Royal Expert Claims Queen Elizabeth Was ‘Hurt’ and ‘Disappointed’ by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Snubs

Queen Elizabeth extended multiple invitations to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle for various gatherings but they declined. One royal expert claims the queen was “hurt” and “disappointed” when the Sussexes snubbed her invites.

Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry watch a flypast to mark the centenary of the Royal Air Force from the balcony of Buckingham Palace on July 10, 2018 in London, England
Queen Elizabeth II, Meghan Markle, and Prince Harry in 2018 | Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images

Queen Elizabeth ‘felt quite let down’ by Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, expert says

Katie Nicholl, author of The New Royals, spoke with Kinsey Schofield on the To Di For podcast, telling the host how the queen extended many invitations that the Sussexes didn’t accept.

After Harry and Meghan stepped down from their royal duties and moved away from the UK, the queen continued to have a close relationship with them as she wanted “to keep the Sussexes connected to the royal family,” Nicholl said.

That included video calls with Harry, Meghan, Archie, and Lilibet. 

“It’s important to stress that there were times when [Queen Elizabeth] felt quite let down by Harry and Megan and quite disappointed by them,” Nicholl said. “She would always host this lovely weekend at the end of August, a big sleepover for her grandchildren and her great-grandchildren. And she would always make a point of inviting Harry and Megan but in the last couple of summers, they didn’t go.”

Nicholl added, “Things like that — not being together at Christmas, not being together at Balmoral over the summer when the queen really wanted to bring the family together — I think that hurt her.”

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle appeared to distance themselves from the royal family, according to author

In her new book, Nicholl shared how Prince Harry and Meghan declined the queen’s invitation to visit Balmoral in 2019. It appeared the couple was distancing themselves from the family.

“There were raised eyebrows when Harry and Meghan declined an invite from the queen to spend a long weekend at Balmoral in the summer of 2019 — when she traditionally hosts a weekend for her grandchildren and a special sleepover for her great-grandchildren — preferring instead to take Archie to Ibiza and the south of France,” Nicholl wrote.

“‘Playing happy families at Balmoral didn’t really fit their narrative,’ I was told by a source close to the Sussexes,” she added.

The queen still “wanted to keep the family together,” Nicholl said and wanted to “protect Harry.”

“I think her instinct was always to protect Harry, not least because there were moments when she sort of shifted from a grandmotherly role to a maternal role for this little boy who lost his mother at such a young age in such tragic circumstances,” she explained.

“And I think all she ever wanted to do was to protect Harry and she knew that if they were out — and they had to make that decision between being in or out — if they were out, there was far less the queen could do to protect him,” Nicholl added.

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Queen Elizabeth ‘could never truly understand’ why Prince Harry ‘gave it all up,’ expert says

During an appearance on Palace Confidential, Nicholl said the queen struggled with Harry’s decision to leave the royal family.

She talked about the close relationship Harry had with his grandmother. “But, my understanding from the conversations I had was that she could never truly understand why he gave it all up,” Nicholl said.

The author pointed out, “Because for a young girl who was never destined to be queen, but who made that pledge to serve for her whole life — duty was in her DNA.”

Nicholl added, “So the idea that one of hers could turn their backs on that duty,  I think she did struggle to understand that.”