Palace aides reacted angrily last night to claims that Prince Harry was given only five minutes’ notice before his grandmother’s death became public.
A newspaper report said the devastated royal was made aware of her demise – and even after Prime Minister Liz Truss was told. Daily Telegraph suggested that this was another example of the rift between the prince and his family.
But there was clear outrage at Buckingham Palace that claims had surfaced on the eve of the Queen’s funeral, which were deemed highly outrageous.
Palace aides reacted angrily to last night’s claims that Prince Harry (walking past Queen Elizabeth’s coffin on Wednesday) was given just five minutes’ notice before his grandmother’s death became public.
In a rare statement on such a private matter, a spokesman for the king insisted: ‘The public was only informed after each member of the family was informed.’
The Mail understands that while it is true that Harry was told this shortly before the news was made public, the reason was that he was on a flight to Scotland and therefore not contactable.
Last night, the original story was taken down from The Telegraph website. A revision was then published claiming that Harry was not treated differently to other family members.
It comes as a Sussex friend described the decision to drop Prince Harry and Meghan Markle out of last night’s ‘Reception of the Century’ at Buckingham Palace as ‘beyond bonkers’.
The friend claimed the Sussexes would feel “outcast” after apparently being “uninvited” to a state event of 1,000 world leaders and foreign royals attending the Queen’s funeral.
It is believed that Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle received an invitation to the event, which was hosted by King Charles and the Queen’s consort.
But Buckingham Palace officials later insisted that the reception was only for working royals, it is understood.
A friend from the Sussexes told The Sunday Times: ‘It’s beyond bonkers if they’re not there. Everyone is coming from all over the world to pay tribute to the queen.
According to the Daily Telegraph, confusion over Harry and Meghan’s invitations points to communication issues between the California-based couple and the royal family.
It follows an apparent U-turn on Harry’s right to wear a military uniform despite being a non-working royal.
Prince Harry was reportedly left ‘devastated’ when the Queen’s ‘ER’ initials were removed from the shoulder of his military uniform as he vigil by his coffin last night – when Prince Andrew was asked to hold the royal cipher. permission was granted.
The source said yesterday that hitting back at Vardi and the Buckingham Palace reception could make her feel like “most of the operation is against you.” It’s tough – nobody likes feeling like they’re being singled out.’
Prince William (left) wore the ER initials on the shoulder of his military uniform last night, but Prince Harry’s cipher was removed.
Prince Andrew, who is no longer even a working royal, retained the initials on his vice-admiral’s uniform as the Queen’s children raised vigil on Friday
Prince Harry pictured with the ER initials on the shoulder of his military uniform as he attends the Founders Day Parade at the Royal Hospital, Chelsea in June 2019.
William and Harry stood at either end of the Queen’s coffin as their grandchildren lay awake last night while mourners continued to record past
Harry’s dismay is largely believed to have centered around Prince Andrew, who is no longer even a working royal, who put the initials on his vice-admiral’s uniform as the Queen’s children kept watch on Friday night .
The Duke of Sussex was a personal aide de camp of the Queen and, as a result, wore the first cypher. But it was one of those positions that he resigned when he moved from royal duties to California.
‘ER’ initials are traditionally only worn by people ‘in service’ of the emperor, and so the absence of the cypher as opposed to the direct bowing of the prince is considered down to dress rules.
But such was his dismay, that Harry is said to have considered wearing a morning suit as he was leaving last night to avoid embarrassment.
A friend told the newspaper, ‘He is heartbroken. It seems very intentional to remove the first letter of your grandmother’s name.’
It comes amid hopes of reconciliation between the brothers following the death of the Queen, with the prince standing shoulder to shoulder as they walk past her coffin to lie in state at the Palace of Westminster on Wednesday.
It was a poignant moment that drew comparisons to walking past his coffin at the funeral of his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
William and Harry did so after unexpectedly reuniting with their wives Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle during a walkout outside Windsor Castle on Saturday.
But sources close to the brothers are understood to have said there has been “no meaningful reconciliation” so far.
They joined other royals for dinner at Buckingham Palace as they received the Queen’s coffin at Buckingham Palace this week.
However, interactions between the two still occur largely through collaborators rather than direct contact, despite the proximity of their Windsor homes.
While Harry was driving with Meghan as she celebrated her 38th birthday on Thursday, she met William as the Prince of Wales was returning home after collecting his three children from school.
The brothers initially trail each other before pausing, reversing and closing their windows for a conversation.
The coffin was led by the Prince of Wales and the Duke of Sussex, the eight grieving grandchildren who arrived at Westminster Hall last night
The Queen was mourned at Westminster Hall by her eight grandchildren on Saturday evening
But while William understands an interest in the relationship with his brother, he ‘focuses only’ on the Queen’s honour.
Harry followed his brother closely as they led the Queen’s grandchildren to the Queen’s coffin last night.
Prince William was wearing the Blues and Royals, No. 1 uniform, The Garter Sash, The Garter Star, Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Medal and RAF Pilot Wings.
Meanwhile, Harry was wearing the Blues and Royals, No. 1 Uniform, KCVO Neck Order and Star, Afghanistan Operational Service Medal, Golden, Diamond and Platinum Jubilee Medal and Army Pilot Wings.
Meanwhile, a source close to Harry said it was “uncomfortable” and “difficult” at times this week to be back in his brother’s company.
And reconciliation is said to remain difficult while Harry’s memoir and Sussex Netflix documentary stick to the royal family.