Kate Middleton's uncle Gary Goldsmith goes spare at Duke of Sussex

‘Harry’s deluded if he believes it will bring him reconciliation with the Royal Family’: Kate Middleton’s uncle Gary Goldsmith goes spare at the Duke of Sussex

What in heaven’s name was Harry thinking when he wrote his terrible book? He’s utterly deluded if he seriously believes it will bring him a step nearer to reconciliation — which he claims to want — with the Royal Family. All it will do is make the gaping chasm between them unbridgeable.

Gary Goldsmith is the Princess of Wales’ uncle, and brother to Carole Middleton

Fat chance of him being invited to the King’s Coronation now. I’d be happy if he never came back to this country. Why would the Royal Family want him here? Why would we, as a nation?

His petulant, self-serving memoir Spare is peppered with so much fluff it needs a good Hoovering. To be frank, I don’t even believe much of it.

He wouldn’t make my pub quiz team, but his book is an intellectual low. And he has plumbed new depths with his account of the now infamous saga of the bridesmaids’ dresses for his wedding to Meghan in 2018.

Did Meghan make Kate cry? Or was it Kate who reduced Meghan to tears? If there’s a single person out there who hasn’t heard one of the many versions doing the rounds, here’s Harry’s take.

Four days before his wedding, he writes, Meghan received a text from Kate saying Charlotte’s dress, hand-sewn from measurements, was too big and needed altering. In the book, he reports, Kate said Charlotte cried when she tried on the ‘baggy’ dress.

This made me see red. How dare Harry share such a confidence involving a young child? How he has the temerity to talk about moving to the U.S. to ‘protect his family and their privacy’ when he is prepared to violate his niece’s confidentiality is base hypocrisy.

And I’m particularly appalled by his vile confection of half-truths and complete fabrications because Kate is my adored niece. But there’s more.

‘But if there’s a manual on ‘How Not To Behave When Joining The Royal Family’, Meghan has been following it word for word!’ Pictured: The Princess of Wales, the Prince of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex meet the public at Windsor Castle, Berkshire following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, September 10, 2022

Harry claims to be reporting an exchange of texts when he writes that Meghan told Kate to go to the Palace, where her tailor, Ajay, was standing by to alter the dresses. But this — according to Harry — was not good enough for Kate, who tersely demanded that the dress be completely remade.

Nonsense. I honestly don’t believe this version of the ‘facts’. Kate is self-sufficient, resourceful and extremely capable. She comes from a family of doers and fixers and has an amazing support system in her younger sister Pippa and her mum, my older sister Carole, who runs her own successful business. She has taught her girls to deal with problems with calm capability, not histrionics.

The Kate I know so well would never have caused a fuss. She’s not a drama queen; she’s not confrontational, as the book suggests. And she’d never pile more pressure on a bride. After all, she knows the tensions involved when you marry into the Royal Family all too well.

Harry alleges Meghan was on the floor ‘sobbing’ when he arrived home and that Kate brought round a bouquet the next day as a peace offering. Such a classy gesture of conciliation would be typical of my niece. I’m quite prepared to believe she would have taken flowers to Meghan because she is kind and empathetic and would have wanted to appease her.

‘Entitlement, crassness and casual insensitivity hallmarked her encounters with Kate and William.’ Pictured: Catherine, The Princess of Wales, Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, Countess of Wessex at Windsor Castle, October 12, 2018

Harry conveniently throws in the line that Meghan’s best friend was there to witness Kate’s ‘apology’. Well, call me cynical, but I suspect Meghan’s bestie would say whatever her overbearing pal wanted.

It’s worth reiterating that Kate adored her brother-in-law-to-be, Harry, during their early years as a happy threesome, and I believe she and William were rather sweetly delighted when they learnt he had a new girlfriend; an actress from one of their favourite dramas, Suits.

Kate would have loved her new sister-in-law to be a friend. She’d have welcomed someone to accompany her through her amazing, challenging, privileged, scrutinised royal life.

