Week Twenty-Five: An Explosive Week for the Royal Family, plus, This Week in History...
From Meghan Markle's revelations in court documents, to social media being alight with criticism against the family after a new series of The Crown was released, it's been a big week for the royals...
Royal Watch: A week in which Meghan, Prince Charles and the late Princess Diana all make headline news…
It has been another wild week for the royals, with Princess Diana back in the headlines (thanks to a new season of The Crown), as well as Prince Charles – and Meghan Markle making breaking news.
(Her Majesty, pictured on November 8 - Remembrance Sunday)
As we discussed several weeks ago, Meghan Markle was due to appear in court in early January as part of her case against Associated Newspapers who she is suing for breach of privacy, infringement of copyright, and breach of data protection. The newspaper Mail on Sunday, published a personal letter she wrote to her father in August 2018, which she alleges, was against the law.
Her father was called as a witness, and all seemed to be going full steam ahead, until the ten-day trial was delayed until next autumn (UK time) with Megan’s team citing a “confidential reason” for needing to postpone. Of course, it immediately set the gossip machine alive, with pundits making wild guesses, including a possible pregnancy being the reason she would be unable to attend the trial.
Regardless of the reason behind the move, it’s long delay greatly upset Meghan’s father, Thomas Markle who says he wants his moment in court, but is worried that he could not withstand the stress of delaying the hearing any further. He made a statement to the court saying that he is “elderly and not in the best of health”. Adding, “I am a realist and I could die tomorrow. The sooner this case takes place the better.”
His request was denied, but this week the judge ruled that there is actually no need for Thomas to travel to the UK to give evidence because he is not “an important witness”. The decision is a set-back for Associated Newspapers, as Thomas was billed as their star witness in the case.
A source close to the Sussexes says Meghan has been pleased by the news her father will not be attending. “Not having to come face to face with her father in court will be a relief to Meghan. Finally it seems things are going her way.”
Although, it seems that tide of luck has once again turned against the duchess. As the court case inches forward, new documents were lodged in the High Court on Wednesday, and it’s here where things get really interesting.
For months, Prince Harry and Meghan have maintained that an explosive book – a pro-Sussex biography called Finding Freedom, was written without any involvement by the royal couple. When rumours escalated a statement was released to quash the speculation. “The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were not interviewed and did not contribute to Finding Freedom,” said the statement, released in July. “This book is based on the authors’ own experiences as members of the royal press corps and their own independent reporting.”
A statement submitted by Meghan’s lawyers in September echoed those words, stating: “The claimant and her husband did not collaborate with the authors on the book, nor were they interviewed for it, nor did they provide photographs to the authors for the book.”
But in the documents lodged this week, it now appears that Meghan has said that she allowed a friend to speak to the authors of Finding Freedom. Her friend confirmed to the authors that Meghan had written a letter to her father, after he claimed he’d had no contact with her after her wedding to Prince Harry. In her statement Meghan says she “did not provide a copy of the letter or its contents, or a description of its contents, to the authors, whether directly or indirectly,” but that she did give her friend permission to give her own version of what happened with Thomas “so the true position… could be communicated to the authors to prevent any further misrepresentation.”
Meghan also concedes that she does not know if the press team at Kensington Palace provided the authors with any information on her behalf – which has been widely speculated to be the case. The information was supplied to the court as it is relevant to the Associated Press case - but it has certainly shown in an inaccuracy in the involvement, or lack thereof, that Meghan has claimed to have in the creation of the book.
This latest saga has said to have caused the Queen, quite a headache. Her Majesty was already none too pleased to learn that the court case would be going ahead, as she, of course, prefers to keep the royal family and any private issues – particularly those involving other family members – well out of the public eye.
Adding to her week, is the growing controversy over the latest season of Netflix’s The Crown which was released this week. This time around, the action focuses on the relationship of Prince Charles and Princess Diana, and certainly does not paint a rosy picture of how the late princess was treated by the family. Prince Charles is portrayed to be particularly cruel in his behaviour towards Diana.
