The Sussexes had to meet with Prince Charles for 15 minutes before seeing the Queen

On Friday, the Daily Mail columnist Richard Kay published a new piece on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s visit to Windsor Castle, a visit which happened last Thursday. It’s worth noting that every royal reporter, commentator and columnist was going completely batsh-t crazy before the Sussexes’ presence was known in Windsor. Those royal commentators were cursing Harry and Meghan for their rudeness for not seeing the Queen, for not going to Prince Philip’s memorial service, for this and that. None of them had any idea that Harry and Meghan had quietly flown into the UK on Wednesday and spent the night in Frogmore Cottage, and no one from the Sussexes’ team or from the palace said anything about the private trip until H&M had flown out of the UK. So, obviously, the British media demanded their pound of flesh, and Prince Charles and his staff dutifully obliged, providing Kay with a unique narrative on what went down. Some highlights:

There were strings attached to the Sussexes’ meeting the Queen: There were strings attached: ahead of meeting the Queen, Harry would first have to see his father. Just as in the crisis over Megxit when she insisted that the Sussexes’ departure from Britain was overseen by Prince Charles, the Queen was again demonstrating that she had her own red lines. And since the Prince of Wales was also at Windsor – along with the Duchess of Cornwall – where he was standing in for his mother to distribute Maundy money to community figures, there were no logistical obstacles. Today all sides agreed that if there is to be a reconciliation between Harry and his family then these meetings were a crucial first step. It is understood that Harry and Meghan met Charles around 10am for 15 minutes. According to a source Camilla joined the meeting midway through.

Charles is broken-hearted & concerned: As one long-standing friend of his told me: ‘He loves his son and he has been broken-hearted by everything that has taken place, although he fears history repeating itself with Harry just as it did with Princess Diana. But he also wants to keep the door open and keep talking, something he still regrets not doing with Diana.’

A happy meeting with the Queen: After saying their farewells to Charles, Harry and Meghan moved on to the Queen’s private apartment where I am told the atmosphere was a lot less edgy. Even though she has been both mystified and at times upset by many of Harry’s words and deeds in the past two years, her grandson is something of a favourite. ‘He has always had the ability to make her laugh and she loves that about him,’ says a companion. ‘To this day whenever she hears that Harry is on the phone her eyes light up.’ This was no last minute visit and had to take account of the Queen’s recent bout of ill-health, which included contracting Covid in February.

There have been no leaks from Team Sussex: It can be no coincidence therefore, that for once Harry and Meghan’s social media cheerleaders have been unusually quiet about the content of both meetings. ‘Not leaking details is being seen as a way of getting some trust back into the relationship,’ I am told.

The Other Brother’s headache: It was the absence of one other royal figure that was most keenly felt – Prince William, who is on a family skiing holiday. The Duke of Cambridge has been his brother’s biggest critic, dismayed by allegations of bullying of royal staff and of claims of racism, and as a result a rift has opened up between them. He has not seen Harry since the two jointly unveiled a statue of their mother outside Kensington Palace last July and contact since has been sporadic. ‘He doesn’t like talking about Harry,’ says a friend of the duke. ‘He says it gives him a headache.’

William worries about his poor father, LMAO: The breach between [the brothers] is an open wound that has still not remotely begun to heal. William is especially uneasy about Harry’s book deal amid fears that both he and his wife Kate will be in the cross-hairs. ‘He understands the need for reconciliation and all that, but at the same time he worries about his father being “ambushed” by Harry.’

The Queen wants peace: ‘This has been a deeply troubling time for the Royal Family and the Queen would dearly love to put the recent bitterness behind her. Would she love to see Harry on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the Platinum Jubilee events? Of course, but she knows there has to be reassurance on all sides for that to happen.’ Not since the days of Diana’s collaboration first with writer Andrew Morton and then with Panorama have the royals been quite so destabilised. But there is a pragmatism inside the Palace where aides recognise that Harry had to swallow some pride in making this week’s visit. Courtiers will be hoping that, having already resolved one highly damaging family issue involving Prince Andrew, they can similarly settle their differences with Harry and Meghan.

[From The Daily Mail]

You know what pisses me off? The idea/reality that Harry and Meghan went out of their way (literally) to stop by Windsor – putting themselves in danger, let’s be honest – to see the Queen, and they were told they needed to speak to Charles first as a precondition. That f–king sucks and it just shows, once again, that if you give these a–holes an inch, they’ll take a mile. My guess is that the meeting with Charles was less “the Queen’s precondition” and more like Charles’s precondition, as in Charles would not allow Harry to see his beloved grandmother without Charles attempting to chew him out. The part about no leaks from Team Sussex is also disgusting, especially given that Richard G–damn Kay is writing a column based off of (you guessed it) leaks from Clarence House. Last thing: poor Baldemort, he gets a rage headache whenever he thinks about how awesome Harry is.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid and Instar.

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