Royal experts have blasted Harry’s ‘delusional’ assertions that he is ‘protecting’ the Queen and trying to make sure she has ‘the right people around her’ after he and Meghan quit royal duties, moved to California and plunged the Royal Family into crisis.
The duke’s remarks were also branded a ‘gross insult’ to Charles and William as NBC’s Today show aired an excerpt of their interview with the prince ahead of its full broadcast at midday today – just 24 hours before the elderly monarch’s 96th birthday. Harry and Meghan had visited the Queen for supposed ‘olive branch’ talks at Windsor Castle and met with Charles for just 15 minutes before flying out to Holland for the Invictus Games on what is the couple’s first public appearance in Europe together in two years.
After the ‘peace’ summit, it was then reported that the Sussexes had been invited to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations, in what was widely interpreted as a sign that tensions had cooled somewhat. But speaking to the Today show about his meeting with the Queen, the duke said: ‘Being with her it was great, it was just so nice to see her, she’s on great form.
She’s always got a great sense of humour with me and I’m just making sure that she’s protected and got the right people around her. Both Meghan and I had tea with her, so it was really nice to catch up with her.’ Royal experts claimed that Harry’s astonishing remark was a ‘gross insult’ to Charles and William, with both of whom he has a deeply strained relationship, and evidence that the duke ‘doesn’t deserve to attend the Jubilee celebrations and be on the Balcony’.
Others warned that Harry’s life risked becoming ‘totally distorted’ as he ‘becomes a Kardashian-type’. It comes after he and Meghan skipped Prince Philip’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey last month over ‘security concerns’ and after the couple made a string of damaging claims, including of racism, against the Royal Family in their Oprah sit-down.
The excerpt is also likely to have fuelled further fears in Buckingham Palace that the duke could drop more ‘truth-bombs’ in his new interview. Royal correspondent Robert Jobson tweeted: ‘Prince Harry says on US TV he is making sure the Queen is ‘protected and has the right people around her’. How so? I think you’ll find that Prince Charles and Her Majesty’s children and William are DOING just that and supporting the Queen, with actions – and not just words.’
Angela Levin, who wrote the book Harry: Conversations with the Prince, claimed: ‘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’.
And former Conservative MP David Mellor told 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.
Royal aides will be concerned about details from a private meeting being divulged, which come on top of fears over what could be contained in his forthcoming memoirs and Netflix documenting his every move at the Games.
‘I have no reason to believe – and, in fact, people say the Queen is still as sharp as a tack, I mean physically, obviously when you’re 95 you and I will probably look a little bit sad about getting around, but basically she’s bright – do you imagine for a single solitary moment she didn’t say to him: ‘Harry, what’s going on, why are you out there in California. Why have you thrown over the family business?”
Morning Show journalist Peter Ford angrily called the duke ‘delusional’, adding: ‘Prince Harry says he’s making sure The Queen is ‘protected & has ‘the right people around her’! Yet he was nowhere to be seen at Prince Philip’s memorial. He was busy talking to Oprah when Prince Philip was on his death bed! He’s delusional.’ The duke has already been accused in recent days of using his platform at the Games to promote BetterUp, the California mental health start-up for whom he is ‘chief impact officer’ – after the two announced a partnership.
‘Hoda Kotb sat down with Prince Harry to talk about the Invictus Game, his surprise visit with the Queen, and lie with his wife Meghan Markle,’ the Today show wrote on Twitter, while also sharing an image of Kotb, Harry, and one of the veterans taking part in the sporting event. Teasing the interview, Kotb’s co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Craig Melvin added that the Duke of Sussex will also discuss fatherhood and life with his and Meghan’s two children, Archie, two, and 10-month-old Lilibet.
Meghan will likely not appear in the Today show interview; she has already left the Netherlands and returned home to California in order to reunite with Archie and Lilibet, having confessed to a military veteran at the Invictus Games that she was missing her two children after being separated from them for the longest time since they were born. Meanwhile, Harry played table tennis and virtual golf as his visit to the Games continued on Tuesday.