Prince Harry has been sent a warning about ‘washing his dirty linen in public’ – by a mother who was once at the centre of aroyal scandal.
Melanie Cable-Alexander, 59, had an affair with Lord Snowdon, the ex-husband of theQueen's sister,Princess Margaret, in the 1990s. The relationship produced her son Jasper – and saw her pursued by tabloid newspapers desperate to buy her story, and offering wild sums of up to £1million.
But she said she decided against taking the money because she wanted to protect Jasper – adding she realised the more she spoke, the more she would ‘fan the flames’, and the story would linger until her son was old enough to read it.
She said that desire was why she was ‘astonished’ by Prince Harry’s revelations in his bookSpare.
She wrote in the D aily Mail: “Each time I read or hear another word by him about his rift with the royals or the misery of his life pre-Meghan, I wince for his two young children.
“With so much dirty linen being washed in public, so many accusations flung, how on earth is it going to affect Archie, aged three, and one-year-old Lilibet, in future?
“At this rate, I fear Harry is perpetuating for his own children those same feelings of vulnerability, insecurity and 'spareness' that he himself so palpably possesses.”
Journalist Melanie was features editor at the magazine Country Life when she met photographer Tony Snowdon in 1997.
Lord Snowdon, who was known as Antony Armstrong-Jones until the Queen awarded him a hereditary earldom, had been husband to Princess Margaret from 1960 to 1978 but at this time he was married to second wife, Lucy Lindsay-Hogg.
Melanie, 34 at the time, began a four-year relationship with him and Jasper was born in 1998.
The pair kept their relationship secret at first but soon the truth emerged and when news of her son’s existence broke, Melanie said she had 72 journalists camped outside her front door.
Melanie described how she was glad social media did not exist at the time as she might not have survived the media storm. She added that some commentators concluded she was ugly and had become pregnant deliberately to ensnare Snowdon.
The relationship saw her labelled a 'harlot' and a 'gold digger'. She described how she raised her son single-handedly while still at Country Life and some mornings she could barely move with exhaustion.
She wrote: “Yet I refused to seek 'revenge' or lash out against those I felt had done me wrong.”
Melanie said she did give one interview with the approval of Lord Snowdon which helped her buy a property at a stage when she and seven month old Jasper had nowhere to live.
She added: “But what I did not do was broadcast my own hurt and complex feelings, as Harry has done so toxically.”
Melanie said Harry should “let go of his fractured soul and ego”, and focus on his own family instead – as it would make him happier to think of them more than himself.
Melanie added she and Lord Snowdon remained close friends until hisdeath in 2017.
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