Finding Freedom, the book about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, has been out for almost a week now – are you finished reading? Most of the juiciest bits were pretty much reported in the press. And now that the book has been released and the press around it is beginning to subside, where does that leave things? Finding Freedom was presented as Harry and Meghan’s side of things, almost like a correction of the unfair and racist narratives being pushed by the British tabloids. The Daily Mail is still going to Daily Mail. And the rest of them won’t change either – and Harry and Meghan probably didn’t expect them to, so the real question is how the book’s revelations will affect the actual members of the British royal family and their relationships. Word is Prince William was concerned about his and Kate’s portrayal. I don’t know that either of them came of looking too badly although they probably preferred the angle that they are awesome, treated Harry and Meghan awesomely, have never made a single mistake, always had Harry and Meghan’s backs, and are the most innocent and not cunning at all and have never manipulated any situation in their own favour.
Interestingly enough though, a story that the Cambridges were hoping would go away is now kinda making its way back and also giving people insight into royal gossip circles. Tom Sykes just published a piece for the Daily Beast about being a royal reporter and where his scoops typically come from. The whole article, which is not long, is pretty juicy, but here’s the part you might be the most interested in:
“It was at a dinner party attended by one of my top sources, the daughter of an earl, that I first heard the shocking rumors that Prince William was having an affair with one of his neighbors and it was over a family lunch that I was told that William and Harry really, really don’t get on with their dad, and he finds their habit of publicly emoting embarrassing and undignified. Both stories were denied by the Palace, of course.”
You remember that rumour, right? It was last year, and it started when the UK tabloids started reporting that Kate is no longer friends with Rose Hanbury, the Marchioness of Cholmondeley (pronounced CHUMLEY) and speculation among the Turnip Toffs – idle rich people in the English countryside – that it was because, allegedly, William and Rose may have been gardening together.
Curiously enough, the British tabloids didn’t really pursue that story with the vigour that they normally apply to these kinds of potential scandals. But what Tom is revealing here is that those whispers originated among aristocrats. This was being talked about among William and Kate’s own social set – which is what I was saying all last year, that for all their pissy-ness about the gossip, and where they were pointing the fingers, did they ever really take a close look at where it started and that their own friends are in fact the MOST gossipy?!
Tom Sykes, as he shares in his piece, knows all these people because he has family connections. He grew up among English aristocracy. He gets tips from nobility. And, clearly, they love talking sh-t about each other. Just because they’re wealthy though doesn’t mean that their sh-t is reliable and Tom is clear about this too. Think about your batsh-t Uncle Phil and how often he gets sh-t wrong. There’s an Uncle Phil in every family. Nobody knows whether or not William and Rose were actually planting eggplants. But the point is, out there in the rich ass English countryside, that was definitely a conversation.
But the other takeaway is what Tom reveals about his ability to get that sh-t and deliver it: in order to be able to keep scooping, he has to keep getting invited to the dinner parties with these people. And they know what he does and they’re sharing it with him anyway, understanding that he may or may not report it. So it’s also about what they want him to report and if this is the kind of sh-t they don’t mind him reporting, how f-cking backstabby and ruthless is it out there among those Turnips?
That’s part of what Harry and Meghan were trying to get away from when they left England. This week both Harry and Meghan made virtual appearances. He was on a Zoom call with Invictus and she interviewed Emily Ramshaw, founder and CEO of The19th* to talk about voting and social justice, both presumably from their new home in Montecito that everyone was talking about last week. Was it from their new place though? I’ve heard from a few locals in the area who are buzzing that while the Sussexes have indeed purchased the property, after leaving Tyler Perry’s place, and while waiting to make a couple of adjustments on the new place, they were actually spending some time in Oprah’s guest house – at least as of late last week. When you stay at Oprah’s… do you ever want to leave?!