Just how much power does a monarch have, anyway?
They definitely don’t make rulers like they used to, at least in England anyway. After all, Parliament does most of the governing, and Queen Elizabeth II is acknowledged as more of a figurehead at this point. Even so, we’d think she’d have enough power to have lunch with her grandson whenever she wanted… but according to Prince Harry, that’s not the case.
In an exclusive clip released by CBS This Morning from Oprah’s interview with Harry and Meghan Markle, the Duke of Sussex alluded to some behind-the-scenes manipulations that prevented him from making contact with his grandmother.
Before Megxit went public, he explained:
“That announcement that we put out on the eighth of January in 2020, the contents of that was put into a letter to the institution, to my father, which was then shared at the end of December while we were in Canada. And to then get back on the sixth, after my grandmother said, ‘The moment you land, come up to Sandringham. We’d love to have a chat. Come for tea. Why don’t you stay for dinner? Because it’s gonna be a long drive and you’re gonna be exhausted.’”
The 36-year-old went on:
“The moment we landed in the UK, I got a message from my private secretary… cutting and pasting a message from the queen’s private secretary basically saying, ‘Please pass on to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that he cannot come to Norfolk. The queen is busy. She’s busy all week. … Do not come up here.’”
In January 2020, Prince Harry and Meghan announced plans to step back as senior members of the Royal family. In this exclusive clip, they tell @Oprah they were then invited to spend time with his grandmother, the Queen, but the plans abruptly changed citing she's "busy all week." pic.twitter.com/dLhq0SAgfN
— CBS This Morning (@CBSThisMorning) March 8, 2021
“Okay. So I rang her from Frogmore that night, and said ‘I was thinking about coming anyway, but I hear you’re now busy.’ And she said, ‘Yes, there’s something in my diary that I didn’t know that I had.’ And I said, ‘Well, what about the rest of the week?’ She goes, ‘Well, that’s busy now as well.’ OK, I didn’t want to push because I kind of knew what was going on.”
Oprah then asked the question on all of our minds:
“Doesn’t the Queen get to do what the Queen wants to do?”
Harry contemplated before replying:
“No. When you’re head of The Firm, there is people around you that give you advice. And what has also made me really sad is some of that advice has been really bad.”
But did the Queen have to take that advice, though? Doesn’t she bear some responsibility for icing the military veteran out? Or is she really just a little old lady being controlled by her advisers at this point? For what it’s worth, the expecting parents had nothing but good things to say about Elizabeth throughout the interview, and Harry even mentioned that they’ve talked more in the past year than they have in a long time. Considering how strong their relationship is, he clearly doesn’t blame her for the trauma he and Meghan experienced… despite the fact that she’s the “head of The Firm.”
It’s interesting to note that the prince mentioned sharing the Megxit announcement with his dad Prince Charles specifically. This was around the time — or close to the time — that the future King stopped taking his son’s calls. Could it have been Charles who orchestrated the shunning of the Sussexes? Is he already doing some backseat ruling for his 94-year-old mother?
We don’t know the ins and outs of the Royal Family, but it all seems very shady to us — and VERY intriguing! We hope some clarifying details emerge, but that Oprah interview may have been a once-in-a-lifetime event.
[Image via John Rainford/WENN/Avalon]