Queen ditches ‘never complain, never explain’ policy: After the row over Harry and Meghan calling their daughter Lilibet, the Palace will no longer let ‘mistruths’ go unchallenged
- Buckingham Palace is ditching its policy of ‘never complain, never explain’
- An insider said the briefing war in LA has pushed the Queen ‘over the edge’
- Allies of Harry and Meghan have been giving the media continual updates
- Now the Queen wants any inaccurate statements to be corrected publicly
The Queen will no longer remain silent when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex allow ‘mistruths’ about the Royal Family to circulate in the public domain, The Mail on Sunday can reveal.
In a dramatic departure from her longstanding ‘never complain, never explain’ policy, Her Majesty has instructed courtiers to correct any statements which misrepresent her private conversations or those of other senior Royals.
The extraordinary move demonstrates the Queen’s exasperation at the relentless briefings that allies of the couple have been giving to the media and follows the bitter dispute over Harry and Meghan’s choice of name for their new daughter.
The Queen has ordered courtiers to ditch the traditional royal policy of ‘never complain, never explain’ after being angered by a transatlantic briefing war over her new great grand daughter’s new name
Her Majesty has instructed courtiers to correct any statements which misrepresent her private conversations or those of other senior Royals
The Duchess of Sussex has given birth to a daughter named Lilibet ‘Lili’ Diana Mountbatten-Windsor, after the family nickname for the Queen and the duke’s mother Princess Diana
An insider said the latest bruising episode had sent the Queen ‘over the edge’.
The feud began when US-based journalists favoured by supporters of Harry and Meghan reported that the couple had ‘asked permission’ to name their daughter Lilibet, a deeply personal childhood nickname of the Queen that was used by very close relatives, including her late husband Prince Philip.
But a Royal insider described the conversation between Harry and his grandmother as ‘a telling, not an asking’ – confirming a BBC report last week which said the Sussexes had not asked the Queen if she had any objection to their choice of name. Harry and Meghan reacted furiously, instructing their lawyers to contest the BBC story, which they described as ‘false and defamatory’.
Sources say the Queen’s more robust response to the tsunami of media briefings from allies of the Sussexes will go beyond the Lilibet story.
‘This is about whether or not what is being reported is an accurate version of what actually happened,’ said the insider.
The 95-year-old Monarch put aside the controversy yesterday as she smiled and even tapped her feet to the music during Trooping the Colour, her annual birthday parade.
After hosting a reception at the G7 summit on Friday – where she entertained world leaders by cutting a cake with a sword and joked as a team photograph was taken, ‘Are you supposed to look as if you’re enjoying yourself?’ – she will today welcome US President Joe Biden and his First Lady, Jill, to Windsor Castle.
The Sussexes chose Lilibet – the name used by Prince Philip for the Queen – for the name of their daughter who was born just days before the Duke of Edinburgh would have turned 100
The new baby will be entitled to be a princess and Archie a prince – both with HRH styles – after the death of the Queen and when Charles becomes king. This is because they will have moved up the line of succession
Harry and Meghan, who are now based in California, announced the arrival of their daughter last Sunday, prompting warm messages of congratulations from the Queen, Prince Charles and the Duchess of Cornwall and the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
The Mail on Sunday understands that Harry also sent a text message to Kate, cementing her role as a bridge between him and his brother that appeared to be forged at Prince Philip’s funeral in April.
But the mood began to sour with an article in the New York Post which said it had been ‘told’ by unnamed sources that ‘Harry called the Queen for permission to name his daughter Lilibet’.
The story was soon picked up by other media outlets, infuriating the Palace to the extent that a high-ranking, but unnamed, Palace source did not dispute claims by a BBC reporter that no such permission had been sought.
The impact was immediate and incendiary. The BBC story, effectively ‘killed’ the New York Post’s account and led, within hours, to the letter from Harry and Meghan’s lawyers.
A spokesman for the couple said: ‘The Duke spoke with his family in advance of the announcement. In fact, his grandmother was the first family member he called. During that conversation, he shared their hope of naming Lilibet in her honour. Had she not been supportive, they would not have used the name.’
Friends of Harry and Meghan based in LA have been briefing the US media
However, there was further irritation at the Palace when friends of Harry and Meghan suggested to US journalists that the Queen had been introduced to Lilibet over a video call
However, there was further irritation at the Palace when friends of Harry and Meghan suggested to US journalists that the Queen had been introduced to Lilibet over a video call.
The insider last night denied that, stating, ‘No video call has taken place’, adding: ‘Friends of the Sussexes appear to have given misleading briefings to journalists about what the Queen had said and that took the whole thing over the edge. The Palace couldn’t deny the story that this was a mistruth.’ Ironically, Harry has spoken out against the ‘barrage of mistruths’ on social media.
While the Palace has largely sought to mollify Harry and Meghan – even amid the grenades thrown during their interview with Oprah Winfrey in March and Harry’s subsequent TV series on mental health – the Queen and other senior Royals have shown there is a limit to their patience.
After Harry and Meghan claimed there was racism in the Royal Household, William snapped: ‘We’re very much not a racist family.’ And Buckingham Palace –which is investigating the claims – pointedly said ‘recollections may vary’.
Kate and Jill join forces to urge new deal for youngsters
The Duchess of Cambridge and First Lady Jill Biden have written a joint article calling for a ‘fundamental shift’ in the way the US and Britain ‘approach the earliest years of life’.
Published on the website of US broadcaster CNN, it states: ‘If we care about how children perform at school, how they succeed in their careers… and about their lifelong mental and physical health, we have to care about how we are nurturing their brains, their experiences and relationships in the years before school.
The Duchess of Cambridge and First Lady Jill Biden have written a joint article calling for a ‘fundamental shift’ in the way the US and Britain ‘approach the earliest years of life’
‘The evidence from the UK and US and internationally is now overwhelming. Multiple studies show that it is these early years that really matter for lifelong outcomes.
‘It is time to put this evidence at the heart of how we rebuild with boldness and purpose from the pandemic.’
In the article, which is part of Kate’s work to improve children’s life chances, they added: ‘The two of us believe that early childhood care and education should be seen as among the defining, strategic issues of our time.’
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