The Express has accused Prince Harry of making a “subtle dig” at the Royal Family following the release of new docuseries, Heart of Invictus.
Following the competitors and organisers preparing for the 2020 Invictus Games, which was delayed until 2022 as a result of Covid-19, the site accused the Duke of Sussex of “taking a swipe” at his family while discussing the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder.
In episode one of the five-part Netflix docuseries, he said: “Look, I can only speak to me own experience but from my tour of Afghanistan in 2012 flying Apaches, somewhere after that there was an unravelling.
The Duke explained that while the trigger for the disorder was his return from Afghanistan, the tragic death of his mother Princess Diana also played a crucial role.
He added: “It was never discussed and I didn’t really talk about it and I suppressed it like most other youngsters would have done. When it all came fizzing out I was bouncing off the walls – what is going on here? – I am now feeling everything instead of being young.”
“The biggest struggle for me was no one around me really could help. I didn’t have that support structure, that network or that expert advice to identify what was actually going on with me.
“Unfortunately like most of us the first time you consider therapy is when you are lying on the floor in the foetal position probably wishing you had dealt with some of this stuff previously. And that’s what I really want to change.”
“Attention seeking”, says Express
The site’s scathing attack follows a piece published on Tuesday accusing the Duke and Duchess of Sussex of “attention seeking” by “trying to claw back the narrative”.
Based on an interview with PR expert and reputation management expert, Edward Coram-James, the right-wing rag accused the couple of “firing potshots” towards certain members of the Royal Family.
Coram-James added: “Often, when the narrative doesn’t go the way that the principal wants, they try to wrestle control of the narrative and forcefully demand the perspective, storyline or exposure that they want.
“But, when the narrative is that you’re an attention seeker, there is literally no way of doing this without feeding into and giving credibility to the narrative that you’re trying to combat.”
The Express has even gone as far as to pedal accusations the Duke is “ruining” the Invictus Games by diverting media attention away from participating athletes.
As part of another highly critical story, one royal commentator claimed the organisers of the Games would prefer to “distance themselves” from the Duke with suggestions he has been “hogging the limelight.”
Family “undivided” as Prince Andrew returns
So unrelenting are the site’s attacks on Harry’s latest endeavour, readers would be forgiven for missing news that Prince Andrew has been welcomed back into the family fold.
The disgraced Duke joined his family at the Balmoral Estate over the weekend and was spotted with the Prince and Princess of Wales as they drove together to the Crathie Kirk church near Balmoral Castle.
Prince Andrew withdrew from royal duties in 2019 over links to convicted paedophile Jeffrey Epstein. In January 2022, he was stripped of his HRH titles after he was accused of sexual assault by Virginia Giuffre.
A source told The Telegraph: “[The King] has always been clear that the duke is a much-loved member of the family, but that does not mean there will be a change in tack when it comes to his royal status.”
Unsurprisingly, the Express seemed to rejoice at the announcement, quoting royal sources who claim the “Royal Family is as strong as ever”.
According to Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliam, the photographs of the Duke travelling to church were “clearly intended to send a message of family unity”.
But MP for York Central, Rachael Haskell, who tabled a bill in Parliament seeking to strip Andrew of his Duke of York title, said “any perceived public rehabilitation” would be “unpalatable”.
She added: “Any public rehabilitation of the Duke of York is certainly not something the country as a whole would welcome at all.”