Royals despair as Prince Harry ‘kidnapped by cult of psychotherapy’

Revealed: Sources say reconciliation ‘impossible’ as Charles, Camilla and William fear anything they say to Sussexes will be made public

Alastair Jamieson
Tuesday 10 January 2023 09:11 GMT
Watch: Top takeaways from Prince Harry's ITV interview

A reconciliation with Prince Harry is “impossible” because the King, Queen Consort and Prince William fear anything they say will be made public, The Independent understands.

A source close to the royal family said the King, Camilla and William believe the situation will remain unchanged while the Duke of Sussex remains effectively “kidnapped by a cult of psychotherapy and Meghan”.

“They are trapped,” said the source. “They really can't engage because everything they say will be shared with the media. It is impossible to have a conversation or write a letter because of the risk that anything they say being put in the public domain by Harry, potentially for commercial benefit.

“There has been a complete breakdown of trust.”

Full coverage: Prince Harry - latest

Buckingham Palace has remained silent over the flurry of allegations made by Prince Harry in his memoir, Spare, and numerous television interviews.

Despite claiming he was attacked by his brother, and describing the Queen Consort as a “villain”, Harry has insisted he would like a relationship with his family.

“I would like to get my father back, I would like to have my brother back,” Harry told ITV’s Tom Bradby, adding that he hoped that a “reconciliation … will have a ripple effect across the entire world. Maybe that’s lofty, maybe that’s naive, whatever. But I genuinely feel that.”

The Sussexes have also indicated they would like an atonement meeting similar to the one held by palace aide Lady Susan Hussey for charity boss Ngozi Fulani. But the King is understood to be adamant there will be no form of apology to the Sussexes.

The royal source said: “They aren’t going to apologise because they don't recognise Harry’s version of events.”

Buckingham Palace has remained silent over the allegations made by Prince Harry

The source also likened Harry’s removal to California, and isolation from the rest of the family, to joining a cult – a comparison likely to prove explosive.

“He has been kidnapped by a cult of psychotherapy and Meghan. It is impossible for him to return in these circumstances.”

Harry and Meghan’s unofficial biographer, Omid Scobie, on Monday predicted the couple would be “sort of retreating” from speaking out on personal issues for “the rest of this year”, and acknowledged that any reconciliation is “very difficult after the amount … shared in this book”.

In addition to the prince’s teenage drug-taking and losing his virginity behind a pub, the book recounts violent arguments with his brother, Prince William, frosty treatment of Meghan by the royals and palace leaks to the press.

And in an interview with CBS on Monday, Harry referred to Camilla as “the villain” and “dangerous” when describing her image rehabilitation following Diana’s death.

"I don't look at her as an evil stepmother,” he said. “I see someone who married into this institution and has done everything that she can to improve her own reputation and her own image for her own sake.”

In his book, Harry wrote that William had asked to attend one of his sessions with a psychologist, worrying Harry was being “brainwashed”.

‘I would like to get my father back, I would like to have my brother back,’ Harry told ITV

“His strategy was obvious: I wasn’t well, so I wasn’t sane either, and that’s why I was behaving questionably,” the younger prince wrote.

However, he previously credited William for encouraging him to get help for his mental health, telling podcaster Bryony Gordon: “My brother, you know bless him, he was a huge support to me. He kept saying ‘This is not right, this is not normal, you need to talk to [someone] about stuff. It’s OK’.”

Harry has also cited help from Californian “energy practitioner” John Amaral, whose work addresses “fight or flight” mode.

The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were invited to respond to the remarks. A Buckingham Palace spokesperson declined to comment.

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