Prince Harry has today hinted the Queen may not be looking forward to turning 96, as he also talked up his ‘special relationship’ with his grandmother.
In his latest interview on US television, the Duke of Sussex spoke in glowing terms about the Monarch – following his ‘surprise’ visit to Windsor Castle last week.
The 37-year-old also discussed the Queen’s upcoming birthday. Her Majesty is set to turn 96 tomorrow – her actual birthday. Her ‘official’ birthday – as the sovereign – is due to take place on June 12.
Alongside the celebrations for her 96th birthday, this year the Queen will also celebrate her 70th on the throne, with a host of Platinum Jubilee events planned for later this year.
But when asked about the Queen’s upcoming birthday in his interview with NBC Today presenter Hoda Kotb, Prince Harry appeared to suggest that the Queen was ‘bored’ of the celebrations.
Speaking to the broadcaster, he said: ‘I think she’s — I think after a certain age you get bored of birthdays.
Ms Kotb replied: ‘You think she’s bored of her 96th?’ ‘I think so,’ responds Prince Harry. But the Duke then appeared to change tack when asked if the Queen will be ‘bored’ for her jubilee.
He replied: ‘No. I don’t think so. She’s had a few jubilees now and every one is slightly different. I’m sure she is looking forward to it.’
Earlier Prince Harry had been asked what he thought was the best thing about the Queen. He responded: ‘Her sense of humour and ability to see the humour in so… so many different things.
‘We have a really special relationship. We talk about thing she can’t really talk about with anybody else so that is always a nice peace to her.’
Prince Harry spoke to NBC’s Today programme and praised the Queen’s ‘great sense of humour’ during yesterday’s interview
In his latest interview on US television, the Duke of Sussex spoke in glowing terms about his grandmother (pictured), following his ‘surprise visit’ last week
In his latest interview on US television, the Duke of Sussex spoke in glowing terms about his grandmother, following his ‘surprise’ visit to Windsor Castle (pictured) last week
NEW: Prince Harry on whether he¿s attending the queen¿s Jubilee this year: ¿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.¿ pic.twitter.com/180vYIj33L
— TODAY (@TODAYshow) April 20, 2022
His comments came in the interview with NBC’s Today – his second major broadcast interview in the US after he and wife Meghan Markle’s bombshell Oprah Winfrey sit-down chat in March last year.
It also comes after Prince Harry paid a secret visit to Her Majesty on his way to the Netherlands, where he is currently hosting the Invictus Games.
On the way from California, he made a ‘secret’ stop-off to Windsor castle to visit his grandmother with wife Meghan. The pair have not brought their two children Archie and Lillibet – the latter of whom is named after the Queen’s nickname by her late husband Prince Philip.
During the interview, broadcast at around midday UK time, Prince Harry also refused to say whether he missed his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William amid their ongoing feud.
The Duke of Sussex also placed doubt over whether he would attend his grandmother’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in London in June amid the ongoing security row with the Home Office, adding: ‘Home for me now is, you know, for the time being, it’s in the States. And it feels that way as well.’
This comes despite his lawyers telling the High Court in February of the UK: ‘This is and always will be his home.’
Harry also spoke about his mantra of ‘trying to make the world a better place for my kids’ while explaining his fears that he could face ‘burnout’ while working from home at his £11million mansion in Montecito, California.
And, talking about his late mother Princess Diana, Harry told NBC’s Today that he feels her ‘presence in almost everything that I do now’ and that he talks to his son Archie about her and there are photos of her in their home.
Asked about the Jubilee celebrations, he said: ‘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.’
But when questioned over whether he misses Charles and William, the Duke was keen to swerve the subject, telling Ms Kotb: ‘For me at the moment, I’m here focused on these guys [Invictus athletes] 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.’
Prince Harry attends the indoor rowing event during day five of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 at Zuiderpark today
The Duke of Sussex cycles through Zuiderpark during the Invictus Games at The Hague in the Netherlands today
Prince Harry attends the indoor rowing event during day five of the Invictus Games The Hague 2020 at Zuiderpark today
Buckingham Palace officials have been braced for sensational claims from the Duke of Sussex’s interview, after a trailer revealed last night that he is ‘making sure the Queen is protected and has the right people around her’.
Harry also praised the monarch’s ‘great sense of humour’ and said it was ‘really nice to catch up with her’ during their supposedly secret meeting last Thursday before he arrived in The Hague for the Invictus Games.
