Nick Abbot 10pm - 1am
Sadly 2023 looks like it will end as it began with Royals at war over a book and any reconciliation light years away
28 November 2023, 14:28
It was little over two weeks ago that Prince Harry and King Charles enjoyed a 'friendly and cordial' chat to mark the monarch's 75th birthday.
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The transatlantic call was hailed as a 'turning point' by royal watchers and could signal the pair's desire to bury the hatchet after being estranged for months.
There was talk that Harry and Meghan could join the Royal Family for part of the Christmas holidays and who knows maybe these small steps could eventually lead Harry and William to put their differences aside and reconcile.
Step forward the Sussexes’ journalist supporter-in-chief Omid Scobie and the launch of his new book, Endgame: Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy's Fight for Survival, full of venomous attacks about the Royal Family.
Charles, Camilla, William, Kate and even Anne all come under fire in Scobie's 416 pages of poison.
But it is Kate who receives the brunt of his fire, describing the princess as "cold", a "Stepford-like royal wife", whose willingness to support the institution into which she has married has earned her the cruel nickname "Katie Keen".
He also lambasts her for "advocating for mental health causes while ignoring Meghan's cries for help" while claiming the late Queen liked her because she was "coachable", unlike the "strong-minded" Princess Diana.
One can only imagine how Prince William will react to this character assassination of his wife - the mother of his children who has stood loyally by the side of the monarchy through Megxit and the Covid crisis.
Scobie, 42, stressed in pre-publication interviews that he has not interviewed Harry and Meghan for the book, nor is he Meghan’s friend.
But he told the Times: “I have mutual friends with [Meghan], and that definitely helps with getting information and breaking details.
But Scobie is a former mouthpiece for Harry and Meghan so suspicion will always surround anything he says or writes.
One of William's friends, who was also once close to Harry, told the Daily Mail: "It is a matter of trust. The challenge should be for Prince Harry to very publicly distance himself from this."
But will he?
The wounds of Harry's own memoir Spare - launched amid a blaze of publicity in January - still run deep in the House of Windsor.
Hence the surprise that Charles was willing to sow the initial seeds and potentially welcome Harry and Meghan back into the fold.
Still seething about Harry's attacks in Spare, A reconciliation was always a tougher sell for William.
But now perhaps the relationship that once seemed so close can never be salvaged.
Obviously, both William and Harry are now middle-aged men with their own lives and families but we never seem to see the happy-go-lucky Harry that we used to love.
He was the cheeky war hero never short of a joke, possessing of a unique talent for putting everyone at their ease.
Perhaps the greatest tragedy of Endgame is that the flicker of a reconciliation born out of Charles's birthday seems to have been snuffed out...perhaps forever.
To sum up 2023 looks like it will finish with royals at war over a book, just like it started...