The royal family drama surrounding the 2022 death of Queen Elizabeth II is being revisited. This time in Omid Scobie’s forthcoming biography, Endgame, about the monarchy’s future.
In an excerpt, the author claimed Prince Harry traveled to Balmoral completely “in the dark” only to find out with the rest of the world his grandmother died. Reports of his father, King Charles III, telling him of the news were fabricated, per the book.
Scobie painted a chaotic scene on Sept. 8, 2023, as the Duke of Sussex raced to Scotland. In a People excerpt of Endgame he explained it started with a call from an unknown number. On the other end? Harry’s dad.
“Harry hadn’t spoken to his father much that year. But this was not the time for any father-and-son tension,” Scobie wrote. “Charles told him he and [Queen] Camilla were about to leave Dumfries House for Balmoral, where Princess Anne was already by the queen’s side. He told Harry to make his way to Scotland immediately.”
Harry’s brother, Prince William, the now-Prince of Wales, “whom Charles had just spoken to, was supposedly working on arranging travel.” A text to William about said arrangements went unanswered. “The Sussexes and their team had to operate in the dark,” Scobie wrote.
The whole thing “was upsetting to witness. [Harry] was completely by himself on this,” a source close to Harry and Meghan Markle told the author.
William and the other royals landed in Scotland at 3:50 p.m. to learn Queen Elizabeth had died at 3:10 p.m., while Harry boarded a 5:35 p.m. flight completely unaware.
“Back on the ground, there was a tug-of-war between the Sussexes’ team and Buckingham Palace over whether to announce the news without Harry being informed,” Scobie continued. “His team literally had to beg for them to wait for his plane to land, and they reluctantly agreed to hold the statement back for a little bit,” a source said.
By the time Harry’s plane landed, 20 minutes after the royal family announced the queen’s death, he “received a text from Meghan urging him to call ASAP followed by a breaking news alert via the BBC News app with the announcement of the queen’s death.”
In addition to claims from the palace that King Charles tried unsuccessfully to reach Harry to tell him the announcement couldn’t be delayed any longer, per Scobie, came another one.
This time, that the now-75-year-old monarch had told Harry of the queen’s death. “Palace ‘sources’ later briefed certain papers that Charles had personally shared the news with his younger son, but this was just a move to save face,” the author explained.
It was too late. The damage had already been done. “Harry was crushed,” a friend of his told Scobie. “His relationship with the queen was everything to him. She would have wanted him to know before it went out to the world.
“They could have waited just a little longer,” the friend added. “It would have been nothing in the grand scheme of things, but no one respected that at all.”
Harry saw ‘no point in sticking around’ at Balmoral after Queen Elizabeth’s death
Upon arriving at Balmoral, Harry spent a moment with the queen before having dinner and leaving early the following morning. Harry, Scobie said, had “ hoped to see Charles, but was informed that Charles, William, and Camilla had already left for Birkhall together. Harry wasn’t invited, again.”
Instead, he spent the night in “his room, exhausted by the day’s emotional rollercoaster,” and glad to have had a private moment to say goodbye to his grandmother.” However, “there was no point in sticking around.”
“With no offer to return with William and the others in the morning (all of his texts, including a thoughtful message about the loss of their grandmother, continued to be ignored), Harry booked his own British Airways ticket on the first available departing flight.”
Endgame debuts on Nov. 28.
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