Prince Harry was reportedly forced to find his own flight to Balmoral following the news of the Queen’s failing health. Prince Harry was also told of the Queen’s death mid-flight by King Charles, just five minutes before the official public announcement from Buckingham Palace, according to reporting by The Telegraph.
Prince William, with Prince Andrew, Prince Edward and Sophie, Countess of Wessex, flew to Balmoral from RAF Northolt on one of the Dassault Falcon 900LX jets which flew Prime Minister Liz Truss to Scotland two days earlier for an audience with the Queen.
However, Prince Harry was not onboard that flight. His aides reportedly had difficulty finding a suitable aircraft as the Royal Family raced to Balmoral. The Duke of Sussex was finally able to charter a Cessna from Luton airport which took off at 5.35pm.
The public statement regarding the Queen’s death was reportedly delayed until King Charles could reach his son to inform him of the news just minutes before he touched down in Scotland.
A source told The Telegraph that Prince Harry had not been treated differently than any other member of the Royal Family and that the King had not been in regular contact with anyone on that difficult day.
The source said: “Everybody was trying to get where they needed to be. That was the focus.
“And the King was adamant that the official statement must not be released until all members of the family had been informed. That was a father talking because he cares.”
The Queen’s failing health had reportedly been relayed to family members the previous evening, however it was not believed to warrant the family coming to Scotland.
The next morning, however, the Queen’s condition had worsened. A helicopter was scrambled for King Charles who made his way to Balmoral.
He is then believed to have called his sons, telling them the news that their grandmother was unlikely to make it. Both sons were reportedly advised to travel to Balmoral, along with other members of the Royal Family.
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The public statement of Her Majesty’s death was released at 6.30pm, the Duke of Sussex landed in Aberdeen at 6.46pm. He was seen leaving Balmoral alone the next morning.
There has been speculation that tensions are easing between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal Family. In his first address to the nation as Sovereign, King Charles III expressed his “love” for Harry and Meghan as they “continue to build their lives overseas”.
Additionally, a joint walk with the Sussexes and the Prince and Princess of Wales to view tributes to Her Majesty at Windsor was seen as the extension of an olive branch.
However, following these displays, Prince Harry was reportedly astonished after he was denied the right to wear his grandmother’s initials ER on the shoulder of his military uniform while visiting Her Majesty Lying in State.
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Although King Charles had apparently given Prince Harry a special dispensation to wear the Blues and Royals No 1 dress uniform despite not being a working Royal.
The ER and the aiguillettes, ornamental braided cords, which accompany it, can only be worn by the Sovereigns aide-decamp, a role which Prince Harry was stripped of in 2021.
The Prince was reportedly furious, and considered wearing a morning suit to avoid embarrassment. Prince William wore the ER without the aiguillettes, possibly in a bid to draw attention away from Prince Harry’s missing cypher.
During the official ceremonies, little or no interaction was had between Prince Harry and other members of the Royal Family, including his brother.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are expected to leave the country on Tuesday as they have been away from their children for more than two weeks.