But if there’s a manual on ‘How Not To Behave When Joining The Royal Family’, Meghan has been following it word for word! Entitlement, crassness and casual insensitivity hallmarked her encounters with Kate and William.

She breezily asserted that it must have been Kate’s ‘hormones’ that made her forgetful soon after Prince Louis’ birth. Kate was rightly put out: she had barely met Meghan. It’s plain rude to be so presumptuous. I wouldn’t say that to my best friend’s wife and I’ve known her for 40 years.

Then there was the titanic arrogance of their first formal meeting. Meghan barged in to hug William, using her get-out-of-jail-free card — I’m American! — to explain this breach of etiquette. Surely Harry should have explained that a curtsy was the proper way to greet an heir to the throne?

It’s pretty low, too, that the book is embroidered with so many contrived descriptions of Kate and William’s demeanour: his ‘thin-lipped smile’ when Meghan came to visit; Kate’s suppressed anger as white-knuckled, gripping the chair arms. Brilliantly orchestrated but in my view, totally false. Meghan professed not to know the words to the National Anthem. It seems downright perverse that Harry had not taught her or pointed her in the direction of Google.

And she chose to go barefoot and wear ripped jeans when William and Kate (more formally dressed) first came to dinner. Wouldn’t it be respectful to make some sartorial effort if you were entertaining the future King for the first time? Anyone less overbearingly self-confident than Meghan might think so.

Carole will be incredibly hurt and angry about the slights and calumnies heaped on William and Kate this week, but you won’t hear a peep from her. When your eldest child becomes the future Queen, you don’t get a manual on behaviour and etiquette, but Carole and her husband, Mike, know instinctively what to do.

‘Say nothing’ is their mantra and they have always maintained their quiet dignity. When Carole was vilified for chewing gum at William’s Sandhurst passing-out parade; when William’s friends taunted her with the nickname Doors To Manual because she used to work as BA cabin crew, she graciously kept schtum.

I know this week Kate’s hurt will be mostly for William, the King and Camilla — and she’ll be quietly getting on with her job as her mum taught her, looking after her husband and family. At her core is the Goldsmith way: family means everything. Kate will, of course, have phoned Carole, who will protect her like a lioness, but for both it will be business as usual.

‘When your eldest child becomes the future Queen, you don’t get a manual on behaviour and etiquette, but Carole and her husband, Mike, know instinctively what to do.’ Pictured: Carole Middleton and Michael Middleton attend Royal Ascot, June 14, 2022

Compare Kate’s composure with Harry’s ranting: he has been paid an absolute fortune to throw his family under a bus.

There is so much about this book that is self-serving. Jealousy and rancour are its recurring themes. Harry — so bitter about being the younger brother and the ‘spare’ — moans about being assigned a room in a ‘narrow back corridor’ at Sandringham one Christmas and feeling ‘a bit unappreciated, a bit unloved. Relegated to the hinterlands’.

He quibbles about a ‘grossly unfair’ Court Circular that doesn’t give enough recognition for what he does, and carps about his grace-and-favour home, Nottingham Cottage — Nott Cott — which Meghan imperiously dismissed as no better than a ‘frat house’, meaning it resembles student accommodation.

We’re informed its rooms are ‘tiny, and ceilings doll’s house low’, and its ‘shabby furniture and a brown sofa’ failed to live up to Meghan’s grand standards and expectations.

Well, let me explain a fundamental rule about younger siblings: they always get the smaller bedroom. I didn’t complain when I was consigned to the box room of the modest house where Carole and I were raised in Southall, Middlesex. I just waited for my big sister to move out so I could bag her bigger bedroom.

And please don’t get me started on the description — positively dripping with envy — of William and Kate’s apartment at Kensington Palace.

Harry lingers bitterly over every opulent detail, noting how ‘Meg’s eyes widened’ at the ‘wallpaper, the crown mouldings, the walnut bookshelves lined with colour co-ordinated volumes, the priceless art’, comparing it unfavourably with the discount sofa and Ikea lamps at Nott Cott.

