Prince Harry and Meghan Are 'Constantly Violating' Their Own Privacy—Author

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have displayed an obsession for privacy while “constantly violating their own,” and Prince William shouldn’t try to counter his brother’s complaints about royal life because “there’s no way to win,” a prominent royal biographer has told Newsweek’s The Royal Report podcast.

Sally Bedell Smith, author of a number of royal biographies including Diana: In Search for Herself and the soon-to-be-released George VI and Elizabeth: The Marriage That Shaped the Monarchy, discussed Harry and Meghan’s current family relationships with chief royal correspondent Jack Royston, and how these compare with Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Bedell Smith has written in-depth about King George VI and his elder brother the Duke of Windsor (formerly Edward VIII) and their dynamic growing up as heir and spare.

In his recently released memoir, self-titled Spare, Harry listed a number of grievances against his older brother, William, drawing into contrast their many differences.

Reflecting on how William and Kate have set boundaries in regards to what they are and are not willing to share with the world, compared to Harry and Meghan, Bedell Smith said, “I think William and Catherine have really done a remarkably good job in preserving a zone of privacy. It was challenged at the beginning by the paparazzi and they drew a very, very strong line about what they would tolerate and what they would challenge.”

She continued: “But, you know, I can’t help thinking that Harry and Meghan are so obsessed with privacy—and they’re constantly violating their own privacy with interviews and and obviously Harry’s book.”

Since the couple stepped away from the monarchy in 2020 and moved to the United States, they have undertaken a number of interviews and media projects discussing their experiences, both together and separately. The two most major examples of this are the couple’s bombshell sit-down with Oprah Winfrey in 2021, and the release of Harry’s Spare memoir in January.

In these, they made a number of globally published claims against the royal family and their time in Britain, which have—so far—generated little to no rebuttal from the royals themselves.

In March 2021, days after the Oprah interview, Queen Elizabeth II released a rare statement saying that while “recollections may vary” about the couple’s claims, they will always remain loved members of the royal family.

William has been asked a number of times about claims made by Harry on royal engagements, which he has largely ignored, something Bedell Smith says is a wise move.

“I would be stunned if William were to write any kind of a book that would, for example, try to counter what Harry has written and said,” she said. “Because I think there’s no way to win that it just escalates. But they’re just, William and Kate, I think are handling it very well.”

In recent months, since the release of Harry and Meghan’s Netflix docuseries this past December and Spare in January, the couple have been spoofed in mainstream media for their apparent desire for privacy while publicizing their projects.

prince harry and meghan are 'constantly violating' their own privacy—author

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle photographed with Prince William and Kate Middleton in London, March 9, 2020. PHIL HARRIS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images

In February, the couple were roasted by adult animated comedy South Park in an episode titled “Worldwide Privacy Tour.”

In December 2022, a spokesperson for the couple addressed the persistent criticism over privacy by saying that it was never cited as a reason for stepping away from royal life.

“The Duke and Duchess have never cited privacy as the reason for stepping back. This distorted narrative was intended to trap the couple into silence,” the spokesperson said, per the BBC. “In fact, their statement announcing their decision to step back mentions nothing of privacy and reiterates their desire to continue their roles and public duties. Any suggestion otherwise speaks to a key point of this series.”

The spokesperson continued: “They are choosing to share their story, on their terms, and yet the tabloid media has created an entirely untrue narrative that permeates press coverage and public opinion. The facts are right in front of them.”

George VI and Elizabeth: The Marriage That Shaped the Monarchy by Sally Bedell Smith is available in the United Kingdom on April 13, published by Penguin Michael Joseph.

Newsweek reached out to representatives for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle via email for comment.

James Crawford-Smith is Newsweek’s royal reporter based in London. You can find him on Twitter at @jrcrawfordsmith and read his stories on Newsweek’s The Royals Facebook page.

Do you have a question about King Charles III, William and Kate, Meghan and Harry, or their family that you would like our experienced royal correspondents to answer? Email [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.

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