Though Campbell agrees in the book that Princess Michael of Kent is “universally deplored in royal circles,” the author argues that the Moretto Veneziano “blackamoor” brooch she was photographed wearing before an event attended by Meghan was not racist because it depicted a Moorish Venetian prince—and not a “Sub-Saharan black slave.” She advised me, “Google ‘Moretto Veneziano’ and you will see that they are symbols of racial inclusivity that have been a feature of Venetian life for the last 700 years from the days when Venice and the Moors ended two of the great trading states. So people need to actually, before they jump on their bandwagon, get their facts straight.”
Campbell insists that, of the two royal biographies out this summer, hers is actually the more flattering publication. “Both books cover a lot of the same terrain, but I am impartial while Omid Scobie and Carolyn Durand are mouthpieces for Harry and Meghan, pleading how disadvantaged and underprivileged and abused they have been despite all the evidence to the contrary,” said Campbell. (Harry and Meghan have denied being interviewed for Scobie and Durand’s book, but the couple allegedly facilitated access to their friends.
Campbell—who has also written a memoir, a book about her mother (Daughter of Narcissus: A Family’s Struggle to Survive Their Mother’s Narcissistic Personality Disorder), a novel from the perspective of her late dog, and a book about Queen Elizabeth II containing lurid, unsubstantiated claims about the monarch’s sex life—said, “In fact, I never had a book that was as easy to write.”
It’s her sense of duty, Campbell says, that keeps her working for Goring’s upkeep. The fact that Meghan does not seem to share this same sensibility—in spite of her being American, from a different generation, and entirely different socioeconomic background—is what seems to most irk Campbell.
“Being a royal, on a daily basis, much of it is very unglamorous. I mean, [Princess Margaret’s lady-in-waiting] Anne Glenconner put it very well. She said Meghan thought that she was going to be able to drive around in a golden carriage, and it was all going to be very glamorous and there wouldn’t be any hard work. But most of it is hard work. It’s boring work, as well. You are a guest of honor at something, you have to work the room. You have to give everybody what is their due.… Maybe it’s your job, but it’s a peak moment in their lives, and you have to honor that.”
Campbell does not believe that Meghan and Harry are driven by philanthropic ambitions, she said, because, “There is no better platform to do humanitarian work than being a member of a reigning royal family. It’s a no-brainer. So to say, ‘I had the best, and I’ve thrown it away.’ I’m sorry. To me, it was extremely disappointing.”
Though she has written with unflattering gusto when it comes to Charles, Diana, the queen, the queen mother, and now Harry and Meghan, Lady Campbell seemed uncharacteristically supportive of one royal family member when she appeared on ITV’s Good Morning Britain last November. The segment ran shortly after Prince Andrew’s disastrous appearance on Newsnight—where he spoke, rather unapologetically, about his association with the late convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein.
“You all seem to have forgotten, that Jeffrey Epstein, the offense with which he was charged, and for which he was imprisoned, was soliciting prostitution from minors—that is not the same thing as pedophilia,” said Campbell.
In our conversation, though, Campbell claimed that she was not, in fact, defending Prince Andrew. Instead, she said she was “ambushed” by the hosts and cut off before she could finish her point: that Epstein, in her opinion, was not a pedophile but a “hebephile”—clarifying that a hebephile is attracted to earlier pubescent individuals whereas pedophiles are attracted to prepubescent individuals. Campbell said she “had a huge row” with ITV after the segment. “I would not have taken part in that program had I known the course it was going to take.” Had Campbell had a wider audience at the time, there might have been calls for her to be “cancelled.” But the only apparent repercussion, aside from appalled tweets from viewers, was that the Tetbury Town Council pulled her from lighting the local Christmas trees that holiday season.