Prince Harry suggested bringing in a mediator to solve his rift with the rest of the Royal Family, causing Camilla to ‘splutter over her tea’, a royal book has claimed.
In a book soon to be published about The Firm, The New Royals, author and journalist Katie Nicholl addressed the deepening division between the Sussexes and other members of the Royal Family after Harry and Meghan decided to step down as senior royals and begin a new life in the US in 2020.
The book quotes an unnamed family friend who told the author the Duke of Sussex met with his father in spring this year and wanted ‘to clear the air’ – but the awkward meeting left relations strained.
After the Duke and Duchess did not attend the Duke of Edinburgh’s memorial service at Westminster Abbey in March amid a reported dispute over their UK security arrangements, Nicholl wrote that a glimmer of hope was on the horizon when the couple stopped off in the UK before a visit to The Hague for an Invictus Games event a few weeks later.
She also wrote that Prince William and wife Kate felt ‘relief’ when Harry and Meghan announced their decision to move to the US, because they felt that the ‘drama was gone’.
William is also reported to have held a summit of aides – which came to be known as the ‘Anmer Summit’ after the couple’s Norfolk home – to discuss the Royal Family’s future in the wake of his move to the States.
A royal book has claimed Harry suggested bringing in a mediator to heal the rift within the royal family, to which Queen Consort Camilla ‘spat out her tea’. Pictured: The Duke and Duchess of Sussex, King Charles and Queen Consort Camilla at the Queen’s funeral on Monday
Harry and Meghan (pictured in Windsor two days after the death of Her late Majesty) made the decision to step down as senior royals in early 2020
Harry and Meghan reunited with Kate and William for the first time in public since weeks before the first coronavirus lockdown in 2020
In an extract of the book published in Vanity Fair, Nicholl said King Charles, who was then Prince of Wales, insisted on a meeting with Harry over tea before he had an audience with the Queen.
‘The meeting with Charles and Camilla was more awkward than their cordial tea with the queen,’ Nicholl wrote, adding that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were late to the meeting which left Charles with just 15 minutes to catch up with his youngest son and daughter-in-law before he had to attend the Royal Maundy Service at Windsor Castle where he stood in for the Queen.
The family friend said: ‘[Harry] actually suggested that they use a mediator to try and sort things out, which had Charles somewhat bemused and Camilla spluttering into her tea.’
A source close to the Queen has claimed the couple’s decision left Her late Majesty ‘very hurt’ and unable to think about the situation
King Charles permitted Prince Harry (pictured), who served in Afghanistan, to wear his military uniform as he took part in a vigil on Saturday night in which he guarded the Queen’s coffin in Westminster Hall
They added the Queen Consort told the Duke his suggestion was ‘ridiculous’ and that they would resolve their differences within the family.
Nicholl’s book also claimed the Queen was left ‘hurt and exhausted’ by Harry and Meghan’s decision to step down as senior members of the Royal Family and move to the US.
A source close to Her late Majesty claimed she didn’t like to think about the Duke and Duchess’s decision to leave the family, and also revealed the Queen was disappointed when Harry and Meghan didn’t return to the UK in August with Archie and Lilibet, where she was hosting an annual ‘sleepover’ in Sandringham with her grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
The source told the author: ‘[The Queen] was very hurt and told me, ‘I don’t know, I don’t care, and I don’t want to think about it anymore’.’
The source added it was of more regret to Her late Majesty that the Sussexes’ move meant she did not have the opportunity to see as much of Archie and Lilibet as she’d have liked.
Her late Majesty passed away at Balmoral Castle on 8 September at the age of 96, at which point her eldest son Charles automatically became King.
As the monarch, the book claims Charles is keen to heal the rift between the family and his youngest son Harry, 38.
In his first televised address to the nation on 9 September, King Charles said: ‘I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas.’
Some royal fans have claimed the mention of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex was an ‘olive branch’ towards the couple, who happened to be visiting Europe when the Queen passed away.
