Surprising royal who pushed for ‘toughening up’ response after Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview - and the memorable phrase it inspired

A member of the Royal Family is reported to be behind a more ‘tough’ reply to Harry and Meghan’s Oprah claims

A surprising royal was the one who pushed for a tougher response to Harry and Meghan's Oprah claims
(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

A new book claims that it was Catherine, Princess of Wales who favored the Royal Family’s official response to claims made by Harry and Meghan having some “toughening up.” The book claims that Kate stood firm with the firm response and was partially responsible for the inclusion of the now oft-quoted line, “recollections may vary.”

Perhaps proving her worth as a future queen, Kate Middleton earned the support of the late Queen Elizabeth II during one of the toughest controversies the family has faced in recent history.

After Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s Oprah interview where, among many other accusations against the royals, they suggested somebody questioned what skin tone their then unborn baby would have, the Royal Family had to break away from their usual code of silence.

Never explain, never complain couldn’t quite cut it when the eyes of the world were watching.

Kate Middleton thought that history would judge their response, and wanted to challenge the claims made by Harry and Meghan

(Image credit: Phil Harris - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

And it was the now Princess of Wales who reportedly stood firm on sending a strong message back.

A new book, Courtiers by Valentine Low, suggests that Kate was the one pushing to include a now famous like – “recollections may vary.”

Knowing full well the gravitas of the phrase – which basically undermined the inherent trustworthiness in everything the Sussexes were saying, disputing their interpretation as uncontested truth – Kate perhaps showed a shrewdness befitting a future queen.

That is, again, perhaps implied in the fact that Buckingham Palace’s official response did indeed keep the phrase.

Following the now infamous Oprah interview, Buckingham Palace’s statement stated that while “some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately.”

Buckingham Palace sent a reply to Harry and Meghan's Oprah interview, challenging the recollections

(Image credit: Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)

Sources involved with the book claim Kate “insisted” on including the line, and she is reported to have said, “History will judge this statement and unless this phrase or a phrase like it is included, everything that they have said will be taken as true.”

The sources praised Kate for her “subtle” but powerful approach at the time, adding, “She does not get as much credit as she should, because she is so subtle about it. She is playing the long game. She has always got her eye on, 'This is my life and my historic path and I am going to be the Queen one day.’”

The late Queen was in favor of Kate's idea for a tougher response, it's claimed

(Image credit: Phil Noble - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

The same book also implies that William was very much in favor of breaking free from the usual wall of silence, too, insisting the family get their responses right to soundly deny his brother and sister-in-law’s claims.

It is claimed that he said, “It is really important that you guys come up with the right way of making sure that we are saying that this does not stand.”

Jack Slater
Freelance writer

Jack Slater is not the Last Action Hero, but that's what comes up first when you Google him. Preferring a much more sedentary life, Jack gets his thrills by covering news, entertainment, celebrity, film and culture for woman&home, and other digital publications.

Having written for various print and online publications—ranging from national syndicates to niche magazines—Jack has written about nearly everything there is to write about, covering LGBTQ+ news, celebrity features, TV and film scoops, reviewing the latest theatre shows lighting up London’s West End and the most pressing of SEO based stories.