Prince Harry didn’t say if he missed his British family
The Duke of Sussex snubbed Charles and William by failing to mention them, saying his focus is on his Invictus Games “guys” before he returns to the US to “my family who I miss massively”. As his grandmother turned 96 today, Harry said in the bombshell NBC interview he did not know if he would return to the UK for celebrations marking her 70 years on the throne.
Questioned by Hoda Kotb in The Hague where injured veterans are competing in the Games, he delivered a series of damning barbs.
After the Duke said he missed his wife Meghan and their children Archie and Lilibet, the Today Show host asked him directly: “But do you miss your brother, your dad?”
Prince Harry replied: “Look I mean, for me at the moment, I’m here focused on these guys [Invictus competitors] and these families and giving everything that I can, 120 percent, to them to make sure they have the experience of a lifetime.”
He added: “That’s my focus here. And when I leave here, I get back and my focus is on my family who I miss massively.”
Asked to clarify if he will attend the Queen’s anniversary celebrations, Harry, 37, shot back: “I don’t know yet. There’s lots of things with security issues and everything else. So, this is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that I can get my kids to meet her.”
But in an extraordinary sideswipe, the Prince suggested pointedly he visited his grandmother at Windsor Castle recently to ensure she was surrounded by the correct staff: “I’m just making sure that she’s, you know, protected and got the right people around her.”
Prince Charles and son William have been ‘distant’ from Harry
That was seen in Royal circles as a dig at the monarch’s closest aides – including her private secretary Sir Edward Young, who was accused by Harry of failing to do enough to support his wife Meghan when she joined the Royal Family.
The relationship that the sixth in line to the throne has with Prince Charles and the Duke of Cambridge has been severely strained since long before he and Meghan, 40, quit their royal duties in March 2020.
The Queen has extended an olive branch by making it clear that the Sussexes plus Archie, two, and 10-month-old Lilibet, are welcome to join the rest of the wider Royal Family at some of her Jubilee events in the summer, possibly on the Buckingham Palace balcony.
But Harry – citing security issues over the Government’s refusal to give him automatic access to specialist Scotland Yard bodyguards and intelligence – said he did not know if the family would fly in from their California home.
Asked to name the best thing about his gran, he said: “Her sense of humour and her ability to see humour in so many different silly things.
“We have a really special relationship, we talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else.
“But I think after a certain age you get bored of birthdays.”
Harry and his family have been welcomed into the royal family
When questioned if the monarch would be bored with her Platinum events, he laughed: “No, I don’t think so.
“She’s had a few jubilees now, everyone is slightly different but I’m sure she’s looking forward to it. It was really nice to see her. To be able to see her in some element of privacy was nice. I hadn’t had the chance to go back the UK for couple of years apart from those two times.
“One for my grandfather’s funeral and one for unveiling a statue of my mum.
“I had tea with her. It was really nice to catch up with her and, you know, home for me now is, you know, for the time being, it’s in the States. And it feels that way as well.” Harry – who was seen enjoying the Games’ indoor rowing competition with a woman spectator and baby yesterday – opened up about his mother, Princess Diana, saying: “It is almost as though she’s done her bit with my brother and now she’s very much, like, helping me.
“Got him set up. And now she’s helping me set up. That’s what it feels like, you know?
“He’s got his kids. I’ve got my kids, you know the circumstances are obviously different.
“But now, I feel her presence in almost everything that I do now. But definitely more so in the last two years than ever before. Without question. She’s watching over us.”
Princess Diana is known among her grandchildren
The Duke said he and Meghan had told Archie about his late grandmother, who was killed in a Paris car crash in August 1997:
“(We) tell him all the stuff that happened…‘This is Grandma Diana’ and we’ve got a couple of photos up in the house.” Harry added about his son: “He’s into the Why? stage. ‘Why this? Why that? Why that?’
“Instead of just trying to move it on, I give him the most honest answer I can. And then it goes on and on and on until he’s satisfied.
“And then that’s it. It’s done. Otherwise it ends up with ‘Because the world is round and that is the way life is.’”
The Prince, who has been trailed by a Netflix crew in The Netherlands as part of a commercial deal he and Meghan signed with the streaming service, has claimed it is not safe for his family to be in Britain as the authorities decided to assess the risks to them on a case-by-case basis. Last summer he was denied taxpayer-funded police protection.
