Prince Harry could have been referring to the Queen’s private secretary Sir Edward Young or her dresser Angela Kelly when he spoke about ensuring his grandmother has ‘the right people around her’, it has been claimed.
The Duke of Sussex appeared to make a swipe at royal household staff during his interview with NBC which aired yesterday, including the so-called ‘men in grey suits’ who advise the Queen – and possibly even his own family.
But Harry did not elaborate on whether he was referring to royal aides or members of his own family. Speaking of meeting his grandmother at Windsor Castle last Thursday, the Duke said: ‘It was great. It was really nice to see her in some element of privacy. Being with her it was great, it was just so nice to see her, she’s on great form.
‘She’s always got a great sense of humour with me and I’m just making sure that she’s protected and got the right people around her. Both Meghan and I had tea with her, so it was really nice to catch up with her. We have a really special relationship, we talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else.’
Royal author Tom Bower told MailOnline that he believed the comment by Harry was directed at Sir Edward in addition to the Duke’s father Prince Charles and brother Prince William with whom he has an ongoing feud.
Mr Bower, who wrote the 2018 book ‘Rebel Prince’ about Charles, told MailOnline: ‘On ‘protecting’ the Queen, he is not only targeting Charles and William but also Edward Young her private secretary. Harry’s full demands have been rebuffed and he is hitting out at those standing in the way of promoting the Sussex’s self-promotion.
‘To enhance his credibility in America and for Netflix he needs to pretend that he has a special relationship with the Queen. I don’t believe the British public would tolerate Harry and Meghan on the balcony. Allowing them there would be self-destructive for the monarchy. That’s why I don’t believe they will come.’
There were also some less serious suggestions, with the Telegraph’s royal expert Camilla Tominey saying a palace observer joked Harry might think the ‘right kind of people’ would be his friends Oprah Winfrey as the ‘new press secretary’, Ellen DeGeneres as ‘head of personal protection’ and Sir Elton John as the new ‘Mistress of the Robes’.
The Duke of Sussex appeared to issue a veiled warning to those closest to the Queen during the interview shown on NBC yesterday, saying he wanted to make sure his grandmother was ‘protected’ and had ‘the right people around her’
Prince Harry could have been referring to the Queen’s private secretary Sir Edward Young (left) or her dresser Angela Kelly (right) when he spoke about ensuring his grandmother has ‘the right people around her’, it has been claimed
The Queen stands on the Buckingham Palace balcony in London in July 2018 along with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle
The Queen is seen leaving Wood Farm near Sandringham in Norfolk today in a Range Rover on what is her 96th birthday
It comes after Harry told Oprah Winfrey during his bombshell CBS interview in March 2021 that Sir Edward had given the Queen some ‘really bad’ advice ahead of him stepping down as a senior royal along with Meghan.
The Duke had claimed in the chat that the Queen invited him along with Meghan to talk and stay overnight at her Sandringham estate in Norfolk following the decision to end their official royal duties in January 2020.
Six of the Queen’s most trusted friends & advisors
Sir Edward Young: The Queen’s private secretary is one of the most important members of the Royal Household, having joined in 2004 and is the official ‘channel of communication between the head of state and the government’ according to Buckingham Palace.
Angela Kelly: The Queen’s dresser, aide and confidante who has spent 20 years in service to the monarch and was permitted to write a memoir of her time at the palace. She was allegedly involved in the Tiaragate affair involving Meghan Markle’s wedding tiara in 2018.
Princess Alexandra of Kent: The Queen’s cousin is a working royal who was one of her bridesmaids at her wedding. She is 57th in line to the throne, having been born in sixth position in 1936, and has represented the Queen both in Britain and abroad.
Susan Rhodes: Part of HMS Bubble who protected the Queen at Windsor Castle at the height of the pandemic, and become one of her ladies-in-waiting in 2017. She is married to Simon Rhodes, son of the Queen’s cousin Margaret Rhodes.
Lady Susan Hussey: As one of the Queen’s ladies-in-waiting, she has been with the monarch since 1960 and was dubbed ‘number one Head Girl’. She was also in HMS Bubble and travelled with the Queen to St George’s Chapel for Prince Philip’s funeral in 2021.
Lady Sarah Chatto: Lady Sarah is the daughter of Princess Margaret and Anthony Armstrong-Jones, 1st Earl of Snowdon and has previously been described as the Queen’s ‘absolute favourite younger royal’. She is a successful artist and is 28th in line to the throne.
But Harry said that Sir Edward then got in touch with him to say the Queen was ‘busy all week’. The Duke added that he then phoned his grandmother who confirmed that her diary was now full.
Speaking in an excerpt of the interview that did not form part of the original broadcast on CBS in the US but was shown the morning after when Oprah appeared on the network’s This Morning, Harry said: ‘I didn’t want to push because I kind of knew what was going on.’
Oprah replied: ‘Doesn’t the Queen get to do what the Queen wants to do?’ But Harry said: ‘No, when you are head of The Firm there’s people around you that give you advice and what has also made me really sad is that some of that advice has been really bad.’
There have also been suggestions from style expert Hilary Rose in The Times that Harry could have been referring to Ms Kelly, who is the Queen’s dresser as well as one of her closest aides and personal advisers.
It has been claimed that the infamous Tiaragate affair in 2018 involving Meghan’s choice of wedding tiara centred around a conversation between Ms Kelly and Harry in which he allegedly shouted at her: ‘What Meghan wants, Meghan gets.’
Ms Kelly – the daughter of a Liverpool dockworker – wrote the book ‘The Other Side of the Coin: The Queen, the Dresser and the Wardrobe’ about working with the monarch, which was published in October 2019 with an updated edition set to come out next month.
