You know what they say — the devil works hard, but Meghan Markle-hating royal experts work harder. Over the weekend, Channel 5 aired William & Harry: Princes at War?, and the Meghan Markle rumors were flying in this new Prince William and Prince Harry documentary. The film featured royal correspondents and members of the media sharing their thoughts on a potential feud between William and Harry — and of course, speculating on how Meghan might be to blame. The comments given in the documentary aren’t exactly new, and these same sources have given similar opinions to news outlets like The Sun at earlier points this year. Nonetheless, the film airing on TV has reignited the public’s memory of this alleged feud and Meghan’s alleged involvement.
William & Harry: Princes at War features commentary from Sky News broadcaster Carole Malone, royal expert and Majesty editor-in-chief Ingrid Seward, Sun correspondent Emily Andrews and William and Harry: Behind the Palace Walls author Katie Nicholl. Malone claims that “the biggest cause of their so-called rift was Wills tried to warn Harry when he met Meghan not to rush into it. He’d only known her for less than a year when they got engaged […] He sat him down and just told him to take it a bit slow, not to run at it.”
On TV tonight!
William & Harry: Princes at War? Channel 5 UK 9pm-10pm
Are the rumours of a rift between The Duke of Cambridge & Sussex true? We assess the claims from how William & Harry's relationship has changed, from the strong bond to meeting their wives & starting families pic.twitter.com/vCb7j62Waj
— Royal Family (@Royal_FamilyUK) August 17, 2019
Seward and Nicholl echo that Harry’s relationship with Meghan was the driving force behind the brothers’ fighting. “It was all so quick that William and Kate didn’t have a moment to get to know Meghan because Harry hardly knew Meghan,” Seward claims. “And, of course, quite naturally William and Kate would have thought, ‘Oh, she’s been married before, she’s older than Harry, I hope she’s going to make him happy.’ Anyone would think that.” We’re not so sure about “anyone,” but okay. Sun correspondent Andrews comes in with the most damning anecdote yet, reporting that Harry “went ballistic and said, ‘You’re trying to wreck this relationship before it’s even started,'” when faced with pushback about Meghan from brother William.
As a refresher, these “feud” rumors came about as a result of a few key events this past summer. First, Harry and Meghan announced their move to Frogmore Cottage. The reason they gave was Archie’s impending birth, but many tabloids speculated that desired distance from William and Kate Middleton was the true reason. Second, the Sussexes split their charity organization from the Royal Foundation. While the Palace similarly claimed this was a pre-meditated, strategic decision, the media still felt it indicated a widening rift. From that point, all further interactions — from picking godparents to Instagram rebranding — was viewed through the lens of what it meant about the brothers’ relationship.
— Daily Mirror (@DailyMirror) August 11, 2019
What feels odd about this documentary is the fact that so many of the royal experts they interview are the same ones initially cited when these feud rumors were announced in the press. On July 1, Nicholl wrote in Vanity Fair about how Meghan’s relationship with Harry created a rift between the brothers, and echoed the idea that she was “difficult and demanding.” Earlier in June, Nicholl spoke to Fox News about the same dynamic. Similarly, Seward has a history of speaking negatively about Meghan in the press, running a Sun column on August 1 in which she stated her certainty that “the Royal Family are concerned” about Meghan’s behavior, and instructed Meghan’s secretary to “warn the Duchess” about the impending consequences.
Because William & Harry: Princes at War? does not offer further evidence for the feud — and instead reiterates comments previously given to the press — it’s hard to view the film as a depiction of actual events so much as a depiction of a period of news coverage. From what we understand, the documentary handily rehashes what British news sites have been claiming about the Sussex and Cambridge couples as far back as April. But if you’re all caught up on your royal reading, you can likely skip this trip down memory lane.