Prince Harry may feel he ‘has nothing to lose’ after being evicted from Frogmore Cottage and has saved ‘plenty of ammunition’ to fire at his family during a Q&A promoting Spare with a controversial ‘toxic trauma’ speaker tomorrow, experts warned today.
The Duke of Sussex is hosting an ‘intimate’ £17-a-head virtual conference to discuss ‘living with loss and the importance of personal healing’ with Dr Gabor Maté, 79, at 5pm GMT tomorrow.
Buckingham Palace will be watching with trepidation, given the prince’s score-settling memoir was full of attacks on his father and brother. What Harry says tomorrow will influence whether he and Meghan get a coronation invite, one expert believes.
Charles is said to have started the process of kicking the Sussexes out of their only British home – and later offered the keys to Prince Andrew – 24 hours after learning of the repeated broadsides at Queen Consort Camilla in the Duke’s bestselling memoir.
Royal biographer Phil Dampier said: ‘The King and Prince William would have hoped that Harry calmed down and stopped giving interviews after the publicity interviews he did for Spare but it seems not.
‘In fact he may feel he has nothing to lose after bring booted out of Frogmore Cottage. So sadly, with just nine weeks to the Coronation, relations between him and his family seem to be getting worse, not better’.
The livestream tomorrow costs £17 and comes with a free hardback copy of the duke’s memoir
Gabor Maté, 79, will join Harry (pictured with US chat-show host Stephen Colbert while promoting Spare) tomorrow to discuss ‘living with loss and the importance of personal healing’, followed by a live Q and A
It came amid the row over Harry’s choice of co-host, Dr Gabor Maté, a man who has compared Hamas to the Jewish heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising against the Nazis and once branded Israel’s government terrorists. He has also defended Palestinian rocket fire at Israeli civilians.
Commentator Richard Fitzwilliams said: ‘Who on earth does Harry take advice from? It also raises the question of whether Meghan is advising him and what the couple are making of their collapsed ratings in opinion polls in the United States’.
Mr Dampier believes Harry may feel he has ‘nothing to lose’ and ‘doesn’t care anymore’ after his Frogmore eviction – and could be ready to launch fresh attacks on his father, step-mother and brother.
Charles will be keeping an eye on what he says, and could even consider tearing up any coronation invite depending what he says, he claims.
Mr Dampier said: ‘Goodness only knows what he will say in this show. It will be part publicity for his book and part therapy.
‘He has said his book could have been double the length so he still has plenty of ammunition.
‘His personal attacks could get much more vicious, which could result in him and Meghan not being invited in May.
‘The Palace will fear he lobs in more of his truth bombs just when they thought things were dying down.
‘The King has always made it clear he wants to invite them but his patience must be wearing thin.
‘The interview looks like the sort of event where Harry will be encouraged to let it all hang out in true California style.
‘If he truly wants his father and brother back I would advise him not to do it and it makes you wonder who is advising him now and whether he listens to them.
‘Perhaps he is past the point of no return and simply doesn’t care anymore, which is tragic’.
Royal commentator Richard Fitzwilliams told MailOnline that Buckingham Palace will be watching Harry’s virtual summit tomorrow with trepidation fearing more ‘truth bombs’ will be dropped.
‘Harry has been in therapy for years but when and Meghan call for a better, fairer world they nonetheless continue their public attacks on the Royal Family’, he said.
‘Whenever Harry appears in public the Palace is right to be concerned about what he may say. Here he will be answering questions submitted by members of the public, which may well involve issues which are sensitive for the royal family.
There are also grave concerns over the choice of Dr Gabor Mate as his co-host, given his controversial views.
Mr Fitzwilliams said: ‘When he discussed losing his virginity, his experiments with drugs and penile frostbite in the way he did in Spare he became a laughing stock. He is in urgent need of serious public relations advice.
‘In his new online event to promote Spare he will be joined by Dr Gabor Mate, a highly controversial figure with unorthodox views on the activities of Hamas and on decriminalising drugs.
‘They run the risk, now they are being evicted from Frogmore, of being seen as royals without a purpose. It remains unclear what their aim, beyond some philanthropic work, actually is, especially now they are so publicly estranged from the Royal Family’.
Harry’s memoirs are dominated by the death of his mother Princess Diana in 1997. Dr Maté, a Hungarian-Canadian physician, has his own harrowing story. Born in Nazi-occupied Budapest in 1944, when he was five months old his maternal grandparents were among the Jews murdered in Auschwitz. He was taken from his mother and hidden with an aunt until the war ended.
But it is not clear if Harry is aware of some of the controversies – and hurt – Dr Maté has caused with some of his words, especially on Israel and Palestine.
