In his venomous new Royal biography, Omid Scobie – widely regarded as the unofficial mouthpiece for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – claims the Princess of Wales spent more time 'talking about' her sister-in-law Meghan than she ever actually spent talking to her.
Hmm. I wonder where he got that idea from? And in any case, arguably the same could be said about Meghan. She passed just a few years in the Royal fold (even less time as a working Royal) before turning on those exquisite ankles of hers, declaring the whole lot a bunch of racist, outdated bullies and, along with her husband Harry, flogging her tales of woe to the highest bidder.
In other words, she stayed just long enough to bag the frocks, jewels, titles and the cachet – but not long enough to really get to know any of the family.
Scobie's new book, whose title, Endgame, sounds like some Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Cruise (and who knows, it may yet be one), isn't on the bookshelves yet and already the salient details are making headlines.
In no particular order: Meghan told King Charles there are two 'Royal racists' who spoke about her son Archie's skin colour; Meghan decided against attending the Coronation as she didn't want to 'dive back into the soap opera of the court' (how magnanimous of her); the Duke and Duchess sent Christmas presents to the Wales children, but didn't receive a text by way of thank you; and Charles told other members of the Royal Family not to trust Harry following the publication of his memoir, Spare. Beef, beef and a side order of beef, with loads of lolly for afters.
In his venomous new Royal biography, Omid Scobie – widely regarded as the unofficial mouthpiece for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex – claims the Princess of Wales spent more time 'talking about' her sister-in-law Meghan than she ever actually spent talking to her
Scobie's new book, whose title, Endgame, sounds like some Hollywood blockbuster starring Tom Cruise (and who knows, it may yet be one), isn't on the bookshelves yet and already the salient details are making headlines. Pictured: Omid Scobie
And that's the point, isn't it? The lolly. Because however much people such as Scobie – and, maybe, the Sussexes themselves – might want to frame this book and others like it as noble exercises in truth-telling, the truth is that they are just milking our most famous institution for axe-grinding money.
From Crawfie (aka Marion Crawford, the late Queen's governess, whose book The Little Princesses was the first written by a former employee to lift the lid on life in the Palace) to Netflix's The Crown via Andrew Morton, Princess Diana's butler Paul Burrell, Scobie et al, the amount of money – not to mention careers and reputations – that has been made by insiders from revealing details of the British Royal Family's most intimate moments is astonishing. And it is, not to put too fine a point on it, deeply unedifying.
That's not to say that the public don't have a right to know what the Royal Family gets up to – after all, they are public servants. But there's a big difference between biographies and documentaries – such as those curated by the Mail's estimable Robert Hardman – that detail their public roles, and those others that seek only to create drama and gossip.
The Royal Family are not mere celebrities, they are part of a longstanding and revered institution which, for many people, still stands for the increasingly rare values of dignity, duty and discretion.
It's extremely tiresome to see them endlessly traduced like this for the sake of profit.
Of course, in some cases the Royals bring it on themselves by spilling the beans: Princess Diana collaborated with Morton on Diana: Her True Story, and gave that interview to Martin Bashir, although it turned out to have been obtained by false pretences. But in many ways Diana can be forgiven. She was so young and naive when she married Prince Charles and had very little support or preparation for the role. Her indiscretions were cries for help, not attempts to wound.
Prince Harry is different. He has sadly turned out to be the ultimate self-destructive Royal. That Oprah interview, the Netflix documentary, his autobiography, which was one big basket of dirty Royal laundry sold to the highest bidder.
It might be different if Harry was at least honest about this. But no. He wants it both ways: to be a Royal but also rake in the royalties.
Whereas the likes of Omid Scobie are annoying leeches, Harry is much worse. The people he is using to line his pockets are his own flesh and blood. That is why his betrayal was a dagger in the heart of the late Queen. It is also why he continues to be a great source of agony for his father, the King. And it is why his brother, the Prince of Wales, is rightly furious with him.
Harry has inflicted upon them all the very tortures he accuses others of inflicting on him. Yet still he has the gall to cast himself as victim.