Prince Charles has been getting well-deserved bad press for months now because of a series of exposés, mostly in the Times of London, about all of Charles’s shady fundraising for his foundation and various charitable endeavors. Some of the “cash-for-access” stuff is just (IMO) a misreading of what most fundraising is actually like. But Charles definitely crossed over into truly scandalous cash-for-access, cash-for-honours and cash-for-citizenship terrority. Which is why, I believe, Charles decided to throw Prince Harry under the bus too, to take some of the heat off. The Times ran a story over the weekend about Harry meeting with one of Charles’s cash-for-access donors. I won’t recap the whole story, suffice to say that Harry issued a pretty thorough denial and clarification, one which made Charles look like an a–hole.
Charles hasn’t been able to shut up about Harry’s statement since – what was a story about Charles’s corruption has become a story about how Charles is in so much pain over wayward, terrible Harry, and how they barely speak but Charles would never say a word against him, even though Clarence House is clearly waging a campaign against Harry. A fun bonus is that now hardly anyone is talking about Charles’s corruption. Funny how that happened! Charles’s people clearly went to Richard Kay at the Daily Mail as well, and Kay has a long-winded story about Poor Chuck, who fears Harry is the new Diana.
Charles & Harry used to get along: These were the days when Charles was generous in his terms of endearment, often referring publicly to his son as ‘dear boy’ and ‘darling boy’. How tragic, then, that just three and a half years later, father and son are said to be barely on speaking terms, with relations between them at an all-time low.
Harry’s clarifying statement: Harry’s extraordinary weekend outburst in which he claimed he had raised concerns about a billionaire donor in the ‘cash for access’ controversy has soured things even more. To those close to Charles, it was seen as every bit as mischievous an intervention as Harry’s criticism of his father as a parent. Criticising his father — and by implication the Queen — for the way he was raised is one thing. But the broadside he launched questioning the ‘motives’ of Dr Mahfouz Marei Mubarak bin Mahfouz and highlighting his own ‘concerns’ about the Saudi businessman, is an implicit challenge to Charles’s judgment.
Harry is the new Diana: Such a rebuke — especially if it continues — could have an impact on the Prince as monarch as we edge closer to his reign. And it is why this week those close to Charles are viewing the unravelling of the relationship between father and son as potentially as damaging as that between the Prince and Princess Diana. ‘There is a feeling among some of his long-term friends that Harry’s outbursts, whether deliberate or unintentional, are chipping away at the Prince’s authority,’ says one close figure. ‘This matters, as the day he becomes King is now no longer somewhere over the horizon.’
Baffled Chuck: Charles himself is desperate not to exacerbate matters and, as always in matters concerning his children, is determined to avoid any confrontation. ‘He has been hurt by some of the things that have occurred, but it’s also fair to say he has also been baffled too.’
Charles never spoke ill of Meghan, huh: The publication in 2020 of the biography Finding Freedom led to further friction. According to insiders, Charles wanted to know if Harry had contributed to the book. It provoked the Duke to question if his father had in turn assisted author Robert Jobson, whose book, Charles At 70, first revealed Harry’s explosive ‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets’, demand.
Charles is still mad about Harry’s “my dad cut me off” comment: ‘He was aggrieved by the idea that he was some kind of tight-wad,’ says a friend. ‘Not only had he paid a huge amount for the cost of the wedding, he also had provided the couple with a substantial sum of money to help them become financially independent.’
Barely speaking: Father and son last spoke face-to-face at the Duke of Edinburgh’s funeral in April. They did not meet in July when Harry was in London for the unveiling of the Princess Diana statue at Kensington Palace, and Charles — along with the rest of the Royal Family — has still not met his six-month-old granddaughter Lilibet. According to insiders, contact between father and son has been ‘spasmodic’ with only a handful of phone conversations in the past eight months.
[From The Daily Mail]
The point of the story is that Harry is the new Diana, at least for Charles. Charles is constantly wary of Harry’s “broadsides” and criticism, whether explicit or implicit. And it’s true that I came out of the Oprah interview feeling like Harry was very angry at his father and very disappointed that Charles didn’t help him when he needed him most. I’ve long believed that Charles was fine with throwing Harry and Meghan under the bus whenever it was convenient for him, but it wasn’t until H&M announced their Sussexit that Charles really understood what he was about to lose. I also believe that William and Harry both framed the decision as “him or me.” Charles and the Queen both made their choice to throw their support behind William and here we are. Charles f–ked around and found out.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Instar.
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