Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war between the Windsors
Simon & Schuster
Review: Karen Watkins
With the death of Queen Elizabeth II, sales of this book, published in June and already a Sunday Times and SA bestseller, are sure to climb.
The story unravels the mess surrounding the Sussexes and their relationship with the royal family.
From courtroom dramas to palace politics, Tom Bower uses numerous researchers, journalists and eyewitnesses, both on and off the record, to stitch together a story of love, deceit, arrogance, betrayal and finally revenge.
The story starts well, sharing details of Meghan’s early life from a childhood spent on Hollywood film sets to minor acting parts and landing a role on the legal TV series, Suits and becoming an influencer through her blog, The Tig.
Despite this step to fame, her dream of worldwide celebrity remained elusive until she set up a date with Prince Harry. The whirlwind romance culminated with a fairytale wedding at Windsor Castle in 2018.
In the beginning, the Brits felt the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were a breath of fresh air in what was thought to be a stuffy royal dinosaur.
However, within one year Meghan’s carefully-constructed image plummeted with the infamous Megxit split.
Living in Montecito, California, and struggling to maintain their lavish lifestyle, Meghan agreed to being interviewed by Oprah Winfrey – at a price, both financially and emotionally as the duchess drove a wedge between Harry and a thousand-year-old-institution, The Firm.
What she didn’t realise is that in America she was living on the fame of the royals.
From the wedding onwards the story is rehashed gossip.
The story also becomes repetitive, duplicated word-for-word in different chapters.
There is little about the wayward Harry, instead he is shown as a self-centred easily manipulated, spoilt brat.
What galled me most is Meghan using the colour of her skin to transform her in-laws from a relatively harmonious group who embrace multi-culturism as part of their service to Britain and the Commonwealth into a beleaguered institution uncertain of its future.
Meghan grew up fairly privileged, doing ballet and taking acting classes. Just before her ninth birthday her mother, Doria left her with her doting dad, Thomas who spoiled and cosseted her and who financed everything.
Ploughing through the 400-odd page book I was left disappointed, expecting more about the origin of the Sussexes’ funds and how they still live the high life – literally, flying around in private jets or negotiating first class flights and six-star hotels and fashion labels, paying for multiple PR agents on both sides of the pond. What amazes me most is that Meghan has not used her power to remove this book from the shelves.