That sound you can hear is the world turning on Kate Middleton.

You might imagine, that having had a front-row seat, twice now, to the public shaming, harassment and humiliation doled out to royal women under a spotlight, Harry might not have turned his so unflinchingly on Kate. It felt, reading Spare, ungenerous for him to be so scathing about her. 

Maybe we just found out the truth of why he was. 

Of course, Scobie is saying that he didn’t collaborate with Harry or Meghan on his book. But, cynics will point out, he said that about the last book. And then changed his story. 

Either way, Princess vs Duchess is an irresistible tabloid scenario. This story has given that drama new legs and it comes at a bad time for Kate. 

In two weeks the final few episodes of The Crown drop. It’s largely about her, and William. And it’s easy to imagine how affected her public image will be by the likely narrative that her mother, Carole, bred her girls to hunt royal husbands. Given that we know so little about the “real” Kate, we’re particularly suggestible to a fictionalised version, and if that version is that she was a gold-digger, a scheming, glory-hunting professional princess-in-waiting, it will stick. 

Also, whispers of racism are particularly damaging for Kate because Kate is still doing an inherently problematic job in an inherently problematic institution. Last year, she and William faced a new reality head-on when their tour of the Caribbean turned out to be far from a glimmering success. The imagery of privileged white royals, in all their ceremonial splendour, waving from a distance or shaking hands through a chainlink fence with people of colour in territories pushing for slavery reparations from Britain, is not cute.

Travelling around the Commonwealth doing exactly that is a big part of the job, and there aren’t many royals to share that job with any more. And everywhere they go, the legacy of colonialism is there, no longer silent, no longer beneath the surface, but front and centre in renewed pushes for damages and swings to republicanism.