Sympathy for Harry and Meghan appears to be 'thinning out'

‘Sympathy for Harry and Meghan appears to be thinning out’: Prince Philip’s close friend Gyles Brandreth warns Sussexes are ‘making themselves the story’ – as Omid Scobie insists couple ‘are here for the work’

  • Gyles Brandreth says sympathy ‘does seem to be sort of thinning out a little bit’
  • Says Prince Philip had warned against royals ‘making themselves the story’
  • He spoke as couple travelled to Manchester for One Young World summit today

Prince Philip’s close friend Gyles Brandreth warned today that sympathy towards Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appears to be ‘thinning out a little bit’.

The author, who was the Duke of Edinburgh’s biographer, said the Queen’s late husband had warned against Royal Family members ‘making themselves the story’.

Mr Brandreth spoke out as Harry and Meghan travelled from their Windsor home of Frogmore Cottage to Manchester for the One Young World summit today.

It comes as the Sussexes continue to hit out at royal life, including in recent weeks with Meghan’s interview to US magazine The Cut and her Spotify podcast.

Mr Brandreth told ITV: ‘The number of people being as sympathetic to them [the Sussexes] as they were initially does seem to be sort of thinning out a little bit.’

Meghan and Prince Harry at St Paul’s Cathedral in London on June 3 – their last visit to the UK

Prince Philip’s close friend Gyles Brandreth appears on ITV’s This Morning programme today

This Morning’s Phillip Schofield and Holly Willoughby with Mr Brandreth and Camilla Tominey

Meghan and Harry’s friend Omid Scobie appears on ABC’s Good Morning Britain today

Speaking on This Morning, he added that Sussexes were doing ‘good works’ with their visit to Manchester today, an Invictus Games Dusseldorf 2023 event in Germany tomorrow and then the WellChild Awards in London on Thursday.

Mr Brandreth continued: ‘It’s good stuff. And what they’re doing is they’re saying compassion in action, we’re trying to highlight these things. 

Where will Harry and Meghan visit on their European tour?

TODAY – One Young World 2022 Manchester Summit

The Sussexes travelled to Manchester today where Meghan is due to give a speech on gender equality. The summit brings together young leaders from more than 190 countries.

The area around Bridgewater Hall, which is hosting the summit, will be cleared for 90 minutes ahead of the couple’s arrival, The Times reports. 

However, Harry and Meghan have asked private security firms to provide a ‘ring of steel’ in Manchester for their appearance at the forum.

The event runs from 6pm to 8pm. 

TOMORROW – Invictus Games Düsseldorf 2023

After the trip to Manchester, the Sussexes will travel to Dusseldorf tomorrow to mark a year before Harry’s next Invictus Games.

Harry previously announced the sixth games would be held in September 2023. He and Meghan attended the 2022 Invictus Games last April in the Netherlands.


The Sussexes have no official plans on Wednesday. They have not said whether they intend to visit with the Queen who is at Balmoral in Scotland.

THURSDAY – WellChild Awards 

The couple will return to Britain for the WellChild Awards ceremony in London on Thursday, where Harry will deliver a speech.

The WellChild Awards looks to ‘celebrate the inspirational qualities of the UK’s seriously ill children and young people, along with those who go that extra mile to make a difference to their lives.’ 

‘And that’s what royals do, they turn up. Now the problem here is that instead of focusing on their good works – this what the Duke of Edinburgh warned about years ago – once you make yourself the story, then you become the story.

‘What should be the story is the good works you are doing. And so these two youth projects they’re involved in… that’s what we should be talking about. In fact we’re talking about the family rift.’

Camilla Tominey, associate editor at the Telegrpah, also appeared on the programme, during which she spoke about The Cut interview and attacks on the Royal Family by the Sussexes.

And presenter Phillip Schofield said: ‘There’s no dignity in that, though, is there?’ I mean, also, the Queen, 96 years old, dignified her entire life, having to cope with this.

‘There have been rumours that both she and the Prince of Wales are ‘bewildered’ by what they’re saying. You look at it and – we’ve been very sympathetic and then sometimes we’ve been critical – but you look at it and you think ‘oh why don’t you both just shut up?”

Separately today, Meghan and Harry’s friend and trusted media partner Omid Scobie said that the latest trip was ‘very much about the work’ for the couple.

He told ABC’s Good Morning America: ‘After Meghan’s recent revelations, the family and the institution itself will have no doubt been bracing themselves for this visit.

‘But for the Sussexes, this is very much about the work, these are the kind of trips they wanted to do ever since they stepped back, but the pandemic prevented them from doing so until now.’

Over on NBC this morning, royal commentator Daisy McAndrew told the Today programme that the Sussexes would not have as much media coverage as normal today due to the announcement of the new prime minister, Liz Truss.

Before the announcement, Ms McAndrew said: ‘All the tension will be on them [the next prime minister], one of those two shortlisted will be going up to Balmoral to visit the Queen tomorrow to do the kissing of hands and be appointed the next prime minister.

‘Harry and Meghan will get some coverage but not as much as they’re used to. They will be sharing the spotlight somewhat.’

Meghan told The Cut magazine in the US that it takes ‘a lot of effort’ to forgive and hinted that she can ‘say anything’, in what has been translated as a veiled threat to the Royal Family.

Kate, William, Harry and Meghan at Westminster Abbey in London on March 11, 2019

Gyles Brandreth was friends with the Duke of Edinburgh. They are pictured together in 1983

Spotify has so far released two episodes of Meghan’s Archetypes podcast, featuring conversations with veteran tennis player Serena Williams and singer Mariah Carey.

In the podcast with Williams, the Duchess took a veiled swipe at life in the Royal Family while recounting her horror at a time a small ‘fire’ broke out in son Archie’s room during a tour of South Africa.

Despite her upset, she said she was forced to continue with the couple’s official engagements, accusing those running the tour of concentrating on ‘how it looks, instead of how it feels’.

And in the show with Carey, Meghan said she was treated ‘like a black woman’ for the first time when she started dating Prince Harry.

She said she was previously treated ‘like a mixed woman’ and ‘things really shifted’ once she started her relationship with Harry.

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