Meghan and Harry steered clear of any mention of Andrew ‘out of respect for Eugenie’

Royal insider discusses ‘PR games’ from Meghan and Harry

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Meghan is currently back in the US with her young son Archie after doctors advised the heavily pregnant Duchess not to travel overseas. Harry has since rejoined them after returning to the UK last week for his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral. While he is thought to have had a few strained conversations with his brother Prince William and father Prince Charles, Harry is still on good terms with his cousin Princess Eugenie.

She and her husband Jack Brooksbank have Frogmore Cottage on permanent loan from the Sussexes, and so it is highly likely that Harry has been spending some quality time with her while back in Britain.

The two have been close for years, and Eugenie is said to be the only royal still in regular contact with Meghan as the two bonded over both falling pregnant during the pandemic.

However, the Sussexes’ relationship with the rest of the Firm has declined in the wake of their dramatic tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey, which aired last month.

The former working royals blamed their departure from the monarchy on the Palace’s approach towards both mental health issues and race.

Meghan and Harry also took aim at individual royals, including Kate, Duchess of Cambridge, William and Charles.

But there was one notable name absent from their attack on the Palace — that of Prince Andrew.

Less than two weeks before the Sussexes declared they were leaving royal life behind, Andrew had been forced to take early retirement from his public duties.

He faced international backlash for his ‘car-crash’ interview with BBC Newsnight where the Duke of York had attempted to address his association with the late, convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.

Despite this seismic event taking place as the Sussexes were contemplating their own position in the Firm — and reports that Meghan had a strong reaction to the interview — the couple carefully kept Andrew’s name out of their tell-all.

Royal author Anna Pasternak told Fox News: “We don’t know the reason, but one can only suspect that maybe out of respect for her [Eugenie] they didn’t want to go into her father.”

Eugenie is one of Harry’s close confidantes, and said to always be on hand when the Duke needed help with his love life.

She introduced her cousin to his former girlfriend, actress Cressida Bonas, and is good friends with Chelsy Davy, whom Harry had an on-off relationship with for the better part of a decade.

Meghan told Oprah that she knew Eugenie before she met her husband — and the youngest York sister is also believed to be the first royal to meet the future Duchess of Sussex as Harry’s girlfriend.

Back when the couple had just started dating, a source told The Sunday Express: “The relationship between the princess and the Duchess clearly remains a close one.

“They have all become great friends.

“Eugenie loves Meghan to bits and believes she is perfect for Harry.

“They are thick as thieves and may even all go on holiday together soon.

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“Eugenie has lots of friends who could let them stay and be discreet, away from prying eyes.”

The pro-Sussex biography Finding Freedom also explained: “Out of all the Queen’s grandchildren, Harry and Eugenie have one of the most natural connections.

“Like Harry, Eugenie is loyal, honest and great fun.”

The text also claimed that Eugenie had “struggled to carve out her own identity growing up”, much like her cousin.

When speaking to Oprah, the couple only named two royals in a positive light: the Queen, who Harry said he had “too much respect” for to ever “blindside” her, and Eugenie and Jack, who were named as “friends” by Meghan.

There were even reports that the Sussexes were trying to persuade Eugenie and Jack to leave behind their royal lives.

The couple have already lent towards a life outside of the Royal Family, as both have careers and a source of income away from the monarchy and decided not to give their son August any titles.

They do still live in a property owned by the Crown, though — and it seems the Sussexes actually wanted to follow Eugenie’s example when they were looking to secure a “half-in-half-out” role within the monarchy last January.

As Meghan told Oprah: “We never left the family and we only wanted to have the same type of role that exists, right?

“There’s senior members of the family and then there are non-senior members.”

She said there were “so many” royals who are “royal highnesses, prince or princess, duke or duchess, who earn a living, live on Palace grounds, can support the Queen if and when called upon”.

This sounds exactly like Eugenie’s current position — she is largely independent of the Palace operation, but unlike the Sussexes, she can still use her HRH status.

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