Prince Harry and Prince William will not be exchanging Christmas gifts this year amid tensions between the two over the Duke and Duchess of Sussex‘s new Netflix docu-series.
Despite the friction between the two couples, which has only been heightened by the release of ‘volume one’ of the documentary this week, Kate and William will still be sending three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet presents for Chirstmas.
And Harry and Meghan have also posted parcels to their nieces and nephews, according to the Sunday Times, but there is to be no festive gift exchange between the adults.
It comes as a friend of the Prince of Wales told the newspaper that he will ‘definitely’ not be watching the controversial series. Harry was said to have been hoping that his brother and his father King Charles would watch it to get a better idea of what he and Meghan have had to go through.
Despite the friction between the two couples, which has only been heightened by the release of ‘volume one’ of the documentary this week, Kate and William (pictured with their three children on their 2021 Christmas card) will still be sending three-year-old Archie and one-year-old Lilibet presents for Chirstmas
And Harry and Meghan (pictured with their three children on their 2021 Christmas card) have also posted parcels to their nieces and nephews, according to the Sunday Times, but there is to be no festive gift exchange between the adults
Meanwhile, royal sources have dismissed claims made by Meghan that she was wholly unprepared for royal life as ‘total lies’.
The Duchess of Sussex claimed in the series that she had no idea what a walk-about was, had to Google the national anthem and did not know how to curtsy – embarrassingly giving a demonstration of her first attempt, much to the obvious discomfort of her husband.
But a royal source told the Sunday Times that Meghan was in fact given a 30-point dossier about her future role by Harry’s then private secretary Ed Lane Fox six months before their wedding and was provided with a list of experts who could help her.
Another claim that has been cast into doubt is that Meghan was told she couldn’t invite her niece Ashleigh Hale, the daughter of her estranged half-sister Samantha Markle, to her wedding.
‘That just didn’t happen,’ a source told the paper. ‘We never gave any advice, steer or guidance on who of her family or friends should or shouldn’t come to her wedding.
‘I have a very clear memory of her [Meghan] saying that she had a niece who she would in other circumstances have liked to invite, but she didn’t want to invite her because it would have put her under intense scrutiny.’
The Duchess of Sussex claimed in the series that she had no idea what a walk-about was, had to Google the national anthem and did not know how to curtsy – embarrassingly giving a demonstration of her first attempt, much to the obvious discomfort of her husband
Rift: Harry and William during the unveiling of a statue of their mother, Princess Diana, at Kensington Palace last year
BBC sources, including the former Director-General Lord Hall, have also shut down the claim made by Meghan that her engagement interview with Prince William was ‘orchestrated’ and ‘rehearsed’.
Lord Hall said this was ‘simply untrue’, while interviewer Mishal Husain gasped when she heard the claim on live radio on Thursday morning before declaring: ‘Recollections may vary’ – the same carefully chosen words used by the Queen to dispute allegations made by her grandson and his wife to Oprah in 2021.
But the part of the docu-series said to have upset Prince William the most, according to friends, was Harry’s assertion that his brother married Kate because she ‘fits the mould’ rather than for love.
Harry said in the documentary: ‘I think for so many people in the family, especially obviously the men, there can be a temptation or an urge to marry someone who would fit the mould as opposed to somebody who you perhaps are destined to be with.
‘The difference between making decisions with your head, or your heart.
‘And my mum certainly made most of her decisions – if not all of them – from her heart. And I am my mother’s son’.
Meghan also recalled her awkward first meeting with William and Kate in episode two, while Harry again seems to snub his brother in the trailer for the second volume by failing to include the Prince and Princess of Wales in any of the plethora of wedding pictures that flashed up on the screen.
The new trailer, released today, shows a series of unseen photos of the couple dancing at their 2018 wedding with VIPs including pop legend Elton John and Suits actor Abigail Spencer.
But in an apparent snub, none of the images from the lavish reception at Windsor Castle include the groom’s brother, despite the fact that Prince William served as best man at the wedding, in a break from tradition.
A source said the Duke of Sussex hopes his brother Prince William and father King Charles will watch the series to get a better idea of what he and Meghan (pictured at their wedding) have had to go through
Prince Harry pictured with a group of male friends during his wedding reception in 2018. Despite their previous close relationship, Prince William does not feature
The couple have also received criticism over the series for attacking British institutions as they discussed their experiences – including racism- and almost half of Britons are arguing that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex should be stripped of their titles as a result.
A survey by the Mail on Sunday found that 44 per cent of people think that they should lose their titles, while only 19 per cent disagreed.
A similar proportion, 42 per cent, think Harry should be excluded from the line of succession, with 23 per cent disagreeing.
Nearly one third, 28 per cent, think they should be disallowed from attending the Coronation of King Charles III, with 31 per cent disagreeing.
And royal insiders have been left particularly upset by the Netflix programme’s criticism of Queen Elizabeth and her Commonwealth legacy, which was dismissed as ‘Empire 2.0’.
One source pointed out that Harry and Meghan previously served as president and vice president of the Queen’s Commonwealth Trust, which supports youth empowerment in Commonwealth countries, and had been happy to be associated with it ‘until they quit their jobs to make money’.