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, of the Simon Wiesenthal Center in New York, told the Jewish Chronicle: ‘Whoever made the arrangements to have this individual appear with Prince Harry, did him no favours. If Prince Harry knew this man’s record and still chose him for the interview, our center would criticise the prince for such an inappropriate choice.’
Rabbi Abraham Cooper, of the Simon Wiesenthal Centre in New York, told the Jewish Chronicle: ‘Whoever made the arrangements to have this individual appear with Prince Harry, did him no favours’
Dr Mate has also recently defended Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters and former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn from claims of anti-Semitism.
He has also appeared on a left-wing YouTube channel: The Grayzone, which has been branded pro-Kremlin.
MailOnline has contacted a representative of Prince Harry for comment and asked if the event is still going ahead and whether Harry was aware of the controversies surrounding Gabor Maté before the event was organised.
It is not yet clear who put Harry and Dr Maté together, and if they have spent time together in the past.
There is some speculation that Meghan could know him, given that he has links to Toronto and she lived there while filming Suits.
It could be the publishers of Spare or one of the Sussexes’ team who put them in touch.
Archewell’s executive director is Briton, James Holt one of Prince Harry’s longest-serving team members, having led communications for the Royal Foundation from October 2017, when it was run by Harry along with Prince William and Kate Middleton.
Mr Holt, who has previously worked for the Liberal Democrats, also acted as Harry and Meghan Markle’s UK spokesman and took on the role of executive director of the Archewell Foundation in March 2020. He is now based in LA.
There is also Mandana Dayani, who Harry and Meghan hired as a tech and media executive in June 2021.
There is also Ashley Momtaheni, one of the Sussexes’ most recent hires. She joined last May as executive vice president for global communications.
In 2021 Gabor Maté said in an online event that Hamas was ‘nothing compared to the terrorism of the Israeli government’, accusing Israel of wanting to seize all of ‘biblical Palestine’ beyond the Jordan.
He also appeared on a podcast with left-wing comic Russell Brand, saying of Israel: ‘It’s the longest ethnic-cleansing operation in the 20th and 21st centuries. It’s still going on.’
He then described Gaza as ‘the world’s largest outdoor prison’.
In another controversy, writing in the Toronto Star, he compared Hamas terrorists to the heroes of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising – the 1943 Jewish rebellion in German-occupied Poland
Dr Mate said in in 2014: ‘The Palestinians use tunnels? So did my heroes, the poorly armed fighters of the Warsaw Ghetto.’
Defending the firing of rockets from Palestine into Israel, he said: ‘Out of impotent defiance, they fire inept rockets, causing terror for innocent Israelis but rarely physical harm’.
He has spoken in friendly terms of Pink Floyd star Roger Waters, recently described as ‘antisemitic to [his] rotten core’.
Gabor Maté also taken in part in discussions hosted by a far-left, pro-Kremlin blog and defended Jeremy Corbyn against charges of antisemitism, according to The JC.
Trauma expert Gabor Maté with his wife, Rae, who he married in 1969
Dr Maté is a Hungarian-Canadian best-selling author and physician who specialises in addiction and childhood development
King Charles (left) issued notice to the Sussexes (seen right, at Frogmore) that they would need to vacate the five-bedroom mansion on Tuesday
Harry will speak publicly tomorrow as the rift with his family appeared to deepen this week.
His father appears to have retaliated to Spare by evicting the Sussexes from their grace-and-favour UK home.
The couple no longer have a base in Britain – in an act their allies say they consider to be ‘cruel’.
And a wrangle over money could also follow.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry could be owed a ‘refund’ after they were kicked out of Frogmore Cottage having spent £2.4million on refurbishments and apparently paying for rent up front.
King Charles issued notice to the Sussexes that they would need to vacate the five-bedroom mansion on Tuesday in a dramatic move reportedly prompted by the repeated broadsides at Queen Consort Camilla in the Duke’s memoir, Spare.
The decision was backed both by his wife and the Prince and Princess of Wales, it is understood.
However, it has now prompted questions as to whether the Crown Estate, which leases out Frogmore to the Sussexes, might actually end up owing the couple money.
The Sussexes were given use of Frogmore Cottage in 2018 by Queen Elizabeth amid their explosive fall-out with William and Katherine.
It was originally five, run-down, staff residences but was knocked back into one large home with a private garden initially using £2.4million in taxpayers’ money.
The couple themselves paid for anything over and above basic fixtures and fittings.
At the time, the couple were said to be ‘relieved and pleased’ to refund taxpayers for the renovations.
