The war officially recommences at 3 a.m. EST Thursday, when Netflix drops the first three episodes of its six-part series Harry & Meghan.
However, pre-battle skirmishes have broken out in advance after Meghan Markle told a charity gala about the suicidal urges she suffered when in the royal family, which she has previously claimed the HR department at the palace brushed aside.
Kate Middleton, meanwhile, donned a glamorous, limelight-stealing Jenny Packham dress for a charity engagement at Buckingham Palace in the U.K., even as royal sources offered a bleak prognosis on potential fallout from the Netlflix documentary.
They warned that the days of “never complain, never explain” may have died with the old queen and that King Charles might be forced to publicly push back if Harry and Meghan made claims that “cut through” with the public.
On a day of frantic activity on both sides, another bombshell came from individuals who claimed they were victims of alleged bullying by Meghan, who begged to be released from palace non-disclosure agreements so they could put their side of the story out publicly and reject the “lies” of Harry and Meghan.
Probably, however, it was Meghan who won the battle for eyeballs in the warm-up maneuvers, telling the Robert F Kennedy Ripple of Hope Gala in New York not only that she and Harry wanted to help sweep “down the walls of oppression,” but going into extraordinary detail about her own battle with suicidal thoughts when she was living in the U.K.
Meghan, who was being honored with Harry by the RFK foundation for taking a “heroic” stand against “structural racism” in the royal family, said there was a time when she “just didn’t want to be alive anymore” and that she had confided her struggle with suicidal ideation to Oprah Winfrey because she didn’t “want anyone to feel alone” when going through a similar experience.
The event was hosted by Alec Baldwin, who accidentally shot and killed a cinematographer on a film he was working on and producing last year.
Other honorees included President Volodymyr Zelensky of Ukraine.
But it was Meghan who was the star of the show.
She said, according to a report in the Daily Mail: “When you’ve been through anything that’s challenging, and everyone, especially in the past few years with lockdown and COVID, that spike in numbers of people having an experience they might not be voicing. We all need to, when we can, if we feel brave enough, to just speak honestly about your own experience.”
She added: “Look, I was really ashamed to say it at the time and ashamed to have to admit it to Harry especially, because I know how much loss he has suffered, but I knew that if I didn’t say it, then I would do it. I just didn’t want to be alive anymore.”
Kerry Kennedy, daughter of Robert F Kennedy, said of the couple, the London Times said: “They’ve stood up, they’ve talked about racial justice and they’ve talked about mental illness in a way that was incredibly brave.”
Just as Meghan and Harry were appearing in New York, however, on the other side of the Atlantic a former Buckingham Palace employee who claims to have been bullied by Meghan said they should be freed up to speak publicly about what they claim they endured at Meghan’s hands.
The former employee told Valentine Low of the London Times, who first revealed that there had been official complaints made against Meghan for bullying ahead of last year’s Oprah interview: “The only way to end it… for good is for us to be allowed to speak, and for the palace to firmly reject their lies.”
Low cited “palace insiders” as “seething with rage” at allegations of racism made in trailers for the Netflix show.
The former staffer said the palace should lift all non-disclosure agreements, and “publicly respond to [the Sussexes’] attacks.”
“They always use vague terms ‘the truth’, ‘my truth’, but nothing concrete is said,” the ex-staffer said.
Intriguingly, the source said that coverage of Meghan was “glowing” until her father Thomas Markle turned against her, adding: “It will be interesting to see how her own family is referenced in their movie. It was glowing coverage until her own father started his campaign.”
Meanwhile, the big question of what the palace will say or do in response to the Netflix film remains a matter of hot speculation.
One source told the Daily Telegraph that while the “overriding desire” was “to sit above it all,” and there was a reluctance to “get down in the mud with them,” the source added that if there was anything “new” which was “credible,” “damaging,” or was “cutting through to the public,” then, “some sort of action will need to be taken.”
Another source told The Telegraph, “This is the first big challenge for the king in his role of leading the institution. His reaction is going to be very revealing about how his reign is going to work. Will it be modern and reactive, or will it stick with ‘never complain, never explain’?
“The Sussexes will read a lot into that reaction, I think, and it will have consequences for their future behaviour.”
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