Beyond tensions surrounding the media and a monarchy that is focusing on direct heirs Prince William, Prince Charles and Prince George, the rest of the reason behind the couple’s bombshell decision to step back from royal life “is just really bad personal splits — that’s the honest truth,” said Bradby on a Thursday evening broadcast in the U.K. “There’ve been a lot of fallouts; a lot of harsh things were said around the time of the wedding. And it’s gone a bit too far. And certainly the rest of the family find Harry and Meghan very difficult and, from Harry and Meghan’s point of view, they’re just being driven out as they see it. And it’s sad.”
Bradby, speaking on ITV news as a reporter, added, “There are going to be so many complications, so many controversies. There needs to be a peace deal really soon because this is so toxic, there’s so much anger and, to be honest with you at the moment it looks like it might get worse, not better.”
As for their view of walking away, “My impression is they’re pretty philosophical about it. [It’s] ‘We are making a break for independence and freedom here. You wanted a slimmed-down monarchy. There’s no place for us in it. We need to learn to live on our own. We want to get on and do that.’ “
Bradby continued, “They’re philosophical as in it’s up to [the royal family] — protection, Frogmore, everything else, the titles. You want to take it all away, fine. That’s okay. But it’s sort of up to you. We’d like to be involved, we’d like to do our charities, we’d like to support the Queen and we’d like to do stuff through the Commonwealth, but we accept that we’ve got no right to do that anymore.”
Meghan and Harry’s view of the media also played a significant role in their decision, said Bradby, who toured southern Africa with the royal couple for the emotional ITV documentary Harry & Meghan: An African Journey.
“Not their battle with the media itself,” he said. “But the split within the family about it. In their eyes, they’re on a moral mission to take on the media or the tabloid media and the excesses of it.
“Their view is, ‘If we don’t stand up to it, who’s going to? We have to take a lead on this.’ They think their family kowtows to the media and plays the game — the ‘game that killed my mother’ as Harry would put it. So a bit of it is about that. The rest of the family thinks this is mad — you can win a battle against the media but not the war.”
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As for the questions surrounding the couple’s decision to announce their news without alerting the royal family first, Bradby said that the family was aware of the Canada move but did not think it would be public so soon. When the news leaked, Harry and Meghan felt they had no choice but to confirm it.
“Harry has been talking to his family for some weeks about all this,” says Bradby. “And certainly as I understand it what happened is he was asked by members of his family — or at least their officials — to put some of these ideas in writing. He said, ‘I really don’t want to do that because it normally leaks.’ And they were very insistent in order to go forward and discuss it properly it had to be put in writing. He did put it in writing, and it did leak. So yes, I don’t think [the royal family] got much heads-up as to the actual announcement, but they certainly knew what was going on. I think [Harry] felt once it had been leaked all bets were off.”