLY the same and couldn't say better. I am also getting tired... There seem to be so many layers, and so many people involved, we will never going to figure out the truth (i doubt that there is "the truth" anyway, everybody experiences things differently)...That being said, I want to thank you, Charlotte for your outstanding reporting, the time and energy you put into this to keep us always well informed.

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    5. I very much agree with your comments, Zipzipzippy. I also think that Kate is, perhaps, by nature socially an introvert whereas Meghan seems very much an extrovert. As an introvert myself I have often found throughout my life that extroverts don't understand the perspective of those who are more reserved.

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    6. I think zippy has summed up the situation perfectly. Caro

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    7. This is just regurgitated tabloid bias. Meghan didn’t misunderstand titles everyone in her children’s position is guaranteed a title under the 1917 letters patent. Whether they use them or not (like Louise and James) is another matter. She was not relaying a misunderstanding of their position at birth but was rather relaying that they had been told that WHEN Charles became King this royal protocol that had existed for 100 years would end with her children. And she quite clearly stated her chief concern was the impact that decision would have on her family’s safety and security. She was not in any way just freely sharing a simplistic misunderstanding about titles.

      Nowhere did they state their motivation for leaving was to abandon “the silly trappings of royalty” in fact I think they’ve been consistently respectful of the role of the monarchy. They’ve been quite clear that the escalating hateful media narrative directed towards them and at times enabled by calculated leaks began to jeopardize their mental health, safety, and security. So they left public and official roles. Asserting otherwise when that assertion is not backed up by any of their own words but rather tabloid bias is simply acting in bad faith.

      The curtsy moment was clearly Meghan poking fun at herself and I’m becoming rather baffled people don’t grasp this. I’m quite sure the actual moment was handled with respect.

      Finally, this hugging narrative has gotten ridiculous. This sudden rush to the defense of Will and Kate and their right to assert boundaries is clearly a brand new ingredient in this mess. These are two people who are regularly… REGULARLY photographed and filmed hugging perfect strangers and then praised to the high heavens for appearing relatable and down to earth. There’s even a story in People magazine with yet another royal “source” praising what a genuine hugger Kate is. Suddenly we’re switching to hugging boundaries are fine? Somehow ONLY in the context concerning Meghan? I’m sorry I don’t buy it. The constant conflicting narratives and optics are doing the RF no favors.

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    8. I agree, too. I am not convinced of the choice of 'telling the truth' via a Netflix show, which obviously tends to dramatize as much as possible, as a TV show naturally does. When Meghan made fun of the curtsying and of William and Kate refusing hugs, it was great for the show, but I found it quite childish and pointless. In the same way, I didn't like when she said that "Kate made her cry" rather than the opposite during the Oprah interview... it may be true, but it sounded pointless and unfair, given that Kate cannot give her version.

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    9. At the beginning, I was an enthusiastic supporter of Harry and Meghan. I was happy he met the love of his life and I watched their wedding with tears in my eyes. I often commented here at MaM. Right after the moment H&M left the RF, I decided to stop commenting on them because I was so disappointed and sad, and did not want to leave bitter or negative comments. However, I share ZipZipZippy’s views and can’t help asking: why are they doing this? They had expressed their feelings in the interview with Oprah Winfrey, more than a year and a half ago. I have no doubt they have many talents and qualities, they can do (and have done already) a lot of good. I just cannot understand this repeated going back and talking about the past, however hard it may have been. After a trauma, a person surely needs to talk about his/her painful experiences, but this is done in a close circle of trusted friends or therapists. Whereas H&M keep addressing the general public. I can’t help thinking they want to look interesting, to be talked about, to create a better picture of themselves. Even if their accusations were true, for goodness sake, is it necessary to go about it in this way and make reconciliation unimaginable? Surely, they have friends and supporters who believe every word they say; I wish they could just rely on their love and support and stop acusing William and Charles. What good does this do?? Perhaps it would be better to focus a little less on themselves - after all, are they philantropists or celebrities?
      I also think it is very weird to have footage of one’s painful private moments such as being in tears and to show it to the whole world via Netflix.
      Just some of my feelings. I don’t deny anybody the right to have their own opinion, different from mine. Zora from Prague

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  49. If the smearing campaign against M&H was a coordinated effort from the top of the Royal Family, meaning Prince William as everybody seem to allude but not plain say, it is execrable and William deserves more than the shade he is getting. But so far is just innuendos and anonymous allegations. My issue is this: the same journalists we are told not to trust are telling us not only that royal sources shared personal and damaging stories, but that these sources were sent by the RF. I agree that, as you say, it's important to remember the very real human cost of all this, but let's not forget that it weights on others too. Harry & Meghan have the right to tell their story as they see it and experienced it, but I disapprove of feeding the media machine with the idea of one persone in particular being the culprit behind the scenes just by allegations.

