Robert Lacey questions Prince Harry’s motives behind ‘Spare’
Prince Harry will struggle to mend the rift between himself and the Royal Family as he will find it hard to “backtrack”, a expert has warned.
The Duke of Sussex will meet members of his family for the first time at King Charles’s Coronation on May 6 since his Netflix docu-series with wife Meghan Markle aired in December, and his bombshell memoir Spare hit bookshelves in January.
After taking aim at senior members of the Royal Family in both the docu-series and his memoir, Harry will find it “very difficult to move forward” after “declaring [his] position to the world”, according to Sarah Hawkins, CEO of National Family Mediation (NFM).
The Exeter-based charity aims to help families sort arrangements for children, property, finance and other important matters following a fallout, separation or divorce.
Weighing in on the conflict within the Royal Family ahead of the Coronation, Ms Hawkins indicated: “If you want to avoid things escalating further, we caution our clients against airing their dirty laundry in public – be that over social media or in an international bestselling memoir.”
Ms Hawkins said it is very difficult to move from your standing point once you have declared your position to the world.
She said: “In order for people to move forward and make better decisions for both themselves, and their families, there always need to be some flexibility and this can be much harder to do when you feel you have to openly back track – especially when those views were aired whilst you are in an emotional and vulnerable state or position.”
The CEO also indicated that while Prince Harry “has every right to raise his grievances with his family”, the Duke has “done several things that seem to have added fuel to the fire” – and which the charity “would absolutely caution against in mediation”.
Ms Hawkins said: “Firstly, to bring about an amicable resolution it’s essential that both parties get their views across and feel heard.
“Of course, when you are in the thick of a fight it can be hard to see the other person’s point of view but telling your mates down the pub (or participating in a televised interview) about what your father and brother did to upset you, rather than speaking to them directly, is not going to help in the long run.”
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Ms Hawkins also indicated that it’s incredibly difficult to navigate family disputes at the best of times, but it can be particularly hard when you fall out with a loved one before a major family event – like a wedding, christening, funeral or Coronation.
She said: “It’s never pleasant to be locked in a dispute with a loved one, but as we have all witnessed major family gatherings can act as a pressure cooker for those in conflict.
“If like the Royal Family the argument has been brewing for a while, try to get together to discuss the root cause of the disagreement before the event. Even if you don’t manage to resolve things, it may be that you can agree to disagree, and it could help to stop things escalating.”
She added: “Regardless of what is driving the dispute, everyone involved needs to make a decision about whether they want to mend bridges, or simply find a way to co-exist amicably.
“Mediation can help to turn arguments into agreements, which not only helps with making decisions for the future but can also allow those in conflict to move on with their lives which is particularly important where children are involved.”
Commenting on the Royal dispute, Ms Hawkins hopes that once the Coronation is over, Prince Harry and his family might find it easier to resolve their conflicts.
She said: “This has been an extremely difficult time for the Royal Family, which is constantly under scrutiny even when they are all struggling with major life milestones such as childbirth, or bereavement.
“It is my hope that once the Coronation is over that they have the opportunity to meet and mediate over the issues that they have experienced, and what can be done to mend bridges between the warring parties.”
She added: “Needless to say, our door is always open if they ever want to consider mediation as a way forward.”
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