An author has claimed that Prince Harry was going to pay a surprise visit to Queen Elizabeth II over his and Meghan Markle’s plans to step down from royal life. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced in January 2020 that they would be stepping down from royal duties and moving to the US. Harry and Meghan were unhappy as royals and were said to be frustrated with the lack of communication with other family members.
Royal author Valentine Low, who wrote ‘Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind the Crown’, said “Harry was incensed, because it was not true” that the Queen had become confused about her schedule and was no longer available, as he was allegedly told.
He said: “The courtiers had got in the way, it seemed, because they saw the meeting with the Queen as an attempt to pick the Queen off before Harry started talks with the rest of the family.”
He then quoted a source who says: “There was a danger that a private conversation could be interpreted very differently by two people.”
Mr Low added: “That was said to have made Harry so cross that for a while he considered driving straight from the airport to Sandringham to drop in on the Queen unannounced.
“He eventually dropped the idea, but it was a sign of his frustration that he even contemplated such a move.”
In an extract from Mr Low’s book, reported by the Times, a source also claimed it was Queen Elizabeth II who took the view that unless Harry and Meghan “were prepared to abide by the restrictions that applied to working members of the Royal Family, they could not be allowed to carry out official duties”.
A source said: “There was a very clear view: you can’t be in and out.
“And if you’ve got such clarity of view, it’s very difficult to say, ‘Why don’t we go 10 per cent this way instead of 20 per cent?’”
Mr Low also wrote in his book that “it is uncontroversial to suggest that the Sussexes would regard the talks as a failure” after the January 2020 talks with the Royal Family failed to yield a compromise.
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Both Harry and Meghan were in the UK for Queen Elizabeth II’s death, and remained until after her funeral.
The Duke issued a statement on his and Meghan’s Archewell website in tribute to the late monarch, where Harry said: “Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings — from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren.
“I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over.
“And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III.”
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On September 10, Prince William and Kate, the Princess of Wales reunited with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex when they viewed floral tributes left for the Queen outside Windsor Castle.
According to a royal source, William extended the invitation to Harry to appear publicly together as he believed it was “an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family”.
Omid Scobie, executive royal editor for Yahoo! News and author of Finding Freedom, a biography on the Sussexes, said at the time: “The Waleses had always been scheduled to greet well-wishers at Windsor Castle, but royal sources say the decision to invite the Sussexes was made in the eleventh hour.
“It is, without a doubt, a significant moment in the history of the relationship between the two brothers.
“Just as we saw after the death of Prince Philip and at his funeral, these are the moments when members of the Royal Family can put differences to one side to focus on the loss that brought them together.”
It comes as another forthcoming book about the tensions within the royal family claimed Queen Elizabeth II was left “very hurt” by the Duke and Duchess of Susssex’s decision to step down as senior royals.
In the forthcoming book ‘The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown’, a source close to the Queen claimed the late monarch “was exhausted by the turmoil” of Harry and Meghan’s decision to leave the Royal Family.
“She was very hurt and told me, ‘I don’t know, I don’t care, and I don’t want to think about it anymore,’” the source said, according to an extract of the book which was published in Vanity Fair.