Queen's 96th birthday mired by feud over Harry's latest outbursts

Queen's 96th birthday mired by feud over Harry's latest outbursts

April 21, 2022

Royals rally around the Queen as Harry’s latest TV bombshell overshadows her 96th birthday: Charles at ‘end of his tether’ over ‘loose cannon’ son after he claimed that HE’S ‘protecting’ monarch – and refused to say he missed his father and Prince William

  • The Queen turns 96 today with quiet celebrations at Sandringham followed by visits from family and friends 
  • Duke and Duchess of Cambridge lead tributes to the monarch who is weeks from her Platinum Jubilee 
  • Harry, 37, was speaking to Today from the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, where he is spending the week
  • Royal staff said his delusion knew ‘no bounds’ and accused him of ‘breath-taking arrogance’ over interview
  • The Duke refused to say whether he misses his father Prince Charles and that he wanted to ‘protect’ Queen 
  • He also declined to say if he, his wife and children will come to London to celebrate grandmother’s jubilee 

The Queen’s family focused on her 96th birthday today as Harry’s potshots on US TV continued to upset the royals amid fears the ‘loose cannon’ prince could air more dirty laundry to millions having been accused of sharing secrets and ‘selling his soul’ to Netflix.

Her Majesty turned 96 today happily ensconced in her treasured Sandringham estate – also beloved by Prince Philip – as Buckingham Palace pointedly chose not to comment on more provocation from her Montecito-based grandson.

Prince Charles is said to be at the end of his tether with his youngest son as palace staff who cared for Her Majesty throughout the pandemic accused the Duke of Sussex of ‘breathtaking arrogance’ over his suggestion his grandmother needs extra protection. 

He also risked further fuelling the rift with his estranged older brother by stating that their late mother, Diana, Princess of Wales, was now watching over him from beyond the grave as ‘she’s done her bit’ with Prince William and his family. 

The Queen is celebrating her birthday with little fuss today – and tributes have poured in from her family including William and Kate. To mark the occasion, a glorious photograph has been released of Her Majesty standing with two of her own favourite fell ponies, Bybeck Nightingale and Bybeck Katie.

The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge shared a picture of them with the Queen and said on Instagram: ‘Wishing Her Majesty The Queen a very happy 96th birthday today! An inspiration to so many across the UK, the Commonwealth and the world, it’s particularly special to be celebrating in this Platinum Jubilee year’.

But Buckingham Palace was left reeling after his NBC TV appearance in which the prince opened up on his ‘special’ relationship with his grandmother, and his very public claim that she confides in him things she can’t talk to anyone else about. And in a barbed comment he said of his visit: ‘I’m just making sure that she’s protected and got the right people around her’.  

Royal expert Penny Junor said of Harry: ‘He’s a loose cannon. He was a loose cannon as a teenager and a young man. He came spectacularly good when he was in the Army and with his charity work. Then, after his marriage, things seemed to go to pot again and he is unpredictable in the things he has said and done’.

Ms Junor said that she believes that Harry’s interventions will foster more distrust with his family and palace aides, who will fear there will be more to come on Netflix, Spotify and in his upcoming memoirs, which are bringing in tens of millions of pounds for him and his family.

She told The Sun: ‘When he had a conversation with his father and William after Prince Philip’s funeral that was leaked and then reported by Gayle King on CBS in America days later so I think the family should be wary of him if he comes to the Platinum Jubilee.

‘He is under contract to Netflix for a lot of money and they are going to get their money’s worth.

‘I fear he has slightly sold his soul to the devil. Any network is hungry for news and gossip about the Royal Family and the closer you can get to the real deal the better. And he is the real deal. You can’t have a situation where Netflix or any other US channel is going to be reporting private conversations. I fear no good can come of this.’   

