King Charles III told his son Prince Harry that Meghan Markle was not “welcome” to join the rest of the royal family at Balmoral, the Sun has reported. If true, the report would solve the mystery of why Meghan was announced as to be going to Balmoral with Harry on Thursday, and then just as suddenly revealed not to be going.
A source told the Sun: “Charles told Harry that it wasn’t right or appropriate for Meghan to be in Balmoral at such a deeply sad time. It was pointed out to him that Kate was not going and that the numbers really should be limited to the very closest family. Charles made it very, very clear Meghan would not be welcome.”
Kate Middleton, William’s wife, stayed behind in England to take care of their three young children, who were just beginning at a new school that day.
Harry eventually made the trip alone, even though, the Sun claims, there was plenty of room on the plane that Prince William, Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and his wife Sophie took north—and, with Harry at his British base of Frogmore Cottage in Windsor, any one of the royals who lived nearby could have shared a car with him to the airport. The Sun says Harry was “refused” a seat on the plane.
As it was, the announcement of Queen Elizabeth’s death at Balmoral was made while Harry was still mid-air in a private jet, while the rest of the royals were all by then at Balmoral. Harry eventually arrived at the former monarch’s Scottish home an hour and a half after the announcement, and left Balmoral early Friday morning to get a commercial flight from Aberdeen—the first British Airways flight of the day—back to London.
“It was so sad to see him without the other royals to comfort him. I really hope the queen’s death will help them heal their rifts.”
— Plane passenger
One passenger told The Sun: “He barely moved for the whole hour-long flight and was obviously reflecting on his beloved grandmother. It was so sad to see him without the other royals to comfort him. I really hope the queen’s death will help them heal their rifts.”
Ultimately, it is thought only Charles and Princess Anne were with the queen as she died—Charles has a Scottish home nearby and Anne was staying at Balmoral. Anne, Andrew, Edward, and Sophie stayed at Balmoral Friday, while Charles, William, and Harry returned to England.
Charles’ blunt demand that Meghan stay away stands in stark contrast to the headline-making olive branch he offered the couple on Friday afternoon, in his first televised address as King.
“I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas,” Charles said in the address from Buckingham Palace. But William and Harry remain estranged, and the family are still mistrustful of Harry and Meghan given all that they have said and claimed in past interviews about their treatment within the royal family. The royals are also nervous about what further bombshells Harry may drop in his forthcoming memoir.
As one royal insider told the Telegraph: “It’s quite hard to spend too much time with someone you know is about to publish a tell-all book about you. I think people appreciate that the queen was Harry’s beloved grandmother, but she was the CEO of the institution they have spoken negatively against.”
A source also told the paper: “I think the general reaction to Harry and Meghan’s behavior has been one of incredulity, to be honest. Even if you just look at the last few weeks, they’ve had the duchess once again making outspoken remarks in interviews. They seem quite detached from reality, living in a sort of LA bubble. It is incredible really.”
Now there are questions around what roles Harry and Meghan will play, and how prominent those roles will be, at Queen Elizabeth's funeral.
Last night, William and Harry, the Sun said, were back at their neighboring cottages in Windsor, but the paper reported that “there has been little, if any, communication between them.”