‘They are ‘very relieved and very pleased’ to have been able to pay off the debt so quickly,’ a source close to them told Vanity Fair’s Katie Nicholl.
‘This has been a pro-active step and something they wanted to do from the outset.
‘There was no requirement [from the Queen] for them to pay the money back but it was important to them that they did, and after the Netflix deal they were in a position to do so. I think this is quite a significant moment for them.’
New data from the US shows the drop in the couple’s approval ratings over the last three months
The source added: ‘They’re now in their forever home, it’s the start of their new life and they’re very much looking forward to everything that’s about to come.’
Gabor Maté has 20 years’ experience working with people suffering from addiction and mental illness, with other specialisms such as stress and child development. But it has since emerged he once caused concern with the authorities for using a ‘spiritual’ psychedelic drug to treat patients.
He was born in Budapest in 1944, his maternal grandparents were killed in Auschwitz when he was five months old.
Tragically he was separated from his mother as a baby to save his life, while his father was subjected to forced labour by the Nazis.
The academic has described how he was unable to look at his mother when they were finally reunited when he was a toddler due to feelings of ‘abandonment, rage and despair’.
He says the trauma he suffered continues to affect his adult life, leading to an intense emotional reaction when he perceives a threat of abandonment, especially from his wife.
He also believes it may have shaped his ‘addiction’ to shopping for classical music.
‘As I was writing about my hardcore, drug-addicted clients I was certainly able to recognize similar areas in myself and in their behaviors,’ he told Classical Voice in 2013.
‘Working through the emotional dynamics and being with the emptiness that addictions attempt to fill, it just helped me understand myself better.’
The author is an outspoken supporter of decriminalising drugs, and has used the Amazonian plant ayahuasca to treat patients suffering from mental illness.
The psychedelic plant, which is taken as a brewed drink, causes people to experience hallucinations and other side effects, including vomiting.
Ayahuasca has traditionally been used by shamans and traditional healers but is now popular among Western tourists.
It remains illegal in the US, UK and Canada, and in 2011 Canadian officials threatened to arrest Dr Maté if he didn’t stop using the drug to treat his patients.
Dr Maté regularly airs his opinions on a range of topics, and in 2021 appeared on a podcast series by the comedian Russell Brand where he discussed the Israel-Palestine conflict.
‘There’s no way you could have ever created a Jewish state without oppressing and expelling the local population,’ he said.
Dr Maté called Gaza the ‘world’s largest outdoor prison,’ and said that ‘given those conditions, of course people will go for extremist leadership’ – a reference to the 2006 election victory of Hamas.
‘The disproportion of power and responsibility and oppression is so markedly on one side, that you take the worst thing you can say about Hamas, multiply it by a thousand times – and it still will not meet the Israeli repression, and killing, and dispossession of Palestinians,’ he said.
He has published a series of books including In the Realm of Hungry Ghosts, Close Encounters With Addiction, When the Body Says No, The Cost of Hidden Stress and Scattered Minds: The Origins and Healing of Attention Deficit Disorder.
He has received the Civic Merit Award of the City of Vancouver and the Order of Canada for his work on addiction and other mental health-related contributions.
Prince Harry’s decision to select Dr Maté to help promote his memoir is another sign of his interest in therapeutic healing, having previously discussed his experience of going through therapy.
The event, organised in collaboration with Harry’s publishers Penguin Random House, will take place at 5pm UK time on Saturday March 4.
It comes at a fragile time for the Sussexes, who have seen their popularity ratings in the US drop significantly since the release of Spare last month – and now face a decision over whether to attend Charles’ coronation.
Since December last year, Harry’s popularity has sunk by 48 points and Meghan’s by 40, giving them net approval ratings of -10 and -17 respectively, according to a survey by Redfield & Wilton for Newsweek.
Sources suggest neither William nor King Charles are prepared to offer any apology prior to the coronation, meaning the Sussexes may stay away.
‘There is still a huge amount of ill-will boiling over in the family,’ one said.
Save the date cards are set to be sent in two weeks to the 2,000 guests who have been chosen to attend the pared-down spring ceremony.
Numbers have been reduced from the 8,251 who attended Queen Elizabeth II’s coronation in 1953 to make the event more streamlined amid the cost of living crisis.
Formal invitations to those who have indicated they will accept will not be posted until three weeks before the event itself.
One well-placed source says Harry has made it clear that he wants a private apology of some sort from both Charles and William if he is to attend.
It is unclear whether Meghan will attend the ceremony if Harry chooses to do so, but as the date chosen for the coronation also falls on their son Archie’s fourth birthday, there are doubts she will be present regardless of the ongoing family feud.