Turning their backs on royal life, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have vowed their relationship with the media will change dramatically.
Since then, according to their carefully curated website, their goal will be to “connect with grassroots media organizations and young, emerging journalists.”
As for ‘royal correspondents’, Harry could hardly have expressed his disdain for them more clearly.
They are, he said in his recent Netflix documentary, ‘just an extended PR arm of the royal family’.
Tom Bradby’s explosive interview with the Duchess of Sussex during a documentary tour of South Africa effectively ended her close friendship with Prince William
Bradby interviewed the Prince and Princess of Wales when their engagement was announced in November 2010
So who has he entrusted to open his heart to yesterday, ahead of the publication of his memoir Spare?
News at Ten leads public school-educated anchor Tom Bradby, 55, who was ITV’s royal correspondent when he first learned about Harry. So much for a new media approach.
After being introduced to Bradby two decades ago, Harry and William have come to regard the journalist as friends.
He was chosen to conduct the engagement interview of William and Kate and officiated at both of their weddings.
If things had stopped there, Bradby could now count himself among the rapidly shrinking pool of people who remain friends with the two brothers.
But that went out the window in 2019, when he hosted a documentary covering the Sussexes’ trip to southern Africa. This effectively started Harry and Meghan’s exit tour.
The interview, in which Meghan thanked Bradby for asking if he was well and Harry admitted he and his brother were ‘on different paths’, blindsided William.
As the Mail revealed, it also completely damaged William’s relationship with Bradby, who he and royal advisers felt took advantage of Harry’s ‘apparent vulnerability’.
As a result, Bradby admitted to feeling ‘stuck in the middle’ of the brothers, calling it ‘a deeply uncomfortable place to be’.
That she should have gained the trust of both Harry and William, even if temporarily, is perhaps not surprising given her background and upbringing.
‘They speak the same language,’ is how an old acquaintance put it.
The Duke of Sussex (left) during an interview with ITV’s Tom Bradby for the program Harry: The Interview, which will air on January 8
Claudia Bradby (Left) and Tom Bradby (Right) attend the wedding of Prince Harry and Ms. Meghan Markle in May 2018
Charming and friendly, Bradby was born in Malta, the son of a British naval officer. He was an only child and at the age of eight was sent to boarding at Westbourne House School, West Sussex and then Sherbourne School in Dorset.
The next stop for the Brothers, as friends knew them, was Edinburgh and a history degree.
There he became the editor of the student newspaper. contemporaries remember him
The ‘Hugh Grant-esque, floppy fringe he always carried down his hands’ and his ‘okay, yah’ uniform of navy V-neck jumper, shirt, cords and brogues or loafers.
‘Though he was the editor,’ says one, ‘he always came late, bumbling and with a circle of companions.’ ‘His deputy did all the corruption.’
While at university, Bradby did work experience at several local newspapers but eventually accepted a position on the ITN training scheme and has remained with the company ever since.
In 1994 he married Claudia Hill-Norton, a lacrosse-playing Durham University graduate from impeccable stock.
His father was Vice Admiral Sir Nicholas Hill-Norton and his grandfather was Lord Hill-Norton, Admiral of the Fleet.
The pair were introduced by Claudia’s older brother Simon who, with his wife, would go on to set up the sportswear company Sweaty Betty, which they sold to an American company last year for £300 million.
Among those photographed wearing the brand is Kate’s sister Pippa Middleton, who Claudia will know.
Tom and Claudia reportedly helped Pippa with her book Celebrate, which was published in 2012 when Kate’s head bridesmaid attracted widespread media attention.
Bradby’s mental breakdown helps him get his biggest scoop. In 2019 he accompanied Harry and Meghan on a tour of Southern Africa
For a reported £400,000 advance, the party planning guide was widely ridiculed for its ‘blatantly obvious’ advice.
Bradby moved to Hong Kong in 1998 as ITV’s Asia correspondent and it was here that Claudia found her calling as a jewelery designer.
After deals with Liberty and John Lewis, her work caught the eye of Kate Middleton, then a buyer for Jigsaw, who snapped up her collection for the High Street store.
Against that backdrop, Bradby’s appointment as royal correspondent may seem a match made in heaven. But he claims that the reality was completely different from this.
While covering a riot in Indonesia in 1999, his right leg was set on fire and badly injured.
By then a father of three children, he decided the life of a foreign reporter was not for him and reluctantly accepted the position of royal correspondent, saying ‘I wanted to be the last thing on the planet’.
It was the early 2000s and to those on the royal palate, it was clear that after Diana’s death, the biggest story in town was her two sons, who are now entering adulthood.
Bradby had one advantage over the others. He was young, posh and worked for TV rather than the printed press, about which the brothers were already very wary.
But royal aides knew it was important to her to establish a relationship with the media and Bradby was invited to lunch by Harry’s private secretary, Mark Dyer.
Over time, the brothers came to trust Bradby and in 2004, he was invited to film Harry in Southern Africa on his gap year.
The ITV presenter and royal correspondent reportedly helped Pippa Middleton with her book Celebrate, which was published in 2012
As for Bradby’s friendship with William, this involved reporters having the Royal’s personal mobile number.
In fact, it was a voicemail she left for Prince, offering to lend him editing equipment in 2005, the details of which turned into a newspaper story that would kick off the phone-hacking scandal.
Even though Bradby was promoted to political editor of ITN, the friendship continued.
Announcing his and Kate’s engagement in 2010, William chose Bradby to interview her. Their wedding invitations are duly sent to Bradby and his wife.
The same courtesy was extended to Bradby by Harry and Meghan in 2018. In an article written soon after the wedding, he praised the couple as the ‘natural rock stars of the royal family’, while also hinting that behind the scenes all was not as smooth as it seemed. was appearing.
Around the same time it emerged that Bradby had problems of his own, dividing his time between his home in Hampshire and a flat in London.
By then established as News at Ten’s £500,000-a-year anchor, he began suffering from insomnia in the spring of 2018.
Off work for three months, his wife warned he was nearing a ‘very dangerous cliff-edge’ and urged him to see a psychiatrist.
Yet in reality, his mental breakdown helped him score his biggest scoop. In 2019, he accompanied Harry and Meghan on a tour of Southern Africa.
A subsequent documentary, Harry and Meghan: An African Journey, revealed for the first time the extent of the couple’s dissatisfaction with royal life.
Meghan revealed that she was, in fact, ‘not well’ and Harry’s candid comments about his broken relationship with his brother came as a bombshell not only to the public but to the royal family as well.
Meghan revealed that she was, in fact, ‘not well’ and Harry’s candid comments about his broken relationship with his brother came as a bombshell to the rest of the royal family.
A source said, “William didn’t know what his brother would say until he saw it on TV at the same time everyone else did.” ‘He didn’t know it was that bad. , , He was really worried about how weak his brother was.
But there was an equal concern about the tone of the interview.
“The royals felt Bradby was taking advantage of them at a very vulnerable time,” the source said.
‘I don’t totally buy it because Harry was desperate to talk about it and Bradby gave him the opportunity.’
In getting the story, Bradby should have known it would test his friendship with William.
In fact, it got scrapped because of it.
As a source told the paper at the time: ‘The friendship between William and Tom is over. Prince feels disappointed with Bradby and the way he has acted over the past few months.
‘William is a sensitive man and believes it is in times of crisis that you find out who your true friends are. It is fair to say that Bradby is not one of them.
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