It did not take long for King Charles III to be summoned to put out fires regarding tension in the royal family. Not surprisingly, the turbulence concerns the king’s son Harry, the Duke of Sussex, who reportedly has a list of complaints — the one that caught the king’s attention was that Harry received word of the queen’s death only minutes before the world was notified.
According to a report in The Telegraph, Charles told his youngest son that his grandmother died “five minutes before Buckingham Palace released the official announcement.”
The outlet reported that Harry received a call from the king shortly before his flight from California to the U.K. landed. The report notes that Harry was informed “five minutes before Buckingham Palace released the official announcement” that Queen Elizabeth II had died in Balmoral Castle in Scotland.
Queen Elizabeth passed away on Sept. 8. She was 96.
Though some point to the timing of the phone call and announcement as a slight to Harry, Buckingham Palace maintains that the Duke of Sussex “was not treated differently from any other member of the family, and that the King was not in regular contact with anyone during the course of what was a very difficult day.”
Desiring to avert a row, a spokesperson for King Charles III told Fox News Digital on Monday that “the public was only informed after every member had been informed.”
The spokesperson explained that the queen took ill on the evening of Sept. 7, but at the time “it was not considered urgent enough for them to drop everything and race to Balmoral.”
By the morning, however, it was evident the queen was quickly fading, and all family members were told “they should head to Scotland.” The spokesperson noted that Harry received his call “some time” after his older brother.
The spokesperson also noted that “Harry’s aides struggled to get a flight, frantically looking at every option to get him to his grandmother.” In contrast, William, his wife, the Duke of York, and the Earl of Wessex had little difficulty booking a flight to Scotland — landing by 3:50 pm.
“Prince Harry eventually took off from Luton Airport at 5:35 pm – an hour after Prime Minister Liz Truss was reportedly informed of the Queen’s death,” the spokesperson continued.
Regarding why Harry was not told of his grandmother’s death before boarding the plane, the spokesperson said:
“Why he was not told earlier is unclear. The release of the public statement was delayed until the King managed to reach him on board the aircraft shortly before he touched down. The statement went out at 6:30 pm, and the Duke’s plane landed in Aberdeen at 6:46 pm. He was pictured arriving at Balmoral just over an hour later looking ashen-faced. He left alone early the next morning.”
Buckingham Palace emphasized that the queen’s death was announced only after family members were first notified.
The spokesperson relayed that it was a very difficult day, and “everybody was trying to get where they needed to be.”
“That was the focus,” the spokesperson continued, “and the King was adamant that the official statement must not be released until all members of the family had been informed. That was a father talking because he cares.”
Queen Elizabeth II was buried in St. George’s Chapel with her husband, Prince Philip, who died in March 2021.
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