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    1. >it's important to remember the very real human cost of all this, but let's not forget that it weights on others too.
      I totally agree, Blue. And I agree that we have to doubt all sources, apart from (maybe) the members of the RF themselves.
      And that's the thing I am not at ease with - while watching the Netflix show we get to hear H&M's version, we don't have the rest of the family's version. I am not saying that H&M are lying but as always, when accusations are thrown at someone, that someone should be able to reply to them. In this specific situation it is unlikely that William or anyone else will reply, even if maybe they would like to. I understand that H&M want the freedom to tell their story and rightfully so. But this story hurts and damages other people besides themselves. That is why it all feels very unbalanced.

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    2. Sorry, my previous comment in reply to Blue was anonymous but I didn't mean to do it that way.

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  50. new trailer is out for part 2... https://youtu.be/f9WMpiH8qd8v=f9WMpiH8qd8&ab_channel=Netflix

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  51. I remember when the extremely successful tour by H&M (their first tour) was about to end and news came that the two couples had split their foundations. That really derailed the end of the tour and had to have been done on purpose. I also longed for a fun joint visit by the two duchesses but it never happened except those Wimbledon outings. M&H seem so fun loving but they are also, especially Meghan, passionate about making a useful impact. I wish people would also remember that they are being paid -- they and their causes require money. It rather hurts me to let the mostly hateful world see some of their intimate photos.

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    1. Allison, I echo your feeling about the photos. I do not care if we see M&H crying, dancing, in their pyjamas, if we see the interiors of their home(s) - they are adult and can share whatever they please. But truth be told, I do not understand why now, after many years M&H brought up the issue of their kids' security, about too many pictures of the kids possibly being taken in the UK, about cyberbullying, we are seeing some very intimate and vulnerable pictures of the kids (most of them all I don't understand the naked bathing one, which IMHO is too much to share even if one is a private person putting stuff on Facebook for 50 friends, let alone broadcasting it for millions on Netflix).

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  52. One of the many, many hateful things out there are claims by "people who know" that Meghan is nothing like Diana, despite what Harry says. I don't get this whole discussion. Diana's children have their view of their mother; if Harry sees Meghan as sharing some qualities, how can anyone refute it? Obviously there are many dissimilarities; one's wife should not be just like one's mother.

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    1. Hi Allison, I don’t think it’s hateful to have a difference of opinion. Harry sees similarities between his wife and his mother. Others are simply stating that they disagree. That’s not hate in my book, so I will politely disagree with you there. In addition, if Harry is allowed his opinion, why are not others who knew his mother allowed theirs?

      Personally, I think both sides are at a disadvantage in attempting to “know” both women. Harry did not know his mother as an adult - he was 12 yrs old when she died and children tend to think their parents are perfect until they reach adulthood. He never had the chance to see his mother as a wonderful, but flawed human as an adult and evaluate her from an adult perspective.

      On the other side the people who knew Diana don’t know Meghan in the same way. So neither side can be objective about assessing the two characters of these women - and really, neither can we.

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    2. Lynn from SoCal -- what I object to is people, like former butlers, giving their opinion with the purpose of denigrating Harry's wife. My best friend died and I had a completely different experience with her than did her young daughter. The daughter has told me that I don't know her mother ... so I shut up. Not my business to argue about it. I know only about my interaction with my friend -- not about her private interactions. Harry has not asked if anyone agrees with his opinion. I personally think I would greatly prefer Meghan to his mom, but this is Harry's way of claiming ownership of his mother. He does that with his grandparents, too. It's a way of reassuring himself that he still has relatives even though his immediate ones are happy to see him gone.

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  53. I saw just a little of the new information. One huge problem for H&M is that people don't want their images to be tarnished and will turn against those who spoke what they didn't want to hear.

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    1. Of course no one wants their image tarnished. I would think Meghan would be upset if, say, Kate would say something very negative about her.

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  54. Dear Charlotte and Community,
    I haven’t been able to comment here for a while, and so much has evolved! Thank you Charlotte for your highly valued reporting and analysis. I am so glad that Meghan’s Spotify series won a well deserved award. So fun to enjoy M&H’s date night with them!
    Renee

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  55. This is very personal on my part but I never really understood why Meghan and Harry were so focused on communicating that they have flown back and forth so much during their relationship. Even in their engagement interview, they said every 2 weeks , in the documentary they "brag" (for lack of a better word) about collecting most airline miles of all the couples. I am saying that it is personal because me and my husband had been in a long distance relationship for about 5 years and this was so much not our reality. Our reality was saving up for months to make a single trip, of course to our great sadness. For us, regular people, it involved so much planning, saving up, compromising. Not to mention that every time I took that trip , I felt guilty for flying for just a weekend or so - not behaving quite eco friendly (and sometimes even my friends disapproved of my "frequent" flying). It feels very out of touch to be flying overseas every 2 weeks. Yes, maybe I am pitiful that I didn't have this possibility with my husband (we were interstate though), but I know most of long distance couples never get the chance to rack up as many miles as the Sussexes.
    Ella