The Duchess of Sussex was pictured looking incredibly emotional following the Queen’s state funeral at Westminster Abbey on Monday
The Queen (pictured laughing with the Duchess of Sussex in Cheshire, June 2018) was said to have regretted not being able to see more of Archie and Lilibet
During the walkabout on September 10, the royals inspected the sea of floral tributes laid outside the gates of the Berkshire estate in tribute to the late Queen
The Prince and Princess of Wales and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex at Westminster Hall last week as they pay their respects to the Queen
Prince William and Prince Harry walk side by side as they follow the coffin of Queen Elizabeth II from Buckingham Palace to Westminster Hall
Harry and Meghan, who now live in a $14million mansion in Santa Barbara, California, extended their trip and remained in Frogmore Cottage on the Windsor Estate during the period of mourning following the Queen’s death and before her state funeral, committal service and private burial on Monday.
Despite the rift between the Sussexes and the rest of the family, there have been glimpses of a potential reconciliation following the Queen’s death.
It had originally been reported that Harry and Meghan were not planning on meeting with William and Kate during their stay in the UK.
But on the Saturday after the monarch passed away, the Prince and Princess of Wales made their first public appearance outside the Windsor Estate to read tributes that had been left to Her late Majesty and greet mourners.
In an unexpected appearance, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex joined the couple as the ‘Fab Four’ were reunited in their grief.
King Charles also allowed Prince Harry, who served in Afghanistan, to wear his military uniform during a vigil last Saturday night along with the Queen’s other grandchildren, in which they guarded her coffin as it lay in state in Westminster Hall.
Despite the fact he is no longer a working royal, King Charles granted his youngest son permission to don the military uniform so he could pay his respects to his grandmother.
After Harry and Meghan left The Firm in February 2020, relations became strained between the Duke of Sussex and his father and brother.
The rift in the family deepened a year later when the Sussexes took part in an explosive interview with US presenter and journalist Oprah Winfrey, in which they made controversial claims about the Royal Family.
These included allegations of racist comments towards Meghan while she was pregnant with their first child, and concerning claims that the family did not act to help her when she was suicidal and it was not safe for her to be left on her own.
Since moving to the US, the couple have lived a much more private life, and have reportedly signed a major Netflix deal.
Prince Harry is also said to have written a tell-all book on his life within the royal family – although questions over whether it will be still be published as planned remain.
They returned to the UK at the beginning of September for a brief visit, during which they were supposed to visit Dusseldorf for an event marking a year to go until the Invictus Games and attend several conferences in the UK.
But just a few days after their arrival it was announced that the Queen’s health was of grave concern, causing her closest relatives, including Prince Harry, to race to Balmoral to try and see her.
She died that afternoon on September 8, at which point only Princess Anne, Prince Charles and Camilla were by her bedside.
The Sussexes arrived in Britain on September 3 for the first time since the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee in June. They expected to stay only briefly but with the news Her Majesty was ill Prince Harry cancelled his appearance at the WellChild Awards in London and rushed to Balmoral.
Although the Duchess of Sussex did not join him in Scotland, she was by his side for a series of official events over the 10-day period of mourning, including the funeral on Monday.
In a sign the family had put its feud on hold, Prince Harry and Meghan attended multiple events alongside the King and Prince William, including a surprise walkabout with William and Kate at Windsor Castle.
The new Prince and Princess of Wales, 40, took to Windsor to inspect the sea of floral tributes laid outside the gates of the Berkshire estate in tribute to the late Queen.
During the engagement, they were joined by Prince Harry, 37, and Meghan Markle, 41, marking a reunion of the Fab Four and the first time that the two couples have all appeared in public since Commonwealth Day on March 9, 2020, just weeks before the Covid lockdown.
Body language expert Judi James told MailOnline: ‘This is a phenomenal and unexpected scene that displays some natural caution and awkwardness in the body language, although as a statement of intent it seems choreographed as something of a loving tribute the Queen and in some ways the new King, who took what was maybe the first step in speaking of his love for Harry and Meghan in his recent speech.
‘The four line up together to suggest some form of unity and it is William, with his puffed chest and air of confidence, who looks like the leader and instigator. Harry performs some clothing touch anxiety rituals but Meghan seems to be on hand to offer comfort, support and encouragement.’
The couple considerably lengthened their stay following the Queen’s death, but are now said to be planning a return home after not seeing their two children in almost three weeks.
They arrived in the UK without their children Archie, three, and Lilibet, 15 months, who are believed to have remained in California with Meghan’s mother Doria Ragland.