Harry, 37, was speaking to breakfast show Today (pictured above, with presenter Hoda Kotb) from the Invictus Games in the Netherlands, where he is spending the week after flying in from California with wife Meghan. His remarks have caused more upset for the royal family, experts have said

Prince Harry and Meghan visit the sitting volleyball section of the fifth edition of the Invictus Games in The Hague on April 17. Harry will not say if he and his family will attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 

A new portrait of the Queen which has been released by The Royal Windsor Horse Show to mark the occasion of her 96th birthday today. The monarch is in Sandringham

William and Kate posted this happy birthday message to the Queen as Harry also risked worsening the rift between the brothers

Harry’s decision to acrimoniously quit as a working royal and spend the last two years making a string of damning accusations against his family from across the Atlantic in California is understood to have caused the Queen great heartache because she is known to adore him.

Prince Harry on secret Queen trip, how America is ‘home’ and whether he misses William & Charles

  • On visiting the Queen: ‘Being with her, it was great. It was just so nice to see her. You know, she’s on great form. She has always got a great sense of humour with me and I’m just making sure she’s protected and has got the right people around her.’
  • On the best thing about the Queen: ‘Her sense of humour and her ability to see the humour in so many different things. We have a really special relationship. We talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else, so that is always a nice peace to her. But I think she’s… I think after a certain age you get bored of birthdays.’
  • On whether he misses William and Charles: ‘Look I mean, for me at the moment, I’m here focused on these guys and these families and giving everything that I can, 120 per cent to them to make sure they have the experience of a lifetime. That’s my focus here. And when I leave here, I get back and my focus is on my family who I miss massively.’
  • On whether he will attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations: ‘I don’t know yet. There’s lots of things with security issues and everything else. This is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that I can get my kids to meet her.’
  • On Archie: ‘He’s into the why stage. Why this? Why that? Why that? And 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 it is the way life is.’
  • On America being his new home: ‘Home for me now is, you know, for the time being, it’s in the States. And it feels that way as well.’ 
  • On his late mother Princess Diana: ‘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. So she’s watching over us.’ 

Yet despite speaking to US network NBC he boasted about his special bond with the monarch – and how he makes her laugh – yet still refused to commit to attending her Jubilee celebrations. He again blamed ‘security issues’ for being unwilling to commit to him, Meghan, Archie, two, and Lilibet, 10 months, joining Her Majesty and the rest of his British family to mark the Queen’s 70 years on the throne.

Harry and Meghan made a secret visit to Windsor last week before the Invictus Games but in his High Court battle with the Government he has said he ‘does not feel safe’ in the UK. Former royal bodyguards have insisted that when with the Royal Family or on royal property, the Sussexes would be fully protected by armed police.  

Yesterday the monarch arrived at Wood Farm – the Norfolk farmhouse that Prince Philip made his retirement home – where it is expected she will be visited by friends and family over the next few days.

And to mark the occasion, a glorious photograph has been released of her standing with two of her own favourite fell ponies, Bybeck Nightingale and Bybeck Katie.

Taken in the grounds of Windsor Castle in front of a spectacular magnolia tree last month, the picture – seen on today’s front page – was released by the Royal Windsor Horse Show, which the Queen has attended every year since its inception in 1943.

The show will put on a Platinum Jubilee extravaganza featuring more than 500 horses and 1,000 performers. ‘It is an event she holds great affection for,’ a source said.

Although she has not been able to ride for several months, the Queen has ridden horses since the age of three and is passionate about everything equestrian. 

The Queen has been suffering increasing mobility issues, and royal aides have indicated she cannot yet commit to any of the events planned to mark her 70 historic years on the throne.

But it is understood staff are ‘moving heaven and Earth’ to ensure she can attend the Platinum Jubilee Epsom Derby in Surrey – and perhaps bag the win that has so far eluded her. This includes changing the route of her official car so that it can pull up directly outside the Queen’s stand, leaving a short walk of a few yards to the lift straight up to her seat in the Royal Box.