Buckingham Palace insiders noted that he is suing her Government over his security arrangements and has questioned the Queen’s parenting skills by suggesting his father was damaged by his upbringing, as well as accusing his family and the institution of monarchy of racism.
The Duke’s comment about “protecting” the monarch has been interpreted as a rebuke to some of her closest aides, including Sir Edward who is understood to have insisted that the Sussexes met Charles and his wife Camilla while they were in the UK to see the Queen last week.
The royal siblings are believed to have not had much communication
Another likely target is Angela Kelly, the Queen’s personal adviser, clothes designer and curator of her jewellery collection.
The 64-year-old, who spends more time with the Queen than most courtiers do, is said to have annoyed Harry after an argument over which tiara Meghan would wear to their wedding in St George’s Chapel, Windsor in 2018.
The Prince also told NBC presenter Ms Kotb about his life in the United States: “We’ve been welcomed with open arms and have such a great community up in Santa Barbara.”
The couple moved to Montecito, near Santa Barbara in California, following their decision to step down as senior royals two years ago.
They claimed they wanted a fresh life of personal and financial freedom after the Queen refused to allow them to be “half-in and half-out” working royals.
Harry flew back from California without Meghan, who was heavily pregnant at the time, to attend his grandfather Prince Philip’s funeral in Windsor in April 2021.
He also returned to the UK to help unveil a statue of Diana in the Sunken Garden at London’s Kensington Palace on July 1 2021 with his brother the Duke of Cambridge. But he did not fly back to attend a national memorial service at Westminster Abbey for his grandfather last month.
Harry flew back for the funeral of Prince Philip solo
The Prince’s biographer Angela Levin commented yesterday: “Harry’s comment on US TV about him checking the Queen is protected is a gross insult to Prince Charles and William.
“He’s underlined even more that he doesn’t deserve to attend the Jubilee celebrations and be on the balcony.” While former Conservative health Secretary David Mellor said on GB News: ‘On came the news about Harry saying his granny needs to be protected and I fell about.
“This was a real comic turn. The most best-paid comedian couldn’t be funnier than that.
“What is the man on? Or rather what is he off?
“I mean, you just think to yourself, ‘He is really showing signs’. But I think what it is, his life is totally distorted now by becoming a Kardashian-type figure, where he’s surrounded by people who want to photograph him because they’re paying him lots of money for the privilege of filming him.
“And the Queen becomes important to him only because he has to see the Queen for his credibility on Netflix.”
Analysis by Christopher Wilson
It had promised a bombshell, but delivered a whimper. In the end, Prince Harry’s latest TV interview did do one thing, though. It exposed just how precarious his position as a runaway royal has become in the two years since he fled Britain.
The expectation was he would return to the attack on his family. There is, after all, no disguising the fact the prince is at daggers drawn with William and completely out of favour with his father.
Instead, he limited his criticism to a single barb, when referring to the Queen: “I’m just making sure she’s protected and has got the right people around her.”
But what exactly did those ominous words mean? He never explained.
Some believe the attack was aimed at the Queen’s private secretary Sir Edward Young. Last year, it was revealed that Young “had lacked the imagination to find a fulfilling role for Meghan after her marriage,” according to royal biographer Robert Lacey.
If indeed Young was the cause of Meghan’s disappointment with her royal role, and the reason for the Sussexes’ unexpected move to America, it would help explain Harry’s curious claim about the Queen having the “right people” around her.
What did emerge from the self-serving TV chat is that it’s by no means certain Harry and Meghan will be on the Buckingham Palace balcony, as promised, for the Platinum Jubilee.
When asked to confirm his plans he gave an evasive answer, citing “security” as an issue. He had no problems with security visiting Her Majesty just the other day though. Could it be that he has not been invited?
Certainly, it became clear that the Prince is struggling with his life. If his father becomes King in the short term – with the family’s open sore still unhealed – the Duke of Sussex may find himself exiled for life, just as the Duke of Windsor did.
The royal family has suffered colossal injury through his behaviour. When Charles becomes King, he could hardly be blamed for choosing to downgrade Harry’s status, stripping him of his appointments and turning him into plain Henry Windsor.
It’s time Harry learned to shut up and concentrate on delivering the mantra he rolled out on TV yesterday – “trying to make the world a better place”.