Meghan and Harry interview taking place while Philip was in hospital ‘didn’t trouble him’

Prince Harry said he wants to work with 'normal people' in 2015

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Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are not expected to return to the UK for Christmas this year. The Queen has cancelled the traditional festive get-together for the rest of the Royal Family at Sandringham too. This decision came after Her Majesty cancelled her annual Royal Family Christmas lunch scheduled for today as a “precaution”, with other senior royals cancelling all-but essential contact.

The Queen originally planned to welcome around 50 relatives to the event at Windsor Castle, but plans were scrapped amid fears over the rapid spread of the Omicron coronavirus variant.

This Christmas will be the Queen’s first without her beloved husband by her side.

The Sussexes have not confirmed their Christmas plans, but a source told Page Six that “staff know that Harry and Meghan are not coming”.

Harry was particularly close to both the Queen and Philip.

He shared a connection with his grandfather through their military service, but also appeared to have a very natural rapport, regularly seen laughing and joking with one another at royal events.

When Harry and Meghan stepped aside and were forced to give up their official roles, both Philip and the Queen were upset.

Well-connected broadcaster, journalist, and Philip’s close friend Gyles Brandreth told the Daily Mail earlier this year: “The Duke of Edinburgh was equally sorry ‘that it should come to this’.

“Harry had only succeeded his grandfather as Captain General of the Royal Marines in 2017.

“Philip had done the job for 64 years. Harry had barely managed 30 months.

“The Duke of Edinburgh was not pleased, nor did he believe that Harry and Meghan were doing the right thing for the country or for themselves.”

Philip was in hospital when Harry and Meghan’s explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey aired.

Much was made in the media about the timing of their interview being insensitive to the fact the Royal Family would be worrying about the Duke’s health.

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However, Mr Brandreth insisted the timing did not bother Philip.

Mr Brandreth said of the interview: “The fact that the Meghan and Harry interview was aired while Philip was in hospital did not trouble him.

“What did worry him was the couple’s preoccupation with their own problems and willingness to talk about them in public.

“‘Give TV interviews by all means’, he said, ‘but don’t talk about yourself’.

“That was one of his rules. I know he shared it with his children. I imagine he shared it with his grandchildren, too.”

Mr Brandreth claimed Philip was sympathetic to his grandson’s distrust of the press, and supported Harry’s wish to “do his own thing in his own way”.

However, he did not think the Oprah interview was a wise idea.

Mr Brandreth recalled: “I know from someone close to him that he thought Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey was ‘madness’ and ‘no good would come of it’.

“I was not surprised because that is exactly how he described to me the personal TV interviews given by Prince Charles and Diana, Princess of Wales, back in the Nineties.”

Philip had stayed out when the ins and outs of the Sussexes’ departure were being thrashed out.

Mr Brandreth recalled Philip responding to the rift by saying: “I’ll soon be out of it and not before time.”

Meghan and Harry’s interview aired on March 7, 2021. Philip passed away peacefully just over a month later, on April 9.

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