Setting the record straight. A spokesperson for King Charles III has reacted to claims that Prince Harry learned about Queen Elizabeth II’s death just five minutes before it was announced to the public. Keep reading to find out everything we know about the situation.
When Did Prince Harry Learn That Queen Elizabeth II Had Died?
On September 18, The Telegraph reported that Harry, 38, was informed that his grandmother died five minutes before the official announcement on September 8. He was reportedly the “last to know” of her passing within the royal family.
The report claimed that King Charles III, 73, called his youngest son when he was still traveling to Balmoral Castle in Scotland. By the time he landed, Buckingham Palace had already informed the public of the queen’s death at the age of 96.
A spokesperson for the king reacted to the reports by issuing a rare statement to the Daily Mail on Sunday, September 18. “The public was only informed after every family member had been informed,” the statement read. However, it was not revealed when and how Harry learned about his grandmother’s passing.
Why Didn’t Prince Harry Wear a Military Uniform to Queen Elizabeth II’s Funeral?
While Harry did attend the funeral on Monday, September 19, he was not allowed to wear a military uniform despite having previously served in the British Army for a decade.
The Duke of Sussex was granted permission to wear his uniform to the Queen’s vigil for her grandkids on Saturday, September 17, though not to the actual funeral because he’s no longer a working member of the royal family.
“Only working members of the royal family will wear military uniform at the 5 ceremonial events during the #Queen’s period of mourning and State Funeral. Prince Andrew won’t wear uniform except as a ‘mark of respect’ to the Queen during the final vigil,” royal expert Roya Nikkhah wrote on Twitter.
“[Prince Harry] will wear a morning suit throughout events honoring his grandmother. His decade of military service is not determined by the uniform he wears and we respectfully ask that focus remain on the life and legacy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” added a Sussex spokesperson via royal correspondent Omid Scobie.
Why Did Prince Harry Step Back From His Royal Duties?
Harry and his wife, Meghan Markle, announced the decision to “step back” from the royal family in January 2020. The couple moved to California with son Archie, while they later revealed they were expecting their second baby together – a daughter whom they named Lilibet – in February 2021.
Shortly after announcing they were able to become a family of four, Buckingham Palace released a statement confirming that they would “not be returning as working members of The Royal Family.”
Despite having a strained relationship with the royal family, Harry and Meghan, 41, released a statement honoring the Queen after her death via their Archewell foundation.
“Granny, while this final parting brings us great sadness, I am forever grateful for all of our first meetings—from my earliest childhood memories with you, to meeting you for the first time as my Commander-in-Chief, to the first moment you met my darling wife and hugged your beloved great-grandchildren,” the statement read in part. “I cherish these times shared with you, and the many other special moments in between. You are already sorely missed, not just by us, but by the world over. And as it comes to first meetings, we now honour my father in his new role as King Charles III.”