Prince Harry says Queen Elizabeth canceled meeting after Sussexes announced they were stepping back as royals

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Prince Harry made a bombshell claim about his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, that wasn’t aired during Sunday night’s shocking interview.

On Monday, “CBS This Morning” revealed a new clip from the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s interview with Oprah Winfrey. In the segment, the 36-year-old detailed how his original plan to meet with the reigning monarch suddenly changed after the couple publicly announced they were stepping back as senior members of the British royal family.

“That announcement that we put out on the eighth of January in 2020, the contents of that was put into a letter to the institution, to my father [Prince Charles], which was then shared at the end of December while we were in Canada, but then [we] get back on the sixth,” said the duke.

“After, my grandmother said, ‘The moment you land, come up to Sandringham. We’d love to have a chat. Come for tea. Why don’t you stay for dinner? Because it’s gonna be a long drive and you’re gonna be exhausted,’” Harry recalled.

Markle, 39, also shared that the queen, 94, welcomed the couple to stay the night at Sandringham, which is the royal estate in Norfolk, England.

However, Harry claimed plans immediately changed once the couple landed back in the U.K.

“The moment we landed in the U.K., I got a message from my private secretary, Fiona, at the time,” said Harry, added she was “cutting and pasting a message from the queen’s private secretary basically saying, ‘Please pass on to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex that he cannot come to Norfolk. The queen is busy. She’s busy all week.'”

Harry said he immediately called his grandmother from Frogmore Cottage in hopes of clarifying the confusion.

Prince Harry claimed he was originally scheduled to meet with Queen Elizabeth II. However, the reigning monarch suddenly became "busy."

“[I] said, ‘I was thinking about coming anyway, but I hear you’re now busy,’ and she said, ‘Yes, ‘There’s something in my diary that I didn’t know that I had,'” Harry recalled. “And I said, ‘Well, what about the rest of the week?’ And she said, ‘Well, that’s busy now as well.’ OK, I didn’t want to push because I kind of knew what was going on.”

Winfrey, 67, then asked, “But, doesn’t the queen get to do what the queen wants to do?”

“When you’re head of the firm, there is people around you that give you advice,” Harry replied. “And what has also made me really sad is some of that advice has been really bad.”

“It’s hard for people to distinguish the two because it’s a family business, right?” said Markle on the difference between the royal family and the “institution.”

Meghan Markle (pictured here) spoke to Oprah Winfrey about the mistreatment she endured by the British tabloids.
(Eddie Mulholland/Pool via Reuters)

“So there’s the family,” she said “And then there’s the people that are running the institution. Those are two separate things.”

“It’s important to be able to compartmentalize that because the queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me,” noted the former American actress. 

During the interview, Harry disputed rumors that he intentionally blindsided his grandmother with his decision to split. He suspects the rumors came from the institution.

Fox News reached out to Buckingham Palace for comment.

He also revealed the royal family cut him off financially at the start of 2020 after announcing plans to step back from his roles. However, he was able to afford security for his family because of the money his mother, Princess Diana, left behind.

Meghan Markle told Oprah Winfrey Queen Elizabeth II has always been ‘wonderful’ to her.
(Getty Images)

Harry acknowledged that he does not have a close relationship presently with his brother Prince William, who is heir to the throne after their father, Prince Charles. He also admitted his relationship with the patriarch, 72, has been impacted.

“There is a lot to work through there,” Harry said about his relationship with his father. “I feel really let down. He’s been through something similar. He knows what pain feels like. And Archie is his grandson. I will always love him, but there is a lot of hurt that has happened.”

The couple married at Windsor Castle in May 2018, and their son, Archie, was born a year later. Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal duties began in March 2020 over what they described as the intrusions and racist attitudes of the British media toward the duchess.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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