'Do less': Princess Diana's ex-secretary dubs Duchess Meghan 'constitutionally irrelevant'

A scathing piece from 60 Minutes Australia on Sunday painted the picture of a royal house divided, with Duchess Meghan at the root of all Buckingham Palace problems.

"Can the ghost of Diana save Harry and Meghan's fractured fairy tale?" prompted presenter Karl Stefanovic, who has been slammed on social media for the story, which many argued painted a baseless picture of the duchess as a source of drama and a "major headache for the royal family."

Buckingham Palace told USA TODAY it had no comment on the report.

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Patrick Jefferson, formerly Princess Diana's private secretary, criticized the duchess for promising to "hit the ground running" without knowing where she's "running to" and argued that Meghan should do "less" because "she is, after all, wife of the sixth in line to the throne. That means that she is constitutionally irrelevant."

"Meghan isn't and never has been an ordinary British person, so part of her challenge is to work out what it feels like, what it is to be an ordinary British person and not to be one, but to understand therefore how to best use her extraordinary influence and high profile," he added.

Duchess Meghan is surrounded by media and security while arriving for her baby shower in New York in February.
Duchess Meghan is surrounded by media and security while arriving for her baby shower in New York in February.

"As colorful as the British royal family has always been, their whiteness has dominated. And that brings us to a sensitive subject," Stefanovic narrated, by way of introducing a one-sided debate over how Meghan's race has influenced the way she has been criticized.

"Honestly, it's not even a second thought to me," said Katie Hopkins, the controversial British commentator who once described African migrants as "cockroaches." "It only comes up in the minds of people who are truly racist, and that's never people like me. I'm just observing that the dress is better on Kate, how she wears it is better."

Hopkins later speculated that Prince Harry's relationship with Meghan was part of his determination to "go anti-establishment."

"He's flicking the V sign to everything that he was brought up by," she added. "It's Harry's (fault), but Harry is redeemable because Harry was in a uniform. He was in a helicopter and he was in Afghanistan. Meghan was only ever in cheap movies."

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Parallels have been drawn between paparazzi coverage of Duchess Meghan and Princess Diana. Andrew Morton, who has written biographies on both women, chimed in to note similarities in how public opinions on women who married into the royal family declined in the years after their "fairy tale" weddings.

"Meghan seems to be a version of the Antichrist, as far as Fleet Street is concerned," Morton said of British press' opinion of the duchess. "It's almost a royal rite of passage you've got to go through. ...The kind of casual vituperation of Meghan and Harry makes you shudder. It's not like she's done anything wrong; she's just basically living her life. In my view, she's done everything right."

Hopkins also called Duchess Meghan "fickle, of the moment" and shallow, slamming the royal couple for claiming to care about the environment while using private jets.

Last week, Harry opened up about the controversy, saying he spends "99% of my life traveling the world by commercial" but flying privately is sometimes necessary to keep his family safe.

"What is she really? She's a noone,'" Hopkins said of the duchess. "She's a divorcee. When did we want a divorcee in the royal family? She wears bad clothes; when did we ask for that?"

Contributing: Maria Puente, USA TODAY.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Duchess Meghan told to 'do less' by Princess Diana's former secretary