On 10 September 2022, the Prince and Princess of Wales and the Sussexes met the crowds outside Windsor Castle, two days after the death of Queen Elizabeth II. Writer Omid Scobie has revealed the behind-the-scenes story of this tense public appearance in his book End of Reign, due to be published on 1ᵉʳ December. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex and the Prince and Princess of Wales last appeared in public together at the state funeral of Queen Elizabeth II. This took place on 19 September 2022, eleven days after the death of the former British sovereign.
A few days earlier, they had met the crowds outside Windsor Castle. An outing that did not go so well for the couple that day, if Omid Scobie’s account is to be believed. In his book Fin de règne (to be published on 1ᵉʳ December this year), dedicated to the royal family of England, he has returned to that particular day: 10 September 2022. So, in a short extract from the book, we read that King Charles III wanted the English to see his family united in the ordeal they were going through. He urged his eldest son to invite the Sussexes to join him and his wife.
After several weeks without contact, Prince William then sent a text message to his grandbrother, explaining that it would be “nice” if he and Meghan Markle accompanied him on this public outing. Taken aback, Prince Harry and his wife nevertheless agreed. The two brothers held “lengthy negotiations” before reaching an agreement on this point, The Times reported at the time. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex quickly got changed and met up with the Prince and Princess of Wales in the courtyard of Windsor Castle.
They had not appeared in public since the Sussexes left England in March 2021. While each couple showed their professionalism by meeting the crowds separately, Prince Harry‘s wife was “extremely anxious” and apprehensive about any hostility towards her, wrote the British author. She was reportedly taken to task by some people that day. After the meeting, Kate Middleton reportedly said she found the crowds painful.
No turning back for William and Harry according to the author of Fin de règne
For several years now, ties between Princes Harry and William, and those between their respective wives, have been virtually non-existent. At loggerheads since the Megxit, when the Sussexes withdrew from the British royal family at the end of March 2020, the sons of King Charles III have had very little contact.
For Omid Scobie, the sons of the King of England will never be able to turn back the clock. The author of Fin de règne told TF1 Info that Prince Harry “hasn’t managed to find common ground with his family and has accepted the idea that things may never change, especially with his brother who flatly refuses to speak to him”.
Photo credits: Agence / Bestimage