Meghan Markle Reportedly Contacted Prince Harry About the Queen’s Death Before the Family Told Him

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Royal reporter Omid Scobie spoke to Peoplethis week about why Prince William and Prince Harry’s relationship is irreparably broken and has been for some time. The outlet ran a devastating excerpt from Scobie’s upcoming book Endgame that detailed how, during the Queen’s final hours, Harry was completely kept out of the loop about her state, with William ignoring Harry’s texts. It was Meghan who reached out to Harry about the Queen’s death.

Leading up to that moment, there was little outreach from his father King Charles, who does not carry a cell phone, and nothing from William.

In September 2022, the morning after the Palace announced the Queen had been advised to rest by doctors, Harry received a call from an unknown number that ended up being Charles, asking him to travel to the Queen. Harry and Meghan had been in the U.K. to attend the One Young World Summit in Manchester, then visit Düsseldorf, Germany, for the one-year kickoff to the Invictus Games event.

“Charles told him he and Camilla were about to leave Dumfries House for Balmoral, where Princess Anne was already by the Queen’s side,” Scobie writes in Endgame. “He told Harry to make his way to Scotland immediately. William, whom Charles had just spoken to, was supposedly working on arranging travel. Harry sent a text message to his brother asking how he and Kate planned to get to Scotland and whether they could travel together. No response.”

William continued to ignore Harry’s outreach, Scobie reports. Ultimately, Charles reached out to Harry again and told him to come alone despite original plans for Meghan to join him. Charles cited “protocol” and Kate’s absence too as justification.

The reality was “they just didn’t want Meghan there,” a former Palace aide said, and a friend added that Meghan “could sense she wasn’t wanted.”

Harry had to charter his own flight to Scotland and did not know when his flight took off at 5:35 P.M. that the Queen had actually already passed away at 3:10 P.M.

There was debate between the Palace and the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s team of whether the news should be announced publicly before Harry learned, as he was in the air and unable to receive calls.

“His team literally had to beg for them to wait for his plane to land and they reluctantly agreed to hold the statement back for a little bit,” the source said. Ultimately, the flight was taking too long for them to wait any longer. They published the news.

Scobie wrote that 20 minutes later, Harry landed and checked his phone to see he had “received a text from Meghan urging him to call ASAP followed by a breaking news alert via the BBC News app with the announcement of the Queen’s death.”

Reports that Charles shared the news with Harry personally were false and done as a “move to save face,” Scobie wrote.

“Harry was crushed,” his friend said. “His relationship with the Queen was everything to him. She would have wanted him to know before it went out to the world. They could have waited just a little longer, it would have been nothing in the grand scheme of things, but no one respected that at all.”

From there, Harry’s relationship with William, especially after his memoir Spare came out, did not get better.

A source close to William told Scobie, “There’s a huge amount of anger there. He feels betrayed and sad about the situation. But he also doesn’t agree with the things his brother feels he has done. He feels he has lost Harry and doesn’t want to know this version of him.”

That version, a Spencer family source said, is “Harry being a man who has stepped outside of the institution and sees things in a different light. They will never see eye to eye at this point. They’re on completely opposite sides … that won’t change.”

Scobie shared his own perspective with People on Harry and William’s relationship based on what he learned while reporting Endgame.

“I saw Harry’s release of Spare as his last attempt at telling his family how he’s felt for years,” Scobie said. “Because clearly there’s never been an open enough forum to have these conversations or share these feelings.”

In writing Endgame, “I was talking to a source quite early on in the process, and they called Harry a ‘defector’ and said that was William’s view,” Scobie added. “These were two men who once upon a time were firmly aligned in their outlook. One of them had to move on to also protect the crown.”

“These are probably sad realizations that will be had far too late in the journey,” Scobie continued. “In the eyes of some within the institution, Harry is a threat to the crown. His freedom to exert his own thinking outside of the confines of the institution has made him the enemy.” That is why for Harry and William’s relationship, “there’s no going back.”

Read the full excerpt from Scobie’s book here which further details the breakdown between Harry and the family.

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Senior News and Strategy Editor

Alyssa Bailey is the senior news and strategy editor at ELLE.com, where she oversees coverage of celebrities and royals (particularly Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton). She previously held positions at InStyle and Cosmopolitan. When she’s not working, she loves running around Central Park, making people take #ootd pics of her, and exploring New York City.

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