Prince Charles is at the end of his tether with Harry, a royal expert has said – as palace staff accused the Duke of ‘breathtaking arrogance’ over a TV interview in which he claimed he wanted to ‘protect’ the Queen.

In a chat with US breakfast show Today, which aired on Wednesday, the Duke refused to say whether he misses his father Charles and brother Prince William.

He also insisted that he speaks with the Queen ‘about things she can’t talk about with anybody else’ and is ‘making sure she has the right people around her’.

Harry and his wife Meghan had earlier visited the monarch 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 was the couple’s first public appearance in Europe together in two years.

Robert Jobson, who co-wrote the book Diana: Closely Guarded Secret, claimed the Prince of Wales had only agreed to the meeting on the condition that ‘nothing would be said of him whatsoever’ on American TV.   

The royal correspondent told GB News: ‘Prince Charles has reached the end of his tether, they haven’t been in contact and had they have started blurting about that meeting, that would have been the end of it.’

He said Harry turned up late for the meeting, adding: ‘All families have problems, but you don’t go blurting off to your next door neighbour as soon as you’ve had a meeting.

‘Prince Charles thought if these conversations are out in public then I’m not putting up with it and he’s drinking at the last chance saloon.’

The comments came as royal staff said Harry’s self-delusion knew ‘no bounds’ and insisted the Queen ‘just doesn’t deserve this’ as she celebrates turning 96 today.

The Queen was seen arriving at Wood Farm near Sandringham yesterday where she will celebrate with family and friends this week

Prince William, Prince Charles, Prince Harry, Meghan Camilla and the Duchess of Cambridge follow the Queen during the annual Commonwealth Service in London on March 9, 2020

Words about Diana that could anger Wills

Their relationship is already hanging by a thread. And Harry’s comments about their late mother Princess Diana are unlikely to heal any wounds with his estranged elder brother, Prince William.

He told NBC Today’s Hoda Kotb he believed Diana was now watching over him as ‘she’s done her bit with my brother’.

Asked whether he felt his ‘mum’s presence’, Harry said: ‘It’s constant. It has been over the past two years, more so than ever before.

‘It’s almost as though she’s done her bit with my brother and now she’s very much helping me. She’s got him set up, and now she’s helping me set up. That’s what it feels like. He’s got his kids, I’ve got my kids.

‘The circumstances are obviously different. I feel her presence in almost everything I do, but definitely in the last two years than before without question. She’s watching over us.’

Kensington Palace declined to comment. But his words are likely to anger William, who has made clear he finds any sense of ‘ownership’ over Diana’s memory ‘crass’.

Buckingham Palace was left reeling after the prince said in the US TV appearance that his ‘special’ relationship with his grandmother meant she told him things she would keep from others. 

Harry also risked further fuelling the rift with his estranged brother by stating that their mother Diana was watching over him from beyond the grave because she had ‘done her bit’ with William and his family.

His remarks about the Queen prompted an unprecedented intervention from Downing Street, which dismissed Harry’s suggestion that the Queen needed extra protection. Asked whether the Prime Minister was confident in the arrangements for ensuring the Queen’s welfare, Boris Johnson’s spokesman replied: ‘Yes.’ 

The couple stopped off en route to see the Queen at Windsor Castle last Thursday, the first time the Duchess of Sussex has set foot in the UK for more than two years. Harry had not seen his grandmother since early last summer. 

While the palace has refused to comment on the meeting, Harry, who is being accompanied by a film crew from Netflix with whom he has signed a production deal, was happy to chat to a journalist from US network NBC about their ‘private’ time together.

The prince appeared to make a pointed swipe at royal household staff, including the so-called ‘men in grey suits’ who advise the Queen – and possibly even his own family.

Speaking of his meeting with his grandmother, Harry said: ‘It was great. It was really nice to see her in some element of privacy. 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. We have a really special relationship, we talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else.’

