Harry was ‘kept in the dark’ about the Queen’s health in the hours before she died, the prince’s biographer has claimed.
Omid