Books

Meghan stood up to Harry’s awful-sounding friends: book

As Meghan Markle and Prince Harry arrived at the United Nations in New York Monday, where he delivered a keynote speech for Nelson Mandela International Day, the couple refused to answer a reporter’s question about a lacerating new book that digs into their rift with the British royal family and mostly portrayed her as manipulative, fame hungry and disingenuous.

But as damning as the best-selling book, “Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the War Between the Windsors,” is about the American former TV actor, author Tom Bower reveals at least one instance when Meghan’s reported haughtiness sounded understandable.

That’s when the Duchess of Sussex refused to sit quietly as Harry’s upper-class British friends cracked jokes about sexism, feminism and transgender people during a weekend shooting party he hosted when they were dating.

It’s been reported by the Daily Beast and other publications that many of Harry’s old friends have been amazed by “his transformation from posh, politically incorrect party boy,” who played nude billiards in Las Vegans, into a “woke Los Angeles social-justice warrior.” The Daily Beast said “that vanishingly few of Harry’s old pals are still in regular contact with him” because of his transformation.

While Harry praised Meghan as his “soul mate” during his speech at the United Nations, a chapter from Bower’s new book, excerpted in the Sunday Times, seeks to explain why Harry apparently became estranged from other people he was once close to. According to the book, it’s either because Harry had obnoxious friends who deserved to be jettisoned or because Meghan wanted to have the prince all to herself.

Things started to go wrong with Harry and his privileged inner circle when he organized the shooting party at his grandmother’s Sandringham estate. He wanted to introduce them and their wives and girlfriends to the woman he had come to see as his “soulmate.”

“With the Queen’s permission (Harry) had invited 16 friends to arrive for dinner on Friday night, shoot on Saturday and leave after lunch on Sunday,” Bower wrote. “Most of the guests were old friends from Eton with their wives or girlfriends. All of them were employed by international banks and auction houses or were estate owners and racehorse trainers. All were bonded by common assumptions, principles and loyalties.”

Among those assumptions, shared by Harry, is that the weekend would involve “endless banter, jokes — and a lot of drinking,” Bower wrote.

The weekend didn’t go as Harry had planned, because his California girlfriend wasn’t at all amused by the jokes that ricocheted “around the living-rooms and dining-rooms” and “contravened her values.” According to some of Harry’s friends, the “Suits” actor repeatedly reprimanded them about “the slightest inappropriate nuance.”

Bower said Harry’s friends didn’t take her criticism well. They complained about her “wokery” and lack of any sense of humor and said she put a dampener on the weekend, Bower wrote.

“Driving home after Sunday lunch, the texts pinged between the cars: ‘OMG what about HER?’ said one; ‘Harry must be (expletive) nuts.’

It’s not entirely clear whether Bower shares the view that Meghan came off as unfairly judgmental during the weekend shooting party. Then again, he sounds critical of her when he writes, “Harry’s world would not be her world.”

In this excerpt, Bower also describes other instances when Meghan, a little known TV actor before she became engaged to Harry, allegedly acted overly self-important. According to Bower, she was hurt when Emma Watson refused to meet her when she flew to London to attend an event for the “Harry Potter” star’s HeForShe Initiative for UN Women.

Meghan also was dismissive of the crew during a 2016 commercial shoot for Reitman’s, a Canadian clothing retailer, according to Bower. Meghan thought that being the national spokesperson for a “downmarket” retailer was beneath her. Nonetheless, she demanded an expensive hotel suite while she was in Montreal for the commercial shoot, complained about the production, “bulldozed her way” through demands for script changes, refused to make eye contact with the crew and was generally “super disagreeable,” one crew member said, according to Bower.

The third director on the commercial shoot also revealed on Facebook, “She is definitely the meanest person I’ve ever met,” Bower wrote. On top of everything else, Meghan allegedly made off with a pair of pricey Aquazzura suede shoes she was given to wear for the shoot.

A year later, Meghan didn’t make much of a better impression during her next big get-together with Harry’s friends, Bower wrote. This was during a three-day trip to Jamaica in March 2017, to celebrate the marriage of Tom “Skippy” Inskip, Harry’s Etonian friend and longtime “wingman.”

Perhaps Meghan was wary of Inskip because he’s the one who organized the 2012 party in Las Vegas when Harry was photographed playing billiards in the nude. In any case, Bower reported that Harry flew an economy jet from London, while Meghan arrived from Toronto on a friend’s private jet.

These friends looked forward to getting to know Meghan better during their stay in Montego Bay, Bower wrote. Some were parents of Harry’s friends who had supported him during his difficult teenage years, after the death of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.

“They were quickly disappointed (by Meghan),” Bower wrote. “Not only did she quibble about the food, but behaved ‘princessy,’ refusing to engage with Harry’s friends.” One mother said, “She wasn’t interested in us.”

It’s been reported that Harry’s relationship with Inskip grew frosty after his longtime friend expressed reservations about Meghan, aaccording to The Tatler. Inskip advised Harry and Meghan to live together before “doing anything more serious,” InTouch Weekly reported. A source said to be close to the Sussexes said that Inskip thought his advice “came from a good place,” InTouch Weekly said. But Harry “didn’t see it that way,” with the source adding: “It really hurt him that someone he was so close to would not trust his judgment.”

It’s been widely reported that Harry’s older brother Prince William expressed similar reservations about Harry rushing into marriage with Meghan, which angered Harry. He reportedly saw William’s caution as “snobbishness.”

Even if Harry’s relationship with Inskip grew estranged over his loyalty to Meghan, Inskip and his wife, Lara Hughes-Young, still managed to snag an invitation to Harry and Meghan’s 2018 wedding.

Unfortunately for Inskip, he was still “punished,” according to The Tatler. He and his wife may have attended the ceremony, but they were excluded from Harry and Meghan’s evening wedding party at Frogmore House.

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