Whatever Volume 2 of Netflix’s Harry & Meghan—to be screened on Thursday—brings, Prince William sees his relationship with Harry as “over,” damaged beyond repair by Harry’s betrayal of him and his wife, a source has told The Daily Beast.
The source, a friend of William and Kate’s who used also to be close to Harry, said: “The relationship between the brothers is over and it doesn’t make a great deal of difference what is in the films released this week. The general feeling that it won’t be anything they haven’t said before.”
But the damage to the fraternal friendship is most definitely done, the source said, and is rooted in William’s utter dismay at Harry for taking the media coin.
“William will never forgive Harry for selling out his and Kate’s secrets. Harry knows, more than anyone, how much their privacy means to William and Kate because he felt the same. It was one of the things that drew them together. It’s just sickening to [William] that Harry, who knows exactly how distressing it will be to him, is now selling them out to the media. William and Kate don’t deserve this. It’s incredibly sad.”
Prince William Plots Fightback Over Harry and Meghan’s ‘Utterly Explosive’ Netflix Documentary
The sense of sadness rather than anger is also a theme emerging from friends of Charles and Camilla. A friend of the king and queen told The Daily Beast: “The only thing Charles can do is keep calm and carry on. The last thing he wants to do is to pour fuel on the fire.”
However, sources at Buckingham Palace have made it clear they will push back against provable inaccuracies; this was demonstrated last week when the Palace denied that it had been offered a chance to comment on the claims made in the show, which Netflix said it had been.
In the event, the Palace was forced to walk back on a strong briefing issued to journalists and admit they had been contacted by a “third party” seeking comment on the show. While it therefore turned out perhaps not to be the smartest fight to pick, it was nonetheless an interesting sign that Charles is not prepared to simply let everything go.
The Palace has, however, been silent as Netflix has sought to stoke controversy and excitement ahead of Thursday’s drop with a glossy trailer that promised much but, on closer examination, said nothing new; for example, an unnamed “they” who Harry accused of lying to protect William while being unwilling to tell the truth to protect him and Meghan appears to be a reference to… the media.
Supporters, advisers, and staff of the royals are also likely to be encouraged by plummeting poll numbers for Harry and Meghan in the U.K., suggesting their decision to go public again with their grievances has turned the British public against them.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Harry has seen a 13-point favorability drop since November, while Meghan has undergone a 7-point drop since November. She is now the second most unpopular royal tracked by survey firm YouGov, beaten in the unpopularity rankings only by Prince Andrew. One glimmer of hope for the couple is that they are much more popular with younger people than they are in general.
It will be interesting to discover how they rank in America when similar surveys are done in the States.
But it’s hard to see how Harry and Meghan can sustain a narrative that they are the good guys when they spend so much of their time attacking both their families on mass market television.
It seems that William, now Prince of Wales, has made his mind up for good—and if this week’s new episodes don’t blow up any last bridges, Harry’s memoir, Spare, due out in January and spilling the family’s secrets all over again, is only likely to cement William’s hard-line position.
Kensington Palace, William and Kate’s staff headquarters in London, declined to comment.
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