ITV removed a suggestion that Prince William’s office briefed newspapers over concerns about Prince Harry’s mental health from a documentary that aired on Sunday night – following an intervention from Kensington Palace.
Omid Scobie, who has co-authored a biography of Prince Harry, had linked reports that the Duke of Cambridge was concerned about his brother’s state of mind following Harry’s comment that the brothers were on “different paths” in a TV interview.
Following the interview, conducted when the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were touring South Africa in 2019, the BBC reported that a Kensington Palace source had told the broadcaster Prince William was hoping the Duke and Duchess of Sussex “are all right”. The source at William’s official residence said there was a view the couple were “in a fragile place”.
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In an advance-viewing copy of the film Harry & William: What Went Wrong?, issued to journalists last week, Mr Scobie said: “I would say that it was no coincidence that it was shortly after that aired, even the next day, there were source quotes that came from a senior aide at Kensington Palace saying that William was worried about his brother’s mental health.”
i understands that Kensington Palace has strongly denied that briefings took place, more still the Mail on Sunday’s suggestion that the Palace “planted” stories about Harry’s mental health, and that royal aides subsequently issued a strong rebuttal to the suggestion that there had been a briefing. Kensington Palace declined to comment.
Following this rebuttal, ITV then decided to remove the comments about mental health from the programme, but still included Mr Scobie’s wider comments alleging that Kensington Palace briefed about Prince Harry.
Mr Scobie said: “That fed off such an ugly thing for Harry and it did not go unnoticed. Now whether William directed that or not, no one will ever know, but it came from his household that he is the boss of.”
In the ITV documentary, the author also alleged that the Duchess of Sussex “immediately ruffled feathers” due to her confidence in getting to work when she joined the family. “She’s a woman well into her 30s: I think she’s proven to herself and the people she’s worked with up until that point that she knows what she’s doing,” he said.
‘She was certainly not someone who was going to change herself just to please the people around her. I felt they also had to be reminded: “You’re not the stars of the show here. There is a hierarchy and you don’t come very high in it.”
The royal brothers’ re-union last week to unveil a statue of their mother Princess Diana was received as a major step towards healing their rift.
Mr Scobie was unavailable for comment, but it is understood that his comments in the documentary were based on the BBC News report from 2019.