‘Being with her, it was great. It was just so nice to see her, she’s on great form,’ he said in an interview with NBC Today presenter Kotb in the Netherlands, where he is currently hosting the tournament.
‘She’s always got a great sense of humour with me and I’m just making sure 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.’
His visit to the Games with Meghan – who has since left The Hague to return to California to look after their two children Archie and Lilibet – was the first time the couple had been seen together publicly on this side of the Atlantic for two years.
Harry also said in the NBC interview: ‘Home for me now, for the time being, is in the States and it feels that way as well. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and we have such a great community up in Santa Barbara.’
The couple moved to the Montecito area of Santa Barbara in California following their decision to step down as senior royals in early 2020, saying they wanted a new life of personal and financial freedom.
But, reacting to his comments, royal correspondent Robert Jobson tweeted: ‘Prince Harry says on US TV he is making sure the Queen is ‘protected and has the right people around her’. How so? I think you’ll find that Prince Charles and Her Majesty’s children and William are DOING just that and supporting the Queen, with actions – and not just words.’
Angela Levin, who wrote the book Harry: Conversations with the Prince, claimed: ‘Harry’s comment on US TV about him checking the Queen is protected is a gross insult to Prince Charles and William. He’s underlined even more that he doesn’t deserve to attend the Jubilee celebrations and be on the Balcony’.
And ex-Conservative MP David Mellor told GB News: ‘On came the news about Harry saying his granny needs to be protected and I fell about. This was a real comic turn. The most best-paid comedian couldn’t be funnier than that. What is the man on? Or rather what is he off?
‘I mean, you just think to yourself, he is really showing signs. But I think what it is, his life is totally distorted now by becoming a Kardashian-type figure, where he’s surrounded by people who want to photograph him because they’re paying him lots of money for the privilege of filming him, and the Queen becomes important to him only because he has to see the Queen for his credibility on Netflix.’
It comes ahead of the Queen’s 96th birthday tomorrow and just over a year after the funeral of her husband the Duke of Edinburgh.
The Palace will be concerned that Harry could make further claims about the Royal Family only a year after his infamous interview to Oprah Winfrey on CBS in which he and Meghan accused unnamed royals of racism.
The Duke has a deeply strained relationship with his family – especially his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William – and missed last month’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey for his grandfather Prince Philip.
Royal aides will be worried about details from a private meeting being divulged, which come on top of fears over what could be contained in his forthcoming memoirs and Netflix documenting his every move at the Games.
The Duke has already been accused in recent days of using his platform at the Games to promote BetterUp, the California mental health start-up for whom he is ‘chief impact officer’ – after the two announced a partnership.
‘Hoda Kotb sat down with Prince Harry to talk about the Invictus Game, his surprise visit with the Queen, and life with his wife Meghan Markle,’ the Today show wrote on Twitter yesterday, while also sharing an image of Kotb, Harry, and one of the veterans taking part in the sporting event.
Harry, Meghan and the Queen watch the RAF flypast on the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018
The Duke of Sussex plays table tennis during day four of the Invictus Games at Zuiderpark in The Hague yesterday
Teasing the interview, Ms Kotb’s co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Craig Melvin added that the Duke of Sussex will also discuss fatherhood and life with his and Meghan’s two children, Archie, two, and 10-month-old Lilibet.
Meghan did not appear in the Today show interview; she has already left the Netherlands and returned home to California in order to reunite with Archie and Lilibet, having confessed to a military veteran at the Invictus Games that she was missing her two children after being separated from them for the longest time since they were born.
His on-air sit-down marks the latest in a handful of media interviews that he has done since he and Meghan arrived in The Hague on Friday for the start of this year’s Invictus Games.
On Monday, the father-of-two broke his silence about the couple’s meeting with the Queen while speaking to the BBC, saying that it was ‘great to see her’ and adding that she ‘would have loved’ to have attended the Invictus Games alongside him.
Kotb, 57, shared several images of herself with Harry on her Twitter account ahead of the interview’s broadcast on Wednesday morning
The interview will see Harry, 37, speaking about his role as a father to Archie, two, and 10-month-old Lilibet, who live in the couple’s $14.5 million mansion in California
Harry and 40-year-old Meghan (seen left together at the Invictus Games) made a secret visit to the Queen (seen right last month) last week during a quick stop-off in the UK
Prince Harry and 2021 Tokyo Paralympics table tennis silver medalist Thomas Schmidberger play a match of table tennis
Harry, who founded the event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in 2014, said the 96-year-old monarch ‘had plenty of messages for Team UK’ when he met her at Windsor Castle last week.
