'Diana was at fault, too': Queen's former adviser's warning to Harry and Meghan

  • A former spokesperson for the Queen has warned Harry and Meghan about courting the press

  • Dickie Arbiter worked for Diana for five years and said she was at "fault" for doing the same

  • His reminder comes after the trailer for the couples' documentary directly compared Meghan to Diana

  • Read on to see why the spokesperson said they shouldn't "muddy the waters" with comparison

Dickie Arbiter warns Meghan and Harry just days before their Netflix documentary is set to be released. (Getty Images)
Dickie Arbiter warns Meghan and Harry just days before their Netflix documentary is set to be released. (Getty Images)

A former adviser to the late Queen and the Royal Family has warned Prince Harry about courting press attention and urged him not to 'muddy the waters' by claiming what happened to his mother could happen to Meghan.

On Tuesday, Netflix released the full trailer for Harry & Meghan, the six-part docuseries that looks set to feature a number of claims about stories that were leaked to the press about the couple.

In the trailer, Harry is shown referring to the "feeding frenzy" surrounding women who marry into the Royal Family, drawing a direct line between Diana and his wife. "I was terrified", he says. "I didn't want history to repeat itself."

Dickie Arbiter, a former spokesperson for Queen Elizabeth, said Harry's mother played an active role in shaping her relationship with the press.

He told TalkTV: "I first met Diana three days before [her] wedding. I knew Diana right up until the time that she died. I worked with her and for her for five years. There are times when she did court the press.

Watch: 'Diana was at fault too': Queen's former advisor warns Harry and Meghan

"Harry says he doesn't want happening to Meghan what happened to Diana. Well, a lot of the fault was Diana's".

Arbiter explained: "She went out of her way to talk to them privately", citing that she would telephone the press.

"Let's not muddy the waters by saying 'what happened to my mother, I don't want to happen to Meghan' they have courted the media", he added.

The trailer is not the first time that Harry has compared the treatment of his wife to that of his mother.

In the 2021 Apple TV show, The Me You Can't See, Harry said: "My mother was chased to her death while she was in a relationship with someone that wasn't white and now look what's happened. You want to talk about history repeating itself, they're not going to stop until [Meghan] dies".

Read more: Harry hints he and Meghan will tell all in unseen footage from new Netflix trailer: 'No-one knows the full truth'

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on the long Walk at Windsor Castle arrive to view flowers and tributes to HM Queen Elizabeth on September 10, 2022 in Windsor, England. Crowds have gathered and tributes left at the gates of Windsor Castle to Queen Elizabeth II, who died at Balmoral Castle on 8 September, 2022. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan viewing tributes in Windsor left for Queen - the mourning period is the last time they spent with the rest of the Royal Family before the documentary release. (Getty Images)

He also added it was "triggering" for him and said that he and his wife "get followed. Photographed, chased, harassed. The clicking of cameras and the flashes of the cameras makes my blood boil.

"It makes me angry and takes me back to what happened to my mom and what I experienced as a kid."

Both William and Harry have made public comments about how their mother struggled with press intrusion. William said in a documentary marking the 20th anniversary of her death that: "Most of the time she ever cried about anything it was to do with press intrusion".

He also said the press "lost its perspective on what was appropriate", when following Diana.

In The Me You Can't See, Harry echoed these sentiments, recalling the paparazzi chasing them in her car when he was a child. He said: "She was almost unable to drive because of the tears, there was no protection [...] and that happened every single day until the day she died."

Harry also spoke about blaming the paparazzi for his mother's death: "Here was no justice at all. Nothing came from that. The same people who chased her into the tunnel, photographed her dying on the backseat of that car."

The wreckage of Princess Diana's car lies in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997.
Diana and companion Dodi Al Fayed were killed during the traffic accident. / AFP PHOTO / Jack GUEZ        (Photo credit should read JACK GUEZ/AFP/Getty Images)
The wreckage of Princess Diana's car in a Paris tunnel - the paparazzi were heavily criticised for taking photographs after the crash. (Getty Images)

An inquest in 2008 into Diana's death found that while the "speed and manner of the following vehicles" were a factor in causing the accident, the jury unanimously found that "the death of the deceased was caused or contributed to by the fact that the deceased [were] not wearing seatbelt(s) [and] the fact that the Mercedes struck the pillar in the Alma Tunnel". Equally, that Diana's driver's judgement was impaired by alcohol was deemed a contributing factor.

Arbiter is correct in saying that Diana did court the press. She famously collaborated in secret with Andrew Morton on his bestselling book, Diana: Her True Story.

Her former private secretary, Patrick Jephson, has also said that both she and Charles briefed the press against each other during the acrimonious breakdown of their marriage.