Change of plans. Following Prince Harry and Meghan Markle‘s decision to step back as senior members of the royal family, Queen Elizabeth II canceled plans with her grandson, Harry revealed in a bonus clip from their Sunday, March 7, interview.
“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,” Harry, 36, explained in the video, which aired during the Monday, March 8, episode of CBS This Morning. “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.'”
The duke added that when he and Meghan, 39, landed in the U.K., he received a message from his private secretary, “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. Do not come up here.'”
Harry then called the queen, 94, that night, saying he wanted to come and see her at the Sandringham House anyway.
“She said, ‘Yes, there’s something in my diary that I didn’t know that I had,'” Harry shared. “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.”
When asked whether the queen gets to do what she wants, the U.K. native said that’s not the case. “No. When you’re head of The Firm, there is people around you that give you advice,” Harry stated. “And what has also made me really sad is some of that advice has been really bad.”
Meghan, for her part, explained during Sunday’s interview that it’s difficult for people to separate the family and the business.
“So, there’s the family, and then there’s the people that are running the institution. Those are two separate things,” the former actress said. “It’s important to be able to compartmentalize that because the queen, for example, has always been wonderful to me.”
She then went on to detail, sharing that while the institution was not welcoming and even turned her away when she went to them asking for professional help because she was experiencing suicidal thoughts, she had a close bond with the queen.
“I mean, we had one of our first joint engagements together,” she said of their outing in 2018, during which Harry’s grandmother gifted her a pair of pearl earrings and a matching necklace. “We were in the car going between engagements, and she has a blanket that sits across her knees for warmth. And it was chilly, and she was like, ‘Meghan, come on,’ and put it over my knees, as well.”
Harry echoed the love and respect he has for Her Majesty in the interview.
“I’ve spoken more to my grandmother in the last year than I have done for many, many years,” the duke shared on Sunday. “We did a couple of zoom calls with Archie. … My grandmother and I have a really good relationship and an understanding. And I have a deep respect for her. She’s my Colonel-in-chief, right? She always will be.”