Harry’s decision to acrimoniously quit as a working royal and spend the past two years making a string of damning accusations against his family is understood to have caused the Queen great heartache.

A spokesman for the prince reportedly refused to explain his remarks in the interview further last night. Buckingham Palace pointedly chose not to comment, as did Kensington Palace on behalf of William. 

But one well-placed royal source told the Daily Mail of the sense of shock at his ‘breathtaking arrogance’ and made clear that many felt Harry’s delusion knew ‘no bounds’. 

Buckingham Palace was left reeling after the prince said in the US TV appearance that his ‘special’ relationship with his grandmother (both pictured in 2019) meant she told him things she would keep from others

Harry also risked further fuelling the rift with his estranged brother by stating that their mother Diana beyond the grave because she had ‘done her bit’ with William and his family

The Duke of Cambridge, Prince Charles and Prince Harry looking at a mobile phone during day two of the Invictus Games at Lee Valley Athletics Centre in London

During the interview the prince, who is still sixth in line to the throne, also made clear that he was planning to remain in the US for the foreseeable future and did not see the UK as his ‘home’. Pictured: Harry and Meghan on April 17

‘It is the Queen’s birthday and despite a difficult year people are working full steam ahead on making her Platinum Jubilee an event to remember that properly honours such a remarkable woman. She just doesn’t deserve this,’ they said. 

‘I have no idea what intention he may or may not have had in saying this, but Harry needs to start thinking before he opens his mouth.’ 

During the interview the prince, who is still sixth in line to the throne, also made clear that he was planning to remain in the US for the foreseeable future and did not see the UK as his ‘home’. 

There has been speculation over whether he and his family will make a palace balcony appearance with the Queen during commemorations for her jubilee. But when asked about returning for June’s celebrations he made clear this was not a done deal.

Harry is to sue the Home Office for the decision to pull his taxpayer-funded, 24-hour police protection when he left Britain.

He claims that he does not feel safe bringing his family – children Archie and Lili – back to the UK and wants it reinstated, even if he pays for it himself.

Taking aim at the family he owes his fortune to… the barbs that stunned the Palace 

By Rebecca English Royal Editor for the Daily Mail

The smooth build-up to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations was thrown off course yesterday by Prince Harry’s extraordinary interview. In it, he said:

The Queen and me

Speaking to US network NBC’s Today show from the Netherlands, where he is attending the Invictus Games, Harry, 37, was asked about his reunion with the Queen at Windsor on Thursday last week.

Buckingham Palace has maintained a dignified silence on the meeting – in part out of respect to the monarch, who loves her grandson – but Harry did not choose to issue a polite ‘no comment’.

In fact he went further. He said it was refreshing to meet her ‘in some element of privacy’, and made the extraordinary claim that he wants to ‘protect’ his grandmother, apparently suggesting she was not being well served by some of the ‘people around her’.

Interviewer Hoda Kotb asked: ‘How did it feel being back, being with her?’

Harry replied: ‘It was great. It was so nice to see her. She’s on great form. She’s always got a great sense of humour with me. Just making sure she’s protected and got the right people around her.’ 

Speaking to US network NBC’s Today show from the Netherlands, where he is attending the Invictus Games, Harry, 37, was asked about his reunion with the Queen at Windsor on Thursday last week

It is not clear exactly what he meant. Was he referring to the loyal members of the Royal Family – the Prince of Wales, Duchess of Cornwall or the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge – none of whom have uttered a word about recent events?

Or did he mean she was being let down by her staff? Harry has frequently revealed that he, like his mother before him, has an inherent distrust of the ‘men in grey suits’ around the royals.

But as well as senior courtiers, the Queen is also served by long-standing and loyal personal staff including her confidante Angela Kelly, her page ‘Tall Paul’ Whybrew and Master of the Household Vice Admiral Sir Tony Johnstone-Burt, all of whom have her best interests firmly at heart.

