In March, an observer reportedly saw Prince Harry’s tears over his royal snub, and now the anecdote has made its way into royal biographer Robert Lacey’s latest book, Battle of Brothers. According to the source, the Duke of Sussex appeared to have been “fighting back tears” after he and his wife, Meghan Markle, learned they were excluded from the royal procession at their final appearance as working royals.
Followers of Meghan and Harry’s royal exit may remember the day in question: On March 9, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex arrived at Westminster Abbey to attend the Queen’s Commonwealth Day Service, marking their last event with the royal family before moving to America. Prince William, Kate Middleton, along with other royals were all in attendance. Unfortunately, the event wasn’t without its own dose of drama. According to multiple reports, there was a bit of a snub for Meghan and Harry when it came to their entry and seating arrangements at the event.
The Sussexes were not on the Queen’s procession list. Duchess Kate and Prince William, however, were. But according to The Daily Mail, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge “stepped in to defuse the situation” by offering to sit in their seats with Meghan and Harry, instead of walking with the Queen. A source at the time revealed that the Sussexes were “quite sensitive and emotional” about the oversight. Now, Lacey’s book has revealed even more about that awkward day.
According to the biographer, who also serves as a historical consultant on Netflix’s The Crown, everyone else in the building knew about Meghan and Harry’s snub ahead of time. Battle of Brother’s reveals that thousands of programs had been handed around prior to their arrival, indicating the order of procession—which, we now know, was sans the Sussexes.
“The only problem was that 2,000 orders of service had already been distributed ’round the Abbey, explaining that William and Kate would enter and process with the main royal party—and making no mention at all of Harry and Meghan,” Lacey writes in Battle of Brothers. “So there was the snub in black and white—set out for all to see.”
He adds, “Observers also noted that Harry’s face was ‘quite tense and unsmiling’—and that when William sat down close to him, he barely greeted his brother. Throughout the service, Meghan megawatted away with her best TV smile but, as the ceremony progressed, Harry appeared to grow gloomier.”
According to one observer at the time, Harry’s “accelerated blinking even suggested he might have been fighting back tears,” Lacey writes. Ouch.
Battle of Brothers: William, Harry and the Inside Story of A Family in Tumult is out October 20 and is available to preorder now.
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