The Daily Beast understands that Prince William has no desire for his brother to attend Queen Elizabeth’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June, fearing his presence would overshadow the celebrations and damage the dignity of the proceedings. “Harry’s presence on British soil is not welcomed by his brother,” one source said. “Last time Harry came to the U.K., William managed to be in the Alps. These things don’t happen by accident. William is sick of the sight and sound of his kid brother. He doesn’t want him there.
”Fueling speculation that Harry won’t make an appearance is that a newly formed polo team that Harry has joined with his friend Nacho Figueras has said that it intended to play a series of matches this summer, one of which falls on the first weekend of June. The source told The Daily Beast that William would be “quite content” if Harry was unable to make the celebrations because he was “playing polo in California rather than standing next to his brother pretending to be friends.” Of course, every polo team has backup and reserve players, and Omid Scobie, the reporter who penned the pro-Sussex biography Finding Freedom, cautioned on Twitter against reading too much into the scheduling of games.
The queen is understood to still personally wish that her grandson will attend, and to be ready to facilitate him to do so. However, Buckingham Palace and Kensington Palace declined to comment when asked if their principals wanted Harry to attend the Jubilee celebrations. The uncomfortable truth, four weeks out from what should be one of the most historic celebrations of majesty in British history, is that the dominant theme pervading the atmosphere is uncertainty.Not only does no one know for certain whether Harry will attend any or all of the series of events, which run from Thursday to Sunday in the first week of June, but there is also significant doubt over whether the queen will be there herself.
The palace has been quietly letting it be known that her attendance is by no means guaranteed, and this week there came a new bombshell: Her Majesty will not be attending four pre-Jubilee garden parties scheduled to take place this month in London and Scotland. A source at Buckingham Palace told The Daily Beast that “the format of the parties in terms of length of time they last and the traditional amount of time standing” were “key factors in other family members attending on her behalf.” All sources that the Daily Beast have spoken to agree it is still quite possible that Harry, however angry he is with his family—and despite the historic low watermark that his relations with his brother have hit—could attend the Jubilee, largely out of respect for his grandmother.
It should be noted that in his Today show interview with Hoda Kotb he suggested he was “trying” to do just that, and also wanted to introduce his youngest child to Her Majesty, but that various logistical and “security issues” needed to be sorted out first. It was notable that in his interview with Kotb, Harry, when asked if he missed his brother (or father), declined to answer the question. It is quite clear that the relationship between Harry and William is as bad as it has ever been, not helped by nervousness on William’s part around the convention-shattering decision of Harry to write an “entirely honest” memoir, due to be published later this year, which William fears may seek to damage the monarchy.
Adding to the animus is that William and his family were deeply dismayed by Harry going on American TV just days after meeting his grandmother and suggesting that she was not being properly looked after and that it was up to him to make sure she was “protected” and had “the right people around her.”It damaged what little trust was left after several years of feuding between Harry and William, including Harry’s allegation on Oprah that William was “trapped” in the royal family and that Kate made Meghan cry in the run-up to her wedding, and that the palace then failed to correct newspaper reports saying that the opposite happened.
Emily Andrews, a seasoned royal observer and former royal editor for the Sun and the Mail on Sunday, told The Daily Beast: “William is a pragmatist so I’m sure he can see the benefits in Harry not coming. It would be a lot simpler for everyone. It’s a celebration of the queen and her dutiful longevity, but if Harry and Meghan come, all the focus will be on them rather than her. But William has played his cards very close to his chest throughout the whole thing and said nothing about it to anyone, so you can be sure he would not be actively agitating for Harry not to come.
“The bigger question is whether Harry wants to come. Remember, Harry believes the press killed his mother. His objective now, as he has said himself, is to stop the press killing his wife or children. That fear may be paranoia, but it is how he authentically feels. The platinum jubilee is a four-day event where press and photographers would know his location at all times. I can see him not signing up for that, and perhaps coming over again on a private visit with the children later in the year.
“The truth is that a final decision hasn’t been taken yet and is unlikely to be taken until about a week before the jubilee.” The royal author and YouTuber Lady Colin Campbell told The Daily Beast: “William does not want Harry to be there. He thinks the Sussex drama will turn the whole thing into a dog and pony show.”