DAN WOOTTON: Will Harry’s book free the Palace staff to reveal how they survived to work for Sussexes?
Furious former associates who worked for Prince Harry and Meghan during their time in the royal family hope the Duke’s all-encompassing autobiography will finally allow them to speak out against the royal couple without fear of repercussions.
The small group of staffers – the so-called ‘survivors’ – and royal courtiers are currently considering the ramifications of Harry’s decision to write about his life.
They keep in touch semi-regularly to exchange stories and discuss the latest news in the world of the Sussexes.
A small group of staffers – the so-called ‘survivors’ – and royal courtiers are currently considering the ramifications of Harry’s decision to write about his life
Most royal employees are bound by understandably draconian confidentiality provisions, including the Official Secrets Act.
More from Dan Wootton for MailOnline…
- EXCLUSIVE – ‘This is the final nail in Harry’s coffin’: DAN WOOTTON reveals growing royal anger over all-encompassing book that will overshadow Queen’s platinum anniversary and threaten Charles’ plan to make Camilla his queen 20/07/21
- DAN WOOTTON: The schizophrenic Boris has to make a decision – either Covid is still a deadly threat and we should all be in lockdown. Or is it just another flu and we have to move on with our lives 19/07/21
- Don’t betray the memory of your father, Charles: The dutiful Prince Edward and his faithful wife Sophie deserve so much better than to be denied the title they were promised on their wedding day, writes DAN WOOTTON 14/07/21
- DAN WOOTTON: Sunday was a heartthrob, but from Jeremy Clarkson to Kate, the Queen of Hugs, here are my ten huge reasons to still be merry this summer if you’re English 12/07/21
- DAN WOOTTON: Didn’t it feel good to hug a total stranger last night? Win or lose, Sunday will be England’s REAL Freedom Day – whether Boris likes it or not 08/07/21
- How about Boris, asks DAN WOOTTON: By medaling the entire NHS, the Queen – whose own family hardly ever uses it – has made this entrenched organization untouchable 05/07/21
- DAN WOOTTON: I know I shouldn’t cry over a statue, but it was heartbreaking to see Diana’s two sons together – but so clearly still so far apart – 01/07/21
- DAN WOOTTON: Hands, face, space? More like Handsy, eat face, no space. The insufferable, cheating, ‘effing useless’ Hancock is now a national joke and must go today 25/06/21
- DAN WOOTTON: The act of gross commercialization lying Meghan and Harry’s claim that they asked the Queen for permission to name their daughter after her 22/06/21
- VIEW FULL ARCHIVE
However, some of Harry and Meghan’s ex-employees have become increasingly enraged at what they believe to be a false story being promoted about how they were treated by the institution.
This situation was compounded by the sensational and damaging interview with Oprah Winfrey in March, as well as the explosive public disclosure of allegations that Meghan had bullied employees, and the launch of an official Buckingham Palace investigation. The Sussexes denied bullying allegations, saying they were the victims of a “calculated smear campaign”.
But the autobiography — for which Harry is expected to receive a £14.7 million advance from Penguin Random House — threatens to take the bitterness to another level.
Last night my royal insider revealed: ‘Harry and Meghan’s former associates are convinced that this book is being written to settle scores and will likely contain many details about their time within the royal family.
“Based on the interview with Oprah Winfrey, some of these ex-employees just don’t trust that a complete and accurate picture will be presented.
Most royal employees are bound by understandably draconian confidentiality provisions, including the Official Secrets Act, writes Dan Wootton
“Talks are already underway about what steps they could possibly take to protect their own reputation and that of the monarchy after publication.”
It remains unlikely that the confidentiality rules will be officially quashed due to their importance in protecting members of the royal family from harmful leaks over the years.
But an insider added: “A provision may be given to staff members to respond to claims they deem inaccurate.
“Perhaps people would turn a blind eye if employees used friends or relatives to correct the record on their behalf.
“Those kinds of conversations are happening right now and of course there are always legal remedies available if the book unjustly smears individual employees.”
Harry and Meghan’s staff hold the key to uncovering their experiences of many of their most explosive claims about the royal family, so it’s a shame they could be silenced.
Another royal source added: ‘These are generally very good people who wanted the best for Harry and Meghan.
“But many of the secrets they know are explosive and would blow up much of the victim’s story so carefully crafted by those two.
For example, some of these employees were aware of commercial talks going on when they were full-time royals — they paved the way for millions to be made long before Megxit was revealed.
“The way they tried to publicly discredit the staff they were talking to was extremely distasteful and left a bad taste in the mouths of many courtiers, past and present.
“All options must remain on the table, because we live in unprecedented times. There is literally no precedent for this situation.”
However, some of Harry and Meghan’s ex-employees have become increasingly enraged at what they believe to be a false story being promoted about how they were treated by the institution, Dan Wootton writes.
During their time in the royal family, a large number of staff members left Harry and Meghan’s employment.
Among them were private secretaries Samantha Cohen and Amy Pickerill, two PAs, including Melissa Touabti, and two nannies.
At least ten former employees would like to testify in the Buckingham Palace investigation into Meghan’s alleged bullying behind the palace walls.
Harry and Meghan’s then communications secretary, Jason Knauf, warned Prince William’s private secretary, Simon Case, in an email leaked to The Times in the days before the Oprah chat aired.
He wrote: ‘I am very concerned that the Duchess has been able to bully two PAs from the household in the past year. The treatment of X was totally unacceptable.
“The Duchess seems determined to always have someone in her sights. She bullies Y and tries to undermine her self-confidence.
“We’ve had report after report of people who have witnessed unacceptable behavior towards Y.”
Meghan described the bullying allegations as a “calculated smear campaign.”
The Mail on Sunday revealed over the weekend that Prince Harry’s old friends are also shocked that Harry is writing a book and are considering speaking out as well.
A source told the newspaper: “When Harry criticizes one of his old school and military friends in his new book, they have promised to break ranks to tell their story.”
Last week I revealed the “growing sense of shock and anger” among the royal palaces and the Duke of Sussex’s own relatives over his book plan, which a senior royal source told me was “the final nail in the royal family’s coffin.” could be’. relationship with Harry.
Insiders close to the Prince of Wales confirmed he knew nothing about Harry’s book, even though he’s been working on it for the past year and it’s believed Clarence House is concerned about what Harry might write about his stepmother Camilla.
A deal sees Prince Harry’s memoirs released next year. Harry’s wife Meghan is writing a ‘wellness’ guide as part of the Penguin Random House contract
The source said: ‘Let’s face it, Harry has never been close to the Duchess of Cornwall. Documenting their fraught relationship in the book could be very damaging at a time when Charles is laying the groundwork for her to become queen.”
While there is still hope that the relationship between Charles and Harry will recover, courtiers do not believe that rapprochement with William is possible.
A royal insider explained: ‘This is the end of any close relationship with the Duke of Cambridge. There is not much more to say in that regard. William finds his behavior shameful and tasteless.’
The 2022 publication of the book — written by JR Moehringer — has also alarmed courtiers as it threatens to overshadow a trio of key royal milestones, most notably the Queen’s platinum anniversary.
Prince Harry announced the news of the book in a statement: “I am writing this not as the prince I was born, but as the man I have become. I’ve worn many hats over the years, both literally and figuratively, and I hope by telling my story – the highs and lows, the mistakes, the lessons learned – I can show that wherever we come from, we have more in common than we think.
“I am immensely grateful for the opportunity to share what I have learned over the course of my life thus far and I am thrilled that people are reading a first-hand account of my life that is accurate and completely truthful.”
But as my royal source concluded, “Many of Prince Harry and Meghan’s former associates doubt that the book will be ‘completely truthful’ because if it were, Harry and Meghan would look terrible.”