Two things to note here, Harry: your brother is the heir the throne and he was then the only one of you to be married with kids, but more pertinently, he’d just handed over the keys to Nott Cott to you. He’d used it as his London base with Kate for the first two years of their marriage, for goodness’ sake! So behave like the military man you were and stop this handbags-at-dawn nonsense.

Harry has got lost in his own privilege. He seems to consider himself poor when many are struggling to pay their food and fuel bills. He takes the most evangelical moral high ground and it chimes with no one.

The luxuries he enjoyed as ‘spare’ — trips to the South and North Poles, to ranches in Botswana, to Lesotho; riding, rafting down rapids, camping under the stars — look pretty spectacular from where I’m standing. And the very notion that his wedding was, as he moans, a shoestring affair is grotesque. It looked jaw-droppingly impressive to us mere mortals.

And far from feeling beleaguered by his secondary role, I believe Harry had the good fortune to have greater freedom, opportunity and choice than William. I’d take the part of spare any day.

William has duties, patronages and obligations set in stone for the rest of his life. Harry genuinely had the better job. With creativity and ambition, he could have shaped the world for the better. But what has he done with that licence and privilege? Nothing. Nada. Zilch.

The Invictus Games are terrific, but even that he turned into a matter for fraternal quibbling when he alleged William was niggling about his allocation of the charity’s resources.

I’ll tell you who could show him a thing or two about being a gracious younger sibling — my niece, Pippa, two years Kate’s junior. She’s spectacular! I was at her wedding in 2017 to billionaire businessman James Matthews.

‘Harry has got lost in his own privilege. He seems to consider himself poor when many are struggling to pay their food and fuel bills.’ Pictured: Prince Harry salutes at a ceremony marking the anniversary of the Battle of Monte Cassino, in Monte Cassino Italy, May 18, 2014

It was one of those glittering, glorious, fun-filled A-list affairs with celebrities on every table and I was feeling slightly lost.

Yet who should make a beeline for me but Kate and Carole, wreathed in smiles and full of warm words and hugs. Meghan arrived for the evening meal, welcomed with open arms into the Middleton fold, as any potential friend to Pippa and sister-in-law to Kate would be. How let down they must all feel now.

I deplore, too, the fact that in his rant of a book Harry is not prepared to own up to his mistakes. Take the now infamous episode in which he turned up for a fancy dress party in a Nazi uniform.

He was living out of a suitcase at the time, dossing down with his Pa and Camilla. He loved making Kate laugh. And how she and William chortled at the Nazi uniform! So yes, he says, it was actually because of their hideous gaffe — laughing at him — that he wore it.

Why Kate was dragged into this unedifying tale is a complete mystery. He made an awful error of judgment. He was 20, for goodness sake. He should just own up to it and apologise without proviso or self-justification.

And so it goes on. We get the impression that Harry is resentful of his brother for having the temerity to transition from youth to adulthood. Harry feels hurt that William has got married. ‘We’d never again ride together across the Lesotho countryside with capes blowing behind us. We’d never again share a horsey-smelling cottage while learning to fly!’

Well yes, Harry, spare us the maudlin romanticism. Grown men don’t wear capes, unless they’re superheroes. They move on to new phases of their lives, settle down, marry and become fathers; honour their responsibilities.

Unless they’re Spare, it seems. In which case they fly one gilded cage to create another one — but this time in Montecito, California, with no purpose or family support and fewer true friends. It pains me to say it, but once he has exhausted the commercial opportunities that being a former prince has brought him, what’s left? We’re told there’s a memoir to come from Meghan. I shudder at the thought.

Meanwhile, Harry has launched this precision missile at his own father, brother and niece. He has unmasked himself as the consummate hypocrite, endlessly claiming alleged breaches of privacy — then disclosing confidential conversations about highly personal matters involving his own niece. He both courts the media, granting interviews to boost his book sales, and reviles it for its ‘intrusion’ into his life.

Few people have bought into Harry’s fractious and peevish book — and, in writing it, I’m afraid he has overstepped the line.

Will his family ever forgive him? I doubt it.

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