Andrew Marr has delivered a blistering monologue in the aftermath of Prince Harry’s royal revelations as he suggested “the monarchy itself is now in play”.
The LBC broadcaster and former BBC political editor has said he would “rather do without them” if Harry’s claims were true – but that his attacks represent “the most disgraceful, petulant and damaging smear of all time” if they are false.
In any case, Marr claims Harry and Meghan Markle have “made life in this country just that little bit grimmer”.
In interviews to promote his controversial memoirs, as well as leaked extracts, the Duke of Sussex has painted a bleak picture of royal life, from detailling a fight with his brother Prince William to attacking the reputation of the Queen Consort, Camilla, by describing her as “dangerous” and criticising her attempts to rehabilitate her “image” at his cost.
He also accused his family of “getting into bed with the devil” in a reference to the British press as he accused senior royals of briefing stories to the media against the couple.
On his Monday LBC show, Marr argues Harry is “completely right in pointing the finger at the media, British and foreign, in the way we pushed, and we shoved, and we nosed our way into their private hurt”, and later adds he is also correct in “portraying the relationship between the house of Windsor and the media as corrupt”.
But on Harry’s ongoing support for the monarchy, Marr suggests he “seems to me deluded”.
Marr says: “He claims still to be a supporter of the monarchy, 100%, and doesn’t think, apparently, he’s damaging the royal family itself.
“Oh yes he is. He’s painting the rest of the royals as cold, manipulative, cowardly because they hide behind media leaks, and deeply messed up.
“If he’s right, I’d rather do without them. If he’s wrong then this is the most disgraceful, petulant and damaging smear of all time.
“At any rate, it matters. We can’t pretend it’s tittle-tattle, or just look away. Since Harry got out of the family he’s used his ability to, in effect, create his own media empire – the Netflix documentary, the tell-almost-all book, the devastating broadcast interviews – to attack the rest of them and the British media. What he’s now said can’t go unanswered.
“Have senior royals been talking to journalists to smear Harry and Meghan? If that is how they behave, we will just see them differently. Even the paper flag-wavers will wave less enthusiastically.
“Carrying on and saying nothing – stiff upper lip – never apologise, never explain – now looks like denial. It will suggest to me, and many more, that Harry’s right.”
Marr concludes by suggesting “this feud between brothers” will make those who have taken encouragement and support from the monarchy “feel miserable”.
He adds: “At an unhappy, difficult time in our history, when so many are struggling so much, Harry and Meghan have made life in this country just that a little bit grimmer. Thanks, guys.”