Meghan Markle and Harry accused of ‘trading in royal intimacies’ after latest interview

Prince Harry says he’s ensuring the Queen is ‘protected’

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Royal author Robert Lacey analysed Prince Harry’s latest interview with a US broadcaster. What was aired of the Duke of Sussex’s chat with NBC’s Today host Hoda Kotb focused mostly on Harry’s family – his children, his wife and his grandmother the Queen – rather than the Invictus Games, which is in its final day today at The Hague.

Mr Lacey wrote in The Times: “The tragic paradox of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is that they proclaim their wish to escape the royal circus, but that’s all they really want to talk about – while taking TV camera crews round the world to record them doing so.”

During his TV interview, Harry spoke about his close relationship with the sovereign, as he has done also during past public appearances.

In February last year, the Duke told his friend and comedian James Corden about his family’s video calls with the Queen and Prince Philip and how the sovereign sent across the pond a waffle maker after learning his son Archie Harrison wanted one.

During the Sussexes’ groundbreaking interview with Oprah Winfrey, aired in March 2021, Meghan and Harry launched worrying allegations of racism and neglect against the Firm. 

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However, they stressed their relationship with the Queen had remained good even after their decision to step down as full-time working royals at the end of March 2020.

The Duke said to have “spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have done for many, many years”.

And Meghan, referring to late Prince Philip’s hospitalisation in February last year, described how easily she picked up the phone to ask the Queen about her husband.

The Duchess told Ms Winfrey: “This morning, I woke up earlier than H and saw a note from someone on our team in the UK saying the Duke of Edinburgh had gone to the hospital. 

“I just picked up the phone and I called the Queen just to check in.”

She continued: “Just like, I would… you know… that’s what we do.

“It’s like, being able to default to not having to every moment go, ‘Is that appropriate?’”

Harry chimed in to claim many in his family are “fearful” of what the media will say about them, while “with us, it was just, like, just be… just be yourself”. 

Prince Harry's interview analysed by body language expert

After recalling Meghan candidly revealing she can simply check in with the Queen, Mr Lacey said: “So it has come to this — the defiantly ex-royal couple are actually trading in royal intimacies.”

Another royal commentator, Canadian journalist Patricia Treble, noted in the immediate aftermath of the broadcasting on Wednesday that the main interview between Harry and Ms Hoda was hugely focused on the Royal Family.

She wrote on Twitter: “The main interview started at 7:32am [EST] and was ~11 minutes long (plus a two min chat among host after it ended).

“Of those ~11 minutes, 2:35 min were on the Invictus Games while the rest — ~8:25 min — were on his family including the Queen, his mother, wife and children”.

During his interview with Today, Prince Harry spoke about his children Archie and Lilibet Diana and how fatherhood is pushing him to try and make the world a better place for them. 

He also spoke about retaining the same “focus” he had when he was a working member of the Royal Family, saying that due to “the circumstance” he and Meghan “moved that life of service to the States” and are still carrying out the same type of work they used to.

He added: ” So in that regard, nothing has changed for us”.

The Duke also spoke at length about his bond with the Queen, whom he and Meghan visited last week while on their way to The Hague, saying they share a “really special relationship”.

He said: “We talk about things that she can’t talk about with anybody else, so that is always a nice peace to her.”

And, in a comment that sparked criticism among many royal commentators, Harry said he is “just making sure she’s protected and has got the right people around her”. 

The Duke did not elaborate on what he thought the monarch need protection from or whom he believes are the right people to be near her.

This comment found its way to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge who, on Thursday, were visiting the London headquarters of the Disasters Emergency Committee to learn more about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine sparked by the ongoing war and the appeal launched by the association.

On their way out, a female broadcaster asked Prince William a question related to Harry’s interview, saying: “Sir, does the Queen need protecting?”

Neither the Duke nor the Duchess responded and continued into the vehicle before being driven away.

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