The book is expected to reveal how Ms Kelly helped to remove the Queen’s coat following the funeral of her late husband Prince Philip in April 2021, and looked on as the monarch entered her private sitting room to mourn privately.
Harry, who is in the Netherlands hosting his Invictus Games, was also asked on NBC whether he missed the Prince of Wales or Duke of Cambridge, but side-stepped the question and said he was focused on the competitors and their families.
His comments are likely to deepen the rifts between the duke and the institution of the monarchy and his family, who until a few years ago appeared to have his backing.
Harry also said he did not know if he will return to the UK to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, saying there are ‘security issues and everything else’.
And he appeared to commit his immediate future to the US, saying: ‘Home for me now is, you know, for the time being, it’s in the States, and it feels that way as well.’
The royal family have rallied round the Queen since her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, died in April, and she has been supported by a smaller and closer-knit group from her household during the lockdowns of the past two years.
Harry and Meghan left for a new life in North America just before the pandemic struck and so have watched developments in the UK from afar, but during that time they laid bare their experiences of life in the royal family in the devastating Oprah interview.
The couple accused an un-named member of the royal family – not the Queen or Philip – of racism and painted the monarchy as an uncaring institution.
The duke has commented in the past about his rift with Charles and how he and William are on ‘different paths’ and have good and bad days in their relationship.
Asked by Hoda Kotb, co-presenter of the NBC News morning show Today, if he missed his father or brother, Harry replied: ‘For me at the moment I’m here focused on these guys and giving everything I can 120 per cent to them to make sure they have the experience of a lifetime.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are interviewed by Oprah Winfrey during their bombshell chat on CBS in March 2021
Meghan Markle is friends with talk show host Ellen DeGeneres and appeared on her programme in California last November
Harry is also friends with Sir Elton John. They are pictured together during the Aids 2018 summit in Amsterdam in July 2018
When asked by NBC’s Hoda Kotb if he missed the Prince of Wales or Duke of Cambridge, Harry, who is in the Netherlands hosting his Invictus Games, side-stepped the question and said he was focused on the competitors and their families
Harry said during the NBC chat that he did not know if he will return to the UK to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee
A new portrait of the Queen released by The Royal Windsor Horse Show to mark the occasion of her 96th birthday today
‘That’s my focus here and when I leave here, I go back and my focus is my family, who I miss massively.’
Prince Harry on secret Queen trip, how America is ‘home’ and whether he misses William & Charles
- On visiting the Queen: ‘Being with her, it was great. It was just so nice to see her. You know, she’s on great form. She has always got a great sense of humour with me and I’m just making sure she’s protected and has got the right people around her.’
- On the best thing about the Queen: ‘Her sense of humour and her ability to see the humour in so many different things. We have a really special relationship. We talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else, so that is always a nice peace to her. But I think she’s… I think after a certain age you get bored of birthdays.’
- On whether he misses William and Charles: ‘Look I mean, for me at the moment, I’m here focused on these guys and these families and giving everything that I can, 120 per cent to them to make sure they have the experience of a lifetime. That’s my focus here. And when I leave here, I get back and my focus is on my family who I miss massively.’
- On whether he will attend the Platinum Jubilee celebrations: ‘I don’t know yet. There’s lots of things with security issues and everything else. This is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that I can get my kids to meet her.’
- On Archie: ‘He’s into the why stage. Why this? Why that? Why that? And instead of just trying to move it on, I give him the most honest answer I can. And then it goes on and on and on until he’s satisfied. And then that’s it. It’s done. Otherwise it ends up with – because the world is round and that it is the way life is.’
- On America being his new home: ‘Home for me now is, you know, for the time being, it’s in the States. And it feels that way as well.’
- On his late mother Princess Diana: ‘It is almost as though she’s done her bit with my brother and now she’s very much, like, helping me. Got him set up. And now she’s helping me set up. That’s what it feels like, you know? He’s got his kids. I’ve got my kids, you know the circumstances are obviously different. But now, I feel her presence in almost everything that I do now. But definitely more so in the last two years than ever before. Without question. So she’s watching over us.’
Harry and his wife Meghan had tea with the Queen last week when they stopped off in the UK on their way to the Invictus Games.
There has been speculation about whether Harry will make a balcony appearance with the Queen during the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
When asked about returning to the UK for the event with his grandmother he replied: ‘I don’t know yet, there’s lots of things – security issues and everything else. So this is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that, you know, I can get my kids to meet her.’
Harry is bringing a legal claim against the Home Office after being told he would no longer be given the ‘same degree’ of personal protective security when visiting from the US, despite offering to pay for it himself.
The duke wants to bring his children to visit from the US, but he and his family are ‘unable to return to his home’ because it is too dangerous, a representative previously said.
Harry also suggested his grandmother, who turned 96 today, may find the anniversary a bit underwhelming.
Asked to name the best thing about the Queen, Harry replied it was her sense of humour, adding: ‘But I think after a certain age you get bored of birthdays.’
He was questioned about his mother Diana, Princess of Wales, and Harry said: ‘It’s almost as though she’s done her bit with my brother and now she’s very much helping me.’
The duke added: ‘I feel her presence in almost everything that I do now. But definitely more so in the last 10 years then ever before.’
And her memory was being shared with son Archie: ‘(We) tell him all the stuff that happened…’this is Grandam Diana’ and we’ve got a couple of photos up in the house.’
The couple moved to Montecito, California, following their decision to step down as senior royals in 2020, saying they wanted a new life of personal and financial freedom.
The duke gave a glimpse into their life, saying: ‘This whole working from home stuff is not all it’s cracked up to be, certainly post Covid.
‘Because it’s really hard when your kids and you are in the same place, it’s really hard to separate the work from them because they kind of overlap.
‘Archie spends more time interrupting our Zoom calls then anybody else.’