These are dark times for the British Royal Family.
Prince Andrew has been stripped of his titles and has essentially gone into hiding as a civil suit filed by sexual assault accuser Virginia Giuffre heads to court.
Meanwhile, rumors about the Queen’s health paint a very bleak picture, and many expect that the UK’s longest-reigning monarch will not live out the year.
And just beneath the surface of all this drama there’s the roiling bad blood between Meghan Markle and her royal in-laws, which boiled over in two unexpected ways this week.
Last week, Harry threatened legal action against the British government, arguing that he and his family will not be safe during visits to the UK unless they are provided with their own security detail.
The Brits are standing firm, however, maintaining that Harry sacrificed his right to tax payer-funded services when he and Meghan stepped down from their roles as senior members of the royal family.
There was a time when it looked as though this stalemate might drag on for months, but now it’s coming to a head much sooner than expected.
Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip passed away back in April of 2021, and an official state memorial for Harry’s grandfather is scheduled for this spring.
The occasion was supposed to be of double importance, as it would provide the Sussexes an opportunity to introduce the Queen to their 7-month-old daughter Lilibet.
Now, however, insiders have indicated that Meghan and Harry will not be in attendance unless the security issue is resolved.
“If Harry goes, he will want to have security for him and his family. If and when he decides to go back to the UK, he needs security," a source close to the situation tells Page Six.
The situation may force the British government to make a decision on this sensitive matter much sooner than expected.
And that’s not the only recent instance of Harry and Meghan pushing back against longtime foes.
On Monday, Meghan demanded a retraction from the BBC in response to the outlet’s inaccurate coverage of her recent lawsuit against UK tabloid The Mirror.
The suit — which the Duchess won and then won again on appeal — dealt with allegations that Meghan had bullied her staff during the time she spent living in London.
At one point, Meghan denied providing assistant Jason Knauf with information to relay to journalist Omid Scobie, who was then working on a biography that portrayed the former actress in a very positive light.
Knauf, however, provided the court with emails proving that such an exchange did indeed take place.
"For when you sit down with them it may be helpful to have some background reminders so I’ve included them below just in case," Meghan wrote in one message.
"I know you are better versed at this than most but assisting where I can. I appreciate your support – please let me know if you need me to fill in any other blanks. Thank you!"
The BBC claimed that Meghan apologized to the court for making misleading statements, when in reality, she merely stated that she had forgotten about the emails she sent to Knauf.
"We stated that the Duchess of Sussex apologised for misleading the court in her case against Associated Newspaper Group," the BBC wrote in its retraction.
"The Duchess of Sussex has asked us to clarify that she apologised to the court for not remembering email exchanges with her former communications secretary, Jason Knauf, in her evidence, and said that she had no intention to mislead the court."
It may sound like Meghan is splitting hairs here, but the difference between lying by omission and genuinely forgetting about one brief email exahcnge that happened several months prior is significant and worth acknowledging.
Perhaps it’s the sort of thing that she would have let slide at an earlier point in her life.
But these days, the Duchess is under such constant scrutiny from those who oppose her that she can’t afford to leave any inaccurate information in circulation.
We’re sure Harry and Meghan are hopeful that this will all come to an end soon.
But sadly, it seems like any truce between these warring factions is a long way off.