Royal author and award-winning journalist Tina Brown said she believes it is “rarely a good idea” to speak about a “family feud” on television when asked about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. Ms Brown, author of The Palace Papers, delivered a special lecture on reporting royalty at City, University of London, on Thursday evening.
During the special event, the journalist was asked for her thoughts about Meghan‘s decision to voice her struggles as a working member of the Firm in a two-hour-long sit-down conversation with Ms Winfrey, first aired by US broadcaster CBS on March 7 last year.
Explaining why she thinks a similar move isn’t necessarily good, Ms Brown added: “Just because it creates so much division that it’s hard to row back on it.”
Speaking to Ms Winfrey, the Duke and Duchess raised damaging allegations of neglect and racism against the Firm.
In a statement shared by Buckingham Palace almost 48 hours after the interview had first aired, late Queen Elizabeth II famously described as “concerning” the issues raised, “particularly that of race”.
The statement also said: “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”
During the lecture, Ms Brown went on saying: “As I said in the beginning, it’s not so much what you say, it’s what other people said you said. And that has a life of its own.
“Every bit of soundbite can come out and just be blown out in all these different directions, stocking everybody’s anger and upset and, you know, it becomes this huge beast that you can’t control.”
Prior in her lecture, the former editor of Vanity Fair and Tatler magazine had issued a warning over Prince Harry‘s upcoming memoir, saying that it could damage his relationship with the rest of the Firm even if its content will turn out to be overall “benign”.
She said: “Even if the book is supposedly benign, one of the things that are so difficult about the modern world and the social media, all you need is one line.
“When Sarah, Duchess of York, wrote her memoir, she was gushing about how wonderful Diana, Princess of Wales, was. She had one story in there that said she had borrowed a pair of Diana’s shoes and they gave her verrucas.
“That was it, boom: she was cut off from Diana, that was the end. So all you need is one story and the press will absolutely blow it up.”
The Duke of Sussex announced in July last year he was penning an “intimate” memoir that would cover his entire life in the public eye, from childhood to fatherhood.
This announcement sparked fears among royal watchers and sources the Duke will include more claims and criticism against the Royal Family in his book.
Both the publisher, Random House, and the royal have remained tight-lipped over the content of the book following the announcement, with Harry simply saying he was “excited for people to read a firsthand account of my life that’s accurate and wholly truthful”.
The memoir is set to tentatively release in late 2022, although reports earlier this year had claimed the publication could be pushed back to next year, in particular following the death of the Queen in September.