He added he had passed these onto the team, telling the broadcaster: ‘So, it was great to see her and I’m sure she would love to be here if she could.’
There were reports Harry and Meghan had promised the Queen she would meet her great-grandchildren Archie and Lilibet ‘in the near future’ during the ‘very cordial’ secret meeting on Thursday.
According to The Mirror, senior royal sources described the meeting as ‘very cordial’ and ‘incredibly warm and good natured’.
One royal biographer has claimed the meeting was a way for Prince Harry to ‘slowly starting to rebuild some bridges’ with his father Prince Charles.
Harry and Meghan reportedly also opened the door to a return from their $14.5 million mansion in California for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, and told her of their plans to visit again so she can spend time with their children.
While the Queen had the opportunity to meet Archie – who was born while Meghan and Harry were still living in the UK and serving as senior working royals – she has not yet met her great-granddaughter Lilibet, who is named after her.
Meghan gave birth to Lilibet Diana in June of last year at a hospital near the couple’s Montecito home and they have yet to bring their daughter over to the UK.
Indeed, the couple’s brief trip to the UK last week marked the first time that Meghan has returned to Britain since she and Harry sensationally quit the royal family in March 2020 – a move that has become widely known as ‘Megxit’.
Prince Harry has made just a handful of visits to the UK since the couple relocated to California in the wake of Megxit but he chose not to attend Prince Philip’s memorial service, which took place last month – just over two weeks before the Sussexes made their trip to see the Queen.
His decision to skip the emotional event was met with severe criticism from royal insiders, with Prince Philip’s former protection officer describing Harry’s absence as ‘pathetic’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remained at their mansion in Montecito while the rest of the royal family, including the Queen despite recent health issues, gathered in London for the poignant event.
Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex gets a golf lesson by iSPS Handa ambassador Brendan Lawlor in The Hague yesterday
Harry was handed a seven iron and guided by an instructor was shown how to correctly hold the club in The Hague
Harry’s absence at the event came amid an ongoing battle about his security; he is currently pursuing a legal challenge against the Home Office in the UK 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.
It is unclear exactly what agreement was reached with regards to security before Meghan and Harry returned to the UK last week.
However, reports about their meeting with the Queen suggest that the couple is open to attending the Monarch’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
Insiders claim that they have been invited to appear at several family events during the multi-day event, including the traditional balcony appearance and a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years on the throne.
As well as doing several interviews during his time at the Games, Harry has also been followed by a crew of cameramen from Netflix, which is making a documentary about the sporting event as part of the Sussexes reported multi-million pound deal with the streaming giant.
Harry’s interview with Kotb is thought to mark the first time that the pair have spoken on-air, although Kotb did interview Oprah Winfrey last year in the wake of her sit-down with the Sussexes.
Winfrey, 68, spoke with Kotb in May 2021 – just hours after Harry publicly aired more damaging allegations about his family in an Apple TV+ series about mental health.
The news of Harry’s Today interview will likely prompt concern inside Buckingham Palace over what bombshells he might drop; the sit-down comes just over a year after the Sussexes’ explosive on-air chat with Oprah Winfrey
Kotb spoke with Winfrey last year in the wake of her interview with the Sussexes
During the interview, the TV mogul defended Harry and Meghan’s public bashing of the royal family, insisting that the Sussexes ‘deserve’ to ‘not be intruded and invaded upon’ – but claiming that this shouldn’t mean they are unable to speak out about their experiences.
‘You know, I ask for privacy, and I’m talking all the time,’ she said.
‘So I think being able to have a life that you are not intruded upon by photographers, or people flying overhead, or invading your life, is what every person wants and deserves — to not to be intruded and invaded upon.
‘That’s what people are missing. Privacy doesn’t mean silence.’
Her public defence of the couple came just hours after Harry launched fresh attacks on his family in their new five-part mental health series, which sees the Duke accusing his father Prince Charles of making him ‘suffer’ as a child and claiming that the royals tried to ‘bully him into silence’.
Harry also alleged that the royal family tried to ‘trap’ him and Meghan, claiming that the couple faced ‘total silence, total neglect’ when they asked The Firm for help.