Harry and Meghan have 'done nothing but seek publicity', says Queen's former press chief

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been accused of doing "nothing but seek publicity" since moving to the US, by one of the Queen's former aides.

Dickie Arbiter, who was previously the press secretary for the Queen, said the couple needed to "put up or shut up".

He told The Sun: "They left this country because they wanted privacy.

"They wanted away from the publicity. And since they left this country, the UK, they’ve done nothing but seek publicity.

"Now they are saying Harry is taking five months paternity leave and hopefully he will stay quiet in those five months.

"Quite frankly, to put it simply they need to put up or shut up."

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 27: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Prince Harry and Meghan Markle attend an official photocall to announce their engagement at The Sunken Gardens, Kensington Palace on November 27, 2017 in London, England.  Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have been a couple officially since November 2016 and are due to marry in Spring 2018. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan at their engagement announcement in 2017. They've been accused of seeking publicity since moving to the US. (Indigo/Getty Images)

Harry and Meghan announced the arrival of their second child Lilibet Diana on 6 June, two days after she was born, saying she was named after her great-grandmother, the Queen, and her late grandmother, the Princess of Wales.

But the choice of name led to speculation over whether the Queen was asked about their decision, and a row between palace sources and the Sussexes.

The duke and duchess say they spoke to the Queen about naming their child after her, saying they would not have done so if it were not supportive.

Harry's uncle, Prince Edward, said the situation with the Sussexes was "very sad" and had been "difficult for everyone"

Asked about the name Lilibet having "significance" to the family, he replied: "We just wish them all happiness, it's fantastic news. [We] Hope they're very happy."

Watch: Sussexes have 'let everybody down', says royal commentator

Although some royal experts have reacted negatively to the name choice, others have been supportive, with Professor Kate Williams saying the couple were just part of a tradition which has existed for centuries.

And journalist Afua Adom said the name was a "lovely nod of affection" to the Queen.

She also previously defended them over remarks that they left the UK for privacy reasons.

Adom told Good Morning Britain this week: "Meghan and Harry never actually said that they wanted privacy.

"What they did say is they wanted to choose what they wanted to share with the world."

When the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced their intention to step back in January 2020, they decided to opt out of the royal rota system, which is the traditional method for covering royal events in the UK.

Co-Chair Britain's Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, speaks onstage during the taping of the
Dickie Arbiter said he hoped Harry and Meghan would be quiet during their five month parental leave. Harry here during the taping of Vax Live in LA. (AFP)

They said: "Britain’s Royal Correspondents are regarded internationally as credible sources of both the work of members of The Royal Family as well as of their private lives. 

"This misconception propels coverage that is often carried by other outlets around the world, amplifying frequent misreporting. 

"Regrettably, stories that may have been filed accurately by Royal Correspondents are, also, often edited or rewritten by media editorial teams to present false impressions."

They said they wanted to remove themselves from it so that they could "ensure diverse and open access to their work". 

Harry and Meghan now share news via a global press secretary and on their website Archewell, which covers the work of their foundation.

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