Harry’s loaded remarks

On the Queen

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. We have a really special relationship. We talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else, so that is always a nice piece to it.

On attending the Platinum Jubilee

I don’t know yet, there’s lots of things – security issues and everything else. So this is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that, you know, I can get my kids to meet her.

On Charles and William

When I leave here [the Invictus Games], I go back and my focus is my family, who I miss massively.

On America

Home for me now is, you know, for the time being, it’s in the States. And it feels that way as well.

On Diana’s presence

It’s almost as though she’s done her bit with my brother and now she’s very much helping me. She’s got him set up, and now she’s helping me set u

There are also questions over how Harry, no longer a working member of the Royal Family – and who claims he cannot even come to the UK because he fears for his family’s safety – is able to ‘protect’ the Queen.

I’m her confidant

Harry went on to claim that the Queen tells him things she feels she cannot tell anyone else.

He said: ‘We have a really special relationship. We talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else. So that’s always a nice piece to it.’

That Harry has always enjoyed a good relationship with his grandmother is of no doubt. The monarch most definitely has a soft spot for him and he has always been able to persuade her to step out of her comfort zone.

When he started the Invictus Games, the Queen was so proud that she agreed to star in a viral social media skit with him. But the idea that she would discuss anything with him that she would not discuss with Charles, William or any other close members of her family, was greeted with derision by some insiders yesterday.

UK no longer home

The prince made clear that he has firmly settled in California. He said: ‘Home for me now is for the time being… in the States and it feels that way. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and have a great community in Santa Barbara.’ He moved with Meghan to Montecito, California, after their decision to step down as senior royals in 2020.

The balcony at the Jubilee?

Don’t be so sure…When questioned about whether the Queen would be bored with her Platinum Jubilee, Harry replied with a laugh: ‘No, I don’t think so. She’s had a few jubilees now, every one is slightly different but I’m sure she’s looking forward to it.’

In recent days there has been fevered speculation about whether the prince will make a appearance on the Buckingham Palace balcony with the Queen.

The Mail’s sources have always issued caution over this, stressing: ‘He only met with his grandmother last week. There’s a lot of ground to be covered between now and June. It is by no means a done deal in any way, shape or form.’ When Miss Kotb asked Harry if he would return to the United Kingdom for the Jubilee, he said: ‘I don’t know yet, there’s lots of things – security issues and everything else.

‘So this is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that, you know, I can get my kids to meet her.’

The prince made clear that he has firmly settled in California. He said: ‘Home for me now is for the time being… in the States and it feels that way’

The prince has launched a High Court legal action against the Home Office for stripping him of his round-the-clock police protection when he and Meghan quit as senior royals.

His critics believe Harry has boxed himself into a corner with this latest in a long line of legal actions, making it impossible for him to bring his children Archie, two, and ten-month-old Lilibet to the UK.

His children

Harry – who claims part of the reason he wanted to quit as a working royal was because of his lack of privacy – spoke at length about his children.

Speaking of his pride at being a father, he said: ‘I love every part of it. I always wanted to be a dad and now I have two little people I’m responsible for.’ Harry said he tells Archie about his late ‘Grandma Diana’, although not her entire life story.

Asked about his ‘typical’ day, he revealed: ‘It revolves around the kids as much as humanly possible. This whole working from home stuff is not all it’s cracked up to be.’

He added: ‘My mantra now every day, and it’s a dangerous one because I need to make sure I don’t have burnout, but it’s trying to make the world a better place for my kids, otherwise what’s the point in bringing kids into this world? That’s a responsibility I feel as a parent and you probably do as well. We can’t fix everything but we can be there for each other.’

His family

When asked if he missed his family ‘at home’ – the UK – Harry’s answer was perfunctory, saying ‘most people’ had missed their loved ones during the Covid pandemic.

He sidestepped a specific question about whether he missed his ‘brother and dad’, both of whom have been deeply hurt by his actions.

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