Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were kept “in the dark” about Queen Elizabeth II’s health before her death.
Harry, 39, had “no idea that Buckingham Palace was already planning for the Queen’s final hours and the first days of the monarchy’s new era” before receiving a call from his father, King Charles III, according to an excerpt from Omid Scobie’s upcoming book, Endgame, published by People.
During the phone call, Harry was informed to “make his way to Scotland immediately.”
Buckingham Palace announced that the queen had died at age 96 on September 8, 2023, while staying at Balmoral Estate. Harry was spotted arriving in Scotland hours after the death had officially been announced.
Harry received “no response” when attempting to connect with his brother, Prince William, about possible travel plans, the excerpt continued. Harry was “completely by himself,” while his family members already had their flights secured, Scobie wrote.
“With no invite forthcoming from any of the family members, Harry eventually located an available option — a private charter costing [$37,000] from Luton Airport, a 40-minute drive from Frogmore without traffic,” the excerpt read.
The queen died at 3:10 p.m., and William had been notified 40 minutes later. Harry, however, “still had no idea what was going on when his own plane finally took off at 5:35 p.m.”
News of the queen’s death went public before Harry’s plane had landed. When he touched down, Meghan, 42, had texted him about her passing.
Harry, for his part, discussed traveling to Scotland ahead of his grandmother’s death in his Spare memoir, which was released in January, claiming that Meghan wasn’t welcome.
“[Charles] said I was welcome at Balmoral, but he didn’t want … her,” he wrote. “He started to lay out his reason, which was nonsensical, and disrespectful, and I wasn’t having it. [I replied,] ‘Don’t ever speak about my wife that way.’”
Scobie wrote something similar in Endgame, claiming that Charles “instructed his younger son to come alone,” even though it had already been publicly confirmed that Meghan would be accompanying him. Charles stated it was “protocol,” noting that William’s wife, Princess Kate Middleton, wasn’t going either, but “the reality was that Kate chose to stay back to pick up the children from their first day at a new school,” Scobie wrote.
Harry remembered the queen’s “everlasting legacy” in a statement released following her death.
“In celebrating the life of my grandmother, Her Majesty The Queen — and in mourning her loss — we are all reminded of the guiding compass she was to so many in her commitment to service and duty,” he wrote. “She was globally admired and respected. Her unwavering grace and dignity remained true throughout her life.”
Harry added, 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.”