PRINCE HARRY and Meghan Markle’s “Panorama moment” was exposed by royal expert Angela Levin in a throwback comment piece.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are poised to miss the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations entirely, a royal biographer has claimed. Tom Bower, author of a number of unauthorised biographies including one of Prince Charles, told the Daily Mail that Harry mat not return because he “cannot face his family”.
He speculated that Harry may not return because his book is coming out this year: “I think Harry won’t come back because he knows he cannot face his family, and be pleasant with them, knowing what he’s written about them in that book.” Though Harry has returned on a few occasions since the Sussexes upped sticks and moved to the US two years ago, Meghan is yet to step foot on British soil again.
When Harry and Meghan sat down for an interview with Oprah Winfrey last year, they revealed a number of grievances they had, including an accusation that an unnamed royal had made a racist remark about their son Archie.
Yet, according to royal expert Angela Levin, a previous interview given by the Sussexes had been their “Panorama moment”. Ms Levin spent two years with Harry for her book “Harry: Conversations with the Prince”, and wrote in The Telegraph in 2019 — before the bombshell Oprah interview — that an interview the couple gave that year reminded her of Princess Diana’s 1995 chat with BBC Panorama journalist Martin Bashir.
ITV News at Ten presenter Tom Bradby interviewed the Sussexes for the 2019 documentary “Harry and Meghan: An African Journey”, in which Meghan reflected on the tabloid intrusion she faced, and Harry revealed he and Prince William were on “different paths”. Asked by Mr Bradby how she was coping with the press intrusion and being a new mum, a teary-eyed Meghan said: “Thank you for asking because not many people have asked if I’m ok.”
Mr Bradby then asked if the answer was that Meghan was struggling, to which Meghan replied: “Yes.” Ms Levin wrote: “Meghan’s watery-eyed interview with Bradby reminded me of Diana’s extraordinary confessional to BBC Panorama journalist Martin Bashir in 1995. “More than 20 million people tuned in to watch what was the nail in the coffin for her marriage to Prince Charles; they divorced the following year.
“Diana rarely fell out with the press — she courted them as a weapon in her war with Charles, and if she was upset by something they wrote she would invite them to tea at Kensington Palace and invariably win them over — but she certainly fell out with senior members of ‘the Firm’. “The leading question is are the Sussexes in danger of doing both?”
Ultimately, Ms Levin’s questions were answered less than a year later when Harry and Meghan announced they would be stepping back as senior members of the Royal Family. In April 2020 they sent a letter to the editors of the UK’s tabloid newspapers telling them that they would no longer respond to inquiries from journalists working for them.
The letter said the Sussexes refused to “offer themselves up as currency for an economy of clickbait and distortion” and specifically told the editors that there would be “no corroboration and zero engagement” from the Sussexes. Meghan claimed in the now-infamous Oprah interview that “the Firm” had been “perpetuating falsehoods” about the Sussexes, all-but confirming Ms Levin’s second question.
When asked how she felt about the Palace hearing her give her side of the story, Meghan said: “I don’t know how they could expect that, after all of this time, we would still just be silent if there is an active role that the Firm is playing in perpetuating falsehoods about us.” Why exactly the Sussexes spoke to Mr Bradby, given how intensely private they had previously been, was a mystery.
Journalist Ed Power wrote in The Telegraph in 2019 that there were clear “parallels” between Mr Bradby and Diana’s interview with Mr Bashir. He wrote: “Just as Bashir struck up a relationship of trust with Diana, to the point where she felt comfortable talking candidly about her empty life with Charles, so Bradby has been praised for insinuating himself into the royals’ inner circle and bringing us frontline reports of their private pain.
“But he and Bashir are clearly very different journalistic animals too. If Bradby has a secret weapon it is that he doesn’t come across as particularly awestruck by William and Harry. Perhaps that is how he was able to forge what is by all accounts a solid friendship with the pair upon being appointed ITV’s Royal Correspondent.” Mr Bradby once enjoyed a close relationship with Prince William, and was hand-picked to conduct the November 2010 engagement interview with him and Kate Middleton.
He had also accompanied Harry on numerous previous occasions, including a 2004 trip to Lesotho, and attended the Sussexes’ wedding in 2018. The Daily Mail reported last year that William cut ties with Mr Bradby for “taking sides” with Harry, but he refused to address the matter in a separate interview with The Times. ot face his family, and be pleasant with them, knowing what he’s written about them in that book.”