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Princes William and Harry reportedly used to 'plant fake stories' about themselves among friends to test who would betray them to the press

Mikhaila Friel , Business Insider US
 Sep 12, 2019, 12:05 PM
Prince Harry and Prince William at Windsor Castle in May 2018.
  • Prince William, Harry, and other members of the royal family reportedly used to spread false stories about themselves among their friendship groups.
  • They did this to find out which of their friends would leak information to the press, according to The Sun's former royal editor Duncan Larcombe.
  • "I've spoken to William about it, and I do know that used to be something they did," Larcombe told Marie Claire.
  • For more stories, go to Business Insider SA.

Prince Harry and Prince William are two of the most talked about men in Britain.

Whether it's the latest on Harry's recent private jet use or William's daughter, Charlotte, embarking on her first day of school, the royals rarely stay out of the papers - so it's important they trust the people they socialise with.

According to The Sun's former royal editor Duncan Larcombe, the royals used to spread false stories about themselves to see which of their friends could be trusted not to leak information to the press.

"I've spoken to William about it, and I do know that used to be something they did," Larcombe told Marie Claire.

Larcombe added that he never found out which stories were fabricated by the royals.

Considering how much is written about them on a daily basis, it can be difficult to pinpoint what's true and what's false, unless something is directly confirmed by Buckingham Palace.

The palace often won't comment on reports - even the ones that are true - until they have published an official press release. In some cases, this can be weeks or months after a story first breaks.

For instance, Harry and Meghan Markle's upcoming working trip to South Africa was first first reported in April, but nothing was confirmed until two months later.

Since the duke and duchess created their own Instagram account in April, however, the couple have been favouring social media over the palace's traditional press office.

Their son, Archie Harrison, had his official christening ceremony in July. To the disappointment of royal fans, they only released two photos to the press.

However, they have released more information on their Instagram account, choosing this platform to first unveil Archie's name, alongside a photo of the newborn meeting Queen Elizabeth for the first time.

Their use of social media could be seen as a new way of hitting back at false stories.

Royal commentator Kristen Meinzer added that recent rumors of a feud between Harry, Meghan, Kate, and William is nothing more than a "common trope" among reality show fans.

"The British Royal Family is the longest running reality show of all time - meaning they've been in the press and history books for our consumption (and amusement) for hundreds of years," Meinzer, host of the podcast "When Meghan Met Harry," previously told Insider.

"But let's be real: nothing that's happening now is particularly scandalous. We have two good-looking couples and their young children. We have whispers of some drama between the two men. We have bored people speculating about the two women."

She added: "For reality show lovers, it's a common trope. But scratch the surface, and you'll usually find there's not much there."

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