(Actors Emma Corrin and Josh O'Connor, on set as Princess Diana and Prince Charles on Netflix’s The Crown)
There has been an outpouring of anger on social media – with a wave of young viewers tuning in to learn about the events of the couple’s relationship during the 1980s for the first time. While the events are purely fictional, the portrayal of the couple’s dysfunctional courtship and marriage has made for spellbinding television.
And to make things even worse for the family, this week it was also announced the BBC has appointed Former Master of the Rolls Lord Dyson to head up an investigation into Diana’s 1995 Panorama interview. That was, of course, the infamous interview in which she said, “there were three of us in the marriage.”
The investigation comes after it was alleged that the interviewer, journalist Martin Bashir, had illegally forged documents to convince Diana of a conspiracy against her, which was the reason she was persuaded to tell her side of the story. The interview was one of the most explosive pieces of television to ever play on air.
It’s a move that Prince William is in full support of , today releasing a rare statement saying, "The independent investigation is a step in the right direction. It should help establish the truth behind the actions that led to the Panorama interview and subsequent decisions taken by those in the BBC at the time."
What this space!
QUIZ: On This Day in History….
1. On November 17, who became the youngest singer to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, aged 21. Was it Beyonce, Stevie Knicks, Michael Jackson or Britney Spears?
2. Danny Devito turns 76 this week, and was seen out to dinner with his estranged wife. The pair separated in 2017 after being married for almost 40 years. Who is his actress wife?
3. On November 19 1990 who was stripped of their Grammy Award after it was learned they did not sing on their winning album, Girl You Know It’s True?
4. On November 22 actress Scarlett Johansson celebrates her 35th birthday. Last year she became one of only 11 people in history to be nominated twice at the Oscars – for both Best Actress and Best Supporting Actress. She was nominated for Best Actress for the movie Marriage Story and Best Supporting for her role in NZer Taika Waititi’s film, named what?
5. On November 19 the humble pencil was patented by American inventor Frederick E. Blaisdell. What was the year: 1805, 1845, 1895 or 1915?
6. Who Am I? I was born on November 19 1962 in Los Angeles and was named Alicia. I was just three years old when I began my career, making an appearance as the Coppertone girl in a TV advertisement. My brother and I worked in many sitcoms and ads – I appeared in more than 50 TV shows. I’m one of the few child stars who went on to have a successful acting career as an adult. I’ve received two Oscars, three BAFTAs, two Golden Globes and the Cecil B DeMille Award. I also attended Yale. Now I’m mostly behind the camera as a director, but one of my last films was Money Monster with George Clooney.
7. On November 22 Jamie-Lee Curtis turns 62. She is the child of two well-known Hollywood stars – as a clue, she carries her father’s surname, and she followed a similar path to her mother as a scream queen horror film actress for a while… Who were her parents?
8. Actress Lisa Bonet celebrated her 53rd birthday on November 16. She’s gone on to have a successful acting career, but is still known for her role in which sitcom from the 80s? Bonus point if you remember her character’s name!
9. Martin Scorsese celebrated his 78th birthday on November 17. The legendary director has been behind a slew of hit films, but has only once received a Best Director gong at the Oscars. What was the film he won the Oscar for – Taxi Driver, Goodfellas, Raging Bull or The Departed?
10. Who Am I? I was born on November 19, 1961 in Connecticut, USA. I started my career as an actress in bit parts, before landing a key role in the soap opera As the World Turns in 1982. But not long after I began landing supporting roles on films (including in Top Gun) my film career took flight, and I was one of the most successful actresses during the 1990s, starring opposite Tom Hanks, Billy Crystal, Nicholas Cage, Russell Crowe and more. I have one son from my first marriage, and after we split I adopted a daughter, Daisy True. Who am I?
For all the answers to today’s quiz, and more from us here at A Quiet Cuppa, keep an eye out for our next newsletter!
The lovely Nici Wickes will also be sharing her delicious Chilli Prawns recipe - which is sure to be one of your go-tos this summer.
Until then, we hope you have a wonderful, relaxing - and hopefully warm! - weekend!
Alice, Kelly & Nici