The Royal Fever: The British Monarchy in Consumer Culture author admited she “frankly can’t see how” Harry, 36, can have a normal relationship with his family after the prince and Meghan Markle’s tell-all interview aired on Sunday, March 7.
“He kept talking [about how] he’s working hard on his relationship with his father [Prince Charles], indicating that he wants to mend the relationship. But to me, the way they were approaching the interview was kind of burning bridges, really,” she told Us. “I don’t know how true it is that Prince William is, you know, beyond angry with it. And understandably, I can’t see how they can get a way back. It’s very difficult.”
The author noted that Harry and Meghan, 39, decided to share their side of the story so publicly because “it’s been burning in them for a time” after feeling like they had been “misjudged” and “silenced” while living in the U.K.
During Sunday’s interview, the former military pilot revealed he has talked more to his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, over the last year — since stepping back from his royal duties in March 2020 — than ever before. He also insisted he didn’t “blindside” her with the couple’s step back decision, saying, “I have too much respect for her.”
Maclaran, however, isn’t confident their relationship will stay so positive as the family mulls over all of the interview revelations.
“It’s hard to see how she can’t feel a little bit aggrieved at the accusations, because although they emphasize that they respect her and adore her and everything else, at the end of the day, this mess is going to land at her 94-year-old feet,” she told Us. “And she’s going to have to pick up yet another shambles created by members of her family.”
The author added: “I can see how she can continue to just say, ‘How’s Archie?’ and, ‘Is everything going well for you over there, dear?’ It’s a bit hard to see how that’s going to play out, but relationships within the royal family are very strange, as we know.”
Harry also spoke about his dynamic with William, 38, after years of ups and downs, saying on Sunday that he still “loves him to bits” but they are “on different paths.” He also claimed his brother is “trapped” in the institution.
According to Maclaran the drama between Harry and Meghan and all of the royals is unlikely to affect how the people see William, who is currently second in line to the throne.
“William is very popular and, in a way, people would like to see William take over from the queen, rather than Charles. I think William is very popular and brothers are sort of expected fall out a little bit, you know, tiffs between brothers aren’t generally regarded as serious,” she said, noting that Harry’s remarks about feeling let down by Charles, 72, are more damaging.
She added: “Charles not seeming to be supporting Harry through his time of need, I think is not good. Brothers, you know? Yeah. It’s not great either, but you know, William’s young, too. And you can see that brothers kind of have different opinions, but a parent not looking after a child. That’s different.”
The royal expert explained that while the interview won’t negatively affect Harry and Meghan’s careers, it “will hurt them” in terms of their personal relationships.
Buckingham Palace reacted in a statement on Tuesday, March 9, to the couple’s claims of racism against the family and the U.K. tabloids and Meghan’s admission that she’d sought help for suicidal thoughts.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan. The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the statement issued to Us read. “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
The statement concluded: “Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”