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Prince Harry was ‘incensed’ after courtiers ‘got in the way’ of Queen meeting, book claims

The Independent logo The Independent 26/09/2022 Joanna Whitehead
Harry and Meghan step back from royal family: What next?

Prince Harry was reportedly “incensed” after a private meeting with the Queen to discuss his and Meghan Markle’s decision to step back from royal duties was allegedly hampered by courtiers.

A forthcoming book by The Times’ royal correspondent Valentine Low claims that Harry sent an email to his father, King Charles III, stating that he and wife, Meghan Markle, were unhappy, that their current set-up within the royal family was “not working for them”, and that they wanted to go and live in North America.

In an excerpt published in The Times, Low spoke to members of the royal household for his book Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind The Crown and claims that Harry was under the impression such a decision could simply be “sorted out by email”.

The discovery that more family negotiations would be required and that such a decision could take weeks to resolve apparently “went down incredibly badly” with Harry.

In a bid to speed up matters, Harry arranged to meet with the Queen alone before he left for Canada.

However, the message was apparently conveyed to him that the Queen had been “confused” about her diary and was no longer available.

According to the book, Harry was “incensed”, believing this to be untrue and that it was the courtiers who had intercepted such a meeting, because they feared it was “an attempt to pick the Queen off” before more formal talks with the wider family commenced.

“There was a danger that a private conversation could be interpreted very differently by two people,” a royal source claimed.

The move was said to have infuriated Harry so much that he considered driving straight from the airport to Sandringham to call on the Queen unannounced, a decision that was eventually dropped, but which indicated how frustrated he was by the situation.

Harry and Meghan were reportedly frustrated by failed attempts at a compromise with the royal family (Getty Images) © Provided by The Independent Harry and Meghan were reportedly frustrated by failed attempts at a compromise with the royal family (Getty Images)

The couple subsequently announced their plans to step down on 8 January, suggesting that official talks did go ahead imminently, but such “inflexibility” from the palace was reported to infuriate them.

According to the book, Harry and Meghan felt “cornered, misunderstood and deeply unhappy” about their predicament.

The Independent has contacted the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s representatives for comment.

In another forthcoming book about the tensions within the royal family, Queen Elizabeth II was reportedly 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 has revealed that the late monarch “was exhausted by the turmoil” of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’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.

On 10 September, the Prince and 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, Prince William extended the invitation to Prince Harry to appear publicly together as he believed it was “an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family”.

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