Prince Harry insists he is writing a ‘literary’ memoir to provide readers with ‘a first-hand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful’. In other words, he intends to set the record straight.
It is not the first time, of course: back in March, Harry and Meghan invited chat-show host Oprah Winfrey to their Californian home to offer TV viewers ‘their truth’ about the events that had led them to up sticks and move to the U.S.
Strangely, their account was riddled with inconsistencies and inaccuracies. Here, GUY ADAMS poses a few questions the new book might seek to address . . .
When were they actually married?
GUY ADAMS: To an excited gasp from Oprah Winfrey, Harry and Meghan alleged that their 2018 wedding (pictured) was an expensive sham
To an excited gasp from Oprah Winfrey, Harry and Meghan alleged that their 2018 wedding was an expensive sham.
‘Three days before our wedding, we got married,’ Meghan claimed. ‘No one knows that. But we called the Archbishop, and we just said: ‘Look, this thing, this spectacle, is for the world, but we want our union between us.’
‘So, like, the vows that we have framed in our room are just the two of us in our backyard with the Archbishop of Canterbury.’
Harry then sang: ‘Just the three of us!’
A cute anecdote. But is it true? As experts pointed out, English law requires at least five people to be present (the couple, two witnesses and the person officiating) for a legal marriage to take place.
Those suggesting Harry and Meghan’s yarn is nonsense include Archbishop Justin Welby himself, via an interview with Italy’s La Repubblica newspaper in late March.
‘I signed the wedding certificate, which is a legal document, and I would have committed a serious criminal offence if I signed it knowing it was false,’ he said.
‘So you can make what you like about it, but the legal wedding was on the Saturday.’
Is the Archbishop telling porkies? Or was Oprah told a tall tale? Perhaps Harry can clarify…
Who really cried at the dress fitting?
Meghan has insisted she was the one reduced to tears at a pre-wedding bridesmaid dress-fittin – informing Oprah that Kate subsequently sent ‘flowers and a note, apologising’
Much ink has been spilled over the gloriously petty question of which Royal spouse reduced the other to tears at a pre-wedding bridesmaid dress-fitting.
Friends of Kate say she cried. Meghan has insisted ‘the reverse happened’ and she was the one reduced to tears, informing Oprah that Kate subsequently sent ‘flowers and a note, apologising’.
Meanwhile the couple’s pet journalist Omid Scobie previously proclaimed — via his semi-authorised Megxit chronicle Finding Freedom — that, contrary to reports, ‘there were no tears from anyone’.
So what really happened? Is it possible that everyone cried? Or that no one did?
What’s the truth about the race row?
Perhaps the most damaging allegation Harry and Meghan have made is that at least one member of the Royal Family expressed concern about ‘how dark’ their unborn son Archie’s skin might be.
It’s quite a claim. And it surely deserves elaboration. Not least: which royal made this remark? And what exactly did they say?
More to the point, how many times were the alleged fears voiced? And when?
According to Meghan, there were ‘several conversations’ about Archie’s skin colour which took place ‘in those months when I was pregnant’. However, Harry previously told Oprah there was just one conversation ‘right at the beginning . . . before we even got married’.
The Palace has wryly observed that ‘recollections’ of what occurred ‘may vary’ while Prince William said: ‘We are very much not a racist family.’ Let’s clear this confusion up!
Why isn’t Archie a Royal Prince?
In the gospel according to Harry and Meghan, Archie was refused his birth-right to a Royal title amid the aforementioned ‘concerns and conversations’ about his skin colour
In the gospel according to Harry and Meghan, Archie was refused his birth-right to a Royal title amid the aforementioned ‘concerns and conversations’ about his skin colour.
Meghan told Oprah that ‘they’ (by which she appeared to mean palace officials) just ‘didn’t want him to be a Prince or Princess’.
In fact, royal protocol dictates that the great-grandchild of a monarch doesn’t normally become a Prince until their grandparent — in Archie’s case Prince Charles — has taken the throne.
What’s more, Omid Scobie previously alleged that the decision to reject his courtesy title, The Earl of Dumbarton, was actually dreamed up by Harry and Meghan as ‘part of giving him as normal a life as possible’.
There is plenty to unravel here, but maybe Harry can start by telling us who ‘they’ were and what they actually said.
Was Meghan really kept indoors?
Life inside the Royal bubble was so claustrophobic, Meghan alleged, that things got to the stage where: ‘I’ve left the house twice in four months.’ She also claims to have had her passport confiscated.
