The Queen Was Too “Busy” to Meet the Sussexes After They Announced They Were Stepping Down

Last night’s tell-all interview between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and Oprah Winfrey brought to light some major revelations about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s time as senior members of the royal family.

The bombshells continued this morning as CBS aired unseen clips from the interview. In one of the segments, Prince Harry discussed how some of his and Meghan’s plans with Queen Elizabeth II changed after the Sussexes announced that they would be stepping back as senior members of the royal family.

“That announcement that we put out on the eighth of January in 2020, the contents of that was put into a letter to the institution, to my father, which was then shared at the end of December while we were in Canada, but then [we] get back on the sixth,” said the duke. “After my grandmother said, ‘The moment you land, come up to Sandringham. We’d love to have have a chat. Come for tea. Why don’t you stay for dinner? Because it’s gonna be a long drive and you’re gonna be exhausted.”

Meghan added that the Queen even welcomed them to stay the night at Sandringham, the royal estate in Norfolk, England.

However, plans quickly changed once the couple landed back in the U.K.

“The moment we landed in the U.K., I got a message from my private secretary, Fiona, at the time,” Harry continued. His secretary was “cutting and pasting a message from the Queen’s private secretary basically saying, ‘Please pass on to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that he cannot come to Norfolk. The Queen is busy. She’s busy all week.'”

Confused, Harry said he then rang up his grandmother from Frogmore Cottage.

“[I] said, ‘I was thinking about coming anyway, but I hear you’re now busy,’ and she said yes, ‘There’s something something in my diary that I didn’t know that I had,'” Harry recalled. “And I said, ‘Well, what about the rest of the week?’ And she said, ‘Well, that’s busy now as well.’ Okay, I didn’t want to push because I kind of knew what was going on.”

To this, Winfrey asked, “But, doesn’t the Queen get to do what the Queen wants to do?”

Harry answered, “When you’re head of the firm, there is people around you that give you advice. And what has also made me really sad is some of that advice has been really bad.”

In distinguishing the difference between “family” and “business,” Duchess Meghan said, “It’s hard for people to distinguish the two because it’s a family business, right? So there’s the family. And then there’s the people that are running the institution. Those are two separate things.”

Still, she added, “It’s important to be able to compartmentalize that because the queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me. We had one of our first joint engagement together. She asked me to join her and I was on the train … and we had breakfast together that morning.”

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