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  56. Oh Charlotte, I can't imagine moderating a blog like this right now. It must be awful having to wade through horrible comments as well as the more "polite/concerned" trolling type. I keep going back to these words of yours: "Sometimes in life it's easier, cleaner and more convenient to believe in the concept of the lone 'villain'. In this case, the title has been awarded to Meghan. Though you will of course be aware, in the intricacies of family and personal relationships, it is rarely so simple. It may be more palatable, but it is not the truth." I can see even in the comments how hard-wired this mentality can be. Please take care Charlotte and thank you for all you do. Lesley

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  57. Charlotte, I might have missed it, but do you have any plans on commenting on the docu series? Like in a post? I would love to hear your always balanced, insightful&empathetic view! Love&hugs from Germany!!

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    1. Thank you for your very kind comment.

      I watched the second part of the docu-series. It is a devastating and heartbreaking situation. I don't think I can overstate that aspect. I will be writing about it Eve, though not immediately. There's so many heated emotions at the moment, I'm hoping it will all simmer down.

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    2. The information I had was from excerpts and YouTube at sporadic times here, there, and everywhere. The work week ended and as of Friday evening, what bothered me was Meghan’s curtsy part. It upset me, and I went soul-searching for why it irritated me. I answered the reason myself. I did not want that scene only to cloud my judgment on top of reading pieces of articles and some YouTube interviews throughout the week. I started at 7:00 pm and ended around 1:30 am watching the entire six series after signing up for Netflix after several years of gap in service. There is a world of difference and a lot of spin in what the Royal media posts and watching the entire series. I look forward to Charlotte’s post.

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  58. One more comment. :) I realize that I have a choice between writing hundreds of pro-H&M posts or calming down and writing just one. I adore them. I of course cared for little Harry these years but find Meghan, and her intellect, to be fascinating. Her friends remain loyal. I think I need to generate more compassion for the royals Harry left behind. Obviously the institution is the single goal, although I don't know why. The possessions should belong to the people, as many of them do. But the stakes are high for the Queen's grandchildren, who want their children to enjoy what they had growing up. But Harry's real family is so beautiful! One of my favorite images is Harry on the sofa reading to Archie and Lili -- with the dogs on the back of the sofa! Another is Archie on the table to help blow out the candles on Lili's cake. It hurts to not see family members at Lili's birthday. I hope they do not go to the coronation and stay home and give Archie a birthday party. I have no words for Harry's father but he had a strange childhood. Serena said that H&M had friends who become family -- they really are extremely lucky compared to most people. I have seen many comments from people saying that H&M and W&K did not have to wonder when they will eat next, etc. As sad and frustrating as I find this, it seems clear that Harry is NOT miserable and has a wonderful family and life. Meghan is obviously flourishing. People will believe what they want to believe.

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  59. I have loved so much about Harry and Meghan from the moment their relationship was made public. I appreciate their openness, vulnerability and a desire to help change systems and open hearts and minds. I valued everything that I learned through their telling of their story, especially their difficulties with being different, and how the public narrative attempted to crush them. That story of diversity, equity and inclusion is a story for our time, in all of our systems - whether those systems be family, corporation or community. I applaud Meghan and Harry's desire to take on the giant system that they have - nothing about this can be easy for them, yet they persist. And, for that I am grateful. We all must acknowledge the price they are paying to stay in this critical conversation - even when doing so seems too difficult to bare. Our best societal changes have occurred when one person, or a few, had the courage to speak up and take action. Early pioneering efforts can be messy, but the groundswell created can change the course of our future. I will cheer them on as they continue to tell their truth, and I hope they stick together and are buoyed by the support and love they receive.

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  60. If anyone is interested, Christopher Bouzy's report on the hate campaign targeting Harry and Meghan is at https://botsentinel.com/reports/documents/duke-and-duchess-of-sussex/report-01-18-2022.pdf

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  61. How do these people sleep at night? How do they watch the complete disintegration of a human being because of THEM?! I will never understand. I would like to comment that the feel of what was being said about the "Institution" is very reminiscent of the way Leah Remini describes the cult of Scientology in her docuseries. For me, particularly when Harry stated they were going to visit the Queen and an urgent message stated "Your principal is not to visit the Queen, her schedule is booked this week". The word "principal" really got me. They are not human, they are not family, they are objects, robots, "its". I think this one thing shocked me to my core. VERY disturbing and the palace has LOTS to answer to.

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