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Harry scoring 'own goal' as rift follows family precedent that didn't end well for Duke

NewsHarry scoring 'own goal' as rift follows family precedent that didn't end well for Duke

Prince Harry has inspired commentators to draw parallels between his decision to repeatedly attack the Royal Family and the conduct of another royal rogue of ages past.

Author Sally Bedell Smith, who dedicated part of her newly-released book George VI and Elizabeth to the king’s relationship with Edward VIII, noted some similarities in the approach the two former royals adopted in handling the family after stepping down.

While noting the Duke of Windsor’s actions “were treasonous”, she noted both Harry and Edward turned to hurting their family after leaving the royal fold.

The Duke of Sussex has levelled a series of explosive accusations at the monarchy since announcing he and Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex would no longer be working for the Crown.

Speaking to Express.co.uk, Bedell Smith said: “The way they have behaved and the fact they said so many hurtful things about not only his father but his brother and sister-in-law created a wedge.

READ MORE: Real reason Meghan Markle isn’t coming to the Coronation – and it isn’t because of Archie

“It was an own goal on Harry’s part, he didn’t have to say all those things in public that have been very injurious to members of the Royal Family and put them in a difficult position having to deal with it.

“They’ve taken a sensible angle by not really saying anything about it, trying to be large-minded, certainly when the King made his first address after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. He was very magnanimous towards Harry and Meghan.

“They have removed themselves from the Royal Family and from being working members of the Royal Family just like Edward VIII did.”

The author said that the similarities between the two royals however did not cancel out the fact the Duke of Windsor’s attacks on the Royal Family were “far more serious” than Harry’s.

She continued: “He did some things that were treasonous if not bordering on treasonous, very dangerous like consorting with Nazis, visiting Hitler in his high command just a few months after the coronation.

“So the magnitude of what Edward VIII did, particularly since he had served 326 days actively as King is far more serious than what Harry has done. But in a different way, Harry has been profoundly hurtful to them.”

George VI and Elizabeth by Sally Bedell Smith (Penguin Michael Joseph) is out now

Following his abdication in 1937, and his subsequent marriage to his twice-divorced lover Wallis Simpson months later, Edward VIII remained widely excluded from royal occasions for the rest of his life.

He briefly returned to the UK in the decades following his renunciation of the throne, notably to attend the funeral of his brother Goerge VI in 1953, but spent the rest of his life in France.

Ten years after he stepped down from the throne, the Duke of Windsor penned his personal account of life in the Royal Family and released his memoir A King’s Story.

His relationship with the family, including his mother Queen Mary and his brother, never fully recovered.

Commentator Kinsey Schofield argued that Harry and Meghan risked facing the same degree of separation the Windsors had suffered if they failed to change their conduct.

The To Di For Daily told Express.co.uk earlier this year: “Harry and Meghan weaponize anything they deem a slight. Anything. Even something so insignificant as reluctantly allowing someone (who is practically a stranger) to borrow your lip gloss.

“I think the King would rather pretend they don’t exist while Harry and Meghan continue to throw three years’ worth of tantrums.

“The public are catching on. Polling suggests people are fed up.”

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