The Duke and Duchess of Sussex declined opportunities to visit the late Elizabeth II in the years preceding her death, according to a new book on the royal family.
Prince Harry and his wife Meghan turned down two invitations to travel to Balmoral Castle since 2019, including once during the year before they resigned as active, working royals.
The couple subsequently turned down an invitation for a Balmoral visit after moving to California and becoming full-time U.S. residents, according to Katie Nicholl, the author of “The New Royals: Queen Elizabeth’s Legacy and the Future of the Crown.”
Nicholl, Vanity Fair’s royal correspondent, outlined the snub in an interview with Fox News on Thursday.
“The queen traditionally hosted a big gathering for her grandchildren and great-grandchildren,” Nicholl said.
Harry is Elizabeth’s grandson through King Charles III.
“It was always a weekend that she looked forward to. And on this occasion, the Sussexes didn’t go.”
“I was told that it wouldn’t have fit their narrative at that point. The narrative was very much ‘this is us against them.’ There was that sense of separation. And perhaps turning up and playing happy families wouldn’t have fit into that narrative.”
Harry and Meghan decided to bring their youngest son to Ibiza and the South of France instead of his grandmother’s residence, a move that “raised eyebrows” within the institution, according to Nicholl.
Harry rushed to Balmoral Sept. 8 amid reports of his grandmother’s ailing health, but arrived at the royal residence too late for a final goodbye for the longest-tenured monarch in British history.
Meghan had spurred a rare public statement from the queen herself after accusing an unnamed member of the royal family of racism during a televised interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Relations between the Sussexes and the other members of the royal family are understood to be strained.
King Charles has sought to isolate the dissident royals from the institution since taking the throne, according to some reports.
Nicholl indicated that the Sussexes’ dramatic departure from active royal life proved stressful for the queen herself.
“Privately, the queen confided to a close friend that she was exhausted by the turmoil of it all,” Nicholl told Fox.
She quoted a source close to the queen who indicated Elizabeth grew tired of the Sussexes’ personal controversies.
“She was very hurt and told me, ‘I don’t know, I don’t care, and I don’t want to think about it anymore.’”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.