Former Palace Aide Tears Into Meghan And Harry Over Publicity Seeking

Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle appear to have made the headlines more times than usual over the past few months. The couple, who left their roles as senior members of the royal family in early 2020 in order to lead a more normal lifestyle, have been speaking out quite a bit about mental health. They've also been criticizing the royal lifestyle in the process. Back in March, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down for a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, where they opened up about the issues they've struggled with in the past, and how they were denied help by the royal family (via USA Today). They also accused members of the family of making racially insensitive comments about their son's skin color. 

Friends have stepped up to support Harry and Meghan after even after several interviews were seen critical of the royal family. One of their most vocal supporters is Winfrey herself, who has interviewed Harry on the issue of mental health several times. "I think being able to have a life that you are not intruded upon by photographers or people flying overhead or invading your life is what every person wants and deserves. Privacy doesn't mean silence," she stated (via ET).

Arbiter: Harry and Meghan need to 'put up and shut up'

But across the pond and in the U.K., Harry and Meghan's critics feel it's time for the couple to hold their peace. Dickie Arbiter, who served as press secretary for the Queen for more than a decade, tells The Sun that Harry and Meghan should choose to stay quiet instead of speaking publicly. "They left this country because they wanted privacy. They wanted away from the publicity. And since they left this country, the UK, they've done nothing but seek publicity. Now they are saying Harry is taking five months paternity leave and hopefully he will stay quiet in those five months. Quite frankly, to put it simply they need to put up and shut up," Arbiter said.

Arbiter's is not the only eyebrow that is raised in Harry and Meghan's direction. Royal expert Phil Dampier has equally been forthright about the need for the Sussexes to hold their peace. "They should get on with their lives, stop playing the victim and stop playing on their royal connections by leaking stories while pleading for privacy. People can see through it and anyone who advises them to carry on this way is giving them bad advice," Dampier previously told The Sun.

Arbiter has criticized Harry and Meghan in public before

They may be harsh words, but Arbiter may have a good reason to be frustrated. The first time he addressed Meghan Markle, it was in a column for The Telegraph written in 2018, shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had tied the knot. In it, he warned Meghan that becoming a royal would not be easy, and it would be a steep learning curve particularly for someone who had a life beyond palace walls. He wrote: "Meghan, as an actress, was a very free spirit, and one who has long enjoyed voicing her opinions. But as a member of the Royal family, she will no longer be permitted to involve herself politically in the way she always has. Expressing sympathy is fine; voicing shock and alarm is not."

The former royal press secretary didn't mince his words back in January 2020 either, when Prince Harry and Meghan Markle announced that they would be stepping back as senior royals. "Harry and Meghan seem to have a habit of doing things without anybody knowing what was going to happen. I very much doubt anybody in Buckingham Palace — from the Queen downwards — knew what was happening. It seems to be a succession of doing things their own way, which is the wrong way," Arbiter fumed (via Sky). 

Lilibet Diana's name is causing controversy

Harry and Meghan may be trying to mend fences — at least where the Queen is concerned — after announcing that they had named their newborn daughter Lilibet Diana after both Queen Elizabeth and Harry's late mother Princess Diana. "It's a lovely gesture on the part of Harry and Meghan," royal expert Duncan Larcombe told OK!. "The baby name is the first sign of an olive branch to the royal family. It's a sign they want to build bridges. The Queen is hugely proud of the man Harry has become and she will be chuffed to bits over the name choice. She will see this as a loving gesture from her grandson. And I believe it's Harry's way of showing that he wants to honor one of the most important women in his life."

But the choice of "Lilibet" for a name could be another misstep for the Sussexes, because the Daily Express says the Queen might have been made uncomfortable by their choice of such a personal nickname; royal experts like Ingrid Seward say that even if she had been told about it, as Harry claims, the monarch might not have had much say in the matter.