That sounds pretty awful. But is it true? There is no official record of her social activities, but Court Circular records Meghan’s attendance at official engagements on 73 days in the 17 months between her wedding and moving to North America.
Of those days, at least 65 involved leaving her home. There are just two apparent gaps in this hectic schedule, both in 2019: from March 22 to July 6; and from July 14 to September 23.
The first period includes the run-up to Archie’s birth, when she travelled to hospital on May 6, plus at least four private outings: to Windsor Castle on May 8, Trooping the Colour and a baseball game in London in June, and Wimbledon on July 4.
In the second period, Meghan managed to holiday abroad at least four times: in Italy, France, Ibiza and the U.S.
In short, there doesn’t appear to be any ‘four-month’ period when she only left the house twice. And she must have used her passport to travel. So what really went on?
When did they choose to ‘Megxit’?
Harry’s wife would have us believe she entered the royal fold intending to devote her life to service: ‘Our plan was to do this for ever,’ she said. ‘I wrote letters to his family saying: ‘I am dedicated to this. Use me as you’d like.’
Oprah asked the couple whether the Queen had been ‘blindsided’ by their January 2020 decision to quit the UK.
‘I’ve never blindsided my grandmother,’ Harry insisted. ‘I have too much respect for her.’
Meghan then added: ‘So I remember when you talked to her several times about this [Megxit] over . . .’
Harry: ‘Two years.’
That suggests they began planning to withdraw from full-time royal duties in early January 2018, four months before they even married. How does Harry reconcile this with Meghan’s statement that they planned to ‘do this for ever’?
Did Harry plan to go into showbiz?
GUY ADAMS asks: Did Harry (pictured alongside James Corden) plan to go into showbiz?
Harry didn’t move to California to pursue a quick buck in Hollywood. Or so he claims. When speaking to Oprah, he insisted ‘Netflix and Spotify was never part of the plan’, suggesting the lucrative gigs came along by happy chance.
Oddly, it has since been revealed that the couple began speaking to a video streaming firm called Quibi in early 2019. So when was his head really turned by the bright lights of Hollywood? Let’s find out!
Did his father cut off their money?
Harry has claimed his decision to sign business deals with broadcast firms came about because ‘my family literally cut me off financially’
Harry has claimed his decision to sign business deals with broadcast firms came about because ‘my family literally cut me off financially’. An astonished Oprah responded: ‘Wait a minute . . . Your family cut you off?’
‘Yeah,’ replied Harry. ‘In the first half, the first quarter of 2020.
Yet financial records published by Clarence House in June revealed Prince Charles handed over £4.45 million to his sons and their wives in the last financial year. What does Harry have to say about that?
PS: Does he think Oprah’s company was ‘wholly truthful’?
GUY ADAMS: As a stickler for accuracy, Harry would doubtless expect Oprah’s production company, Harpo, also to be relentless in her pursuit of the truth
As a stickler for accuracy, Harry would doubtless expect Oprah’s production company, Harpo, also to be relentless in her pursuit of the truth. So what does he make of her bombshell contention — repeated throughout the interview — that he and Meghan suffered appalling racism at the hands of the UK Press?
‘There was constant criticism, blatant sexist and racist remarks by British tabloids,’ said Oprah.
To illustrate her point, viewers were presented with montages of supposedly-bigoted headlines.
Yet it emerged more than a third of those headlines came not from British but foreign publications.
In one flurry of eight headlines about Meghan ‘making Kate cry’, five were from U.S. and Australian supermarket magazines.
A second montage of lurid headlines — such as ‘monster Meghan exposed’ — were all from overseas titles.
Even when the broadcaster showed British headlines, several had been cynically edited to make them appear racist, and in one case fabricated. The latter was a Guardian headline reading: ‘BBC’s Danny Baker on comparing Royal Baby Archie to a chimp.’
No such headline has ever appeared in that paper.
Perhaps the most egregious smear centred on a January 2018 Mail on Sunday story about racist slurs circulated by the girlfriend of (then) UKIP leader Henry Bolton.
The MoS headline read: ‘Meghan’s seed will taint our Royal Family’: UKIP chief’s glamour model lover, 25, is suspended from the party over racist texts about Prince Harry’s wife-to-be.’
The headline was cropped, removing all but the first seven words, falsely suggesting the paper had published an opinion article arguing that ‘Meghan’s seed will taint our Royal Family.’
Following complaints to ITV, it was forced to remove the distorted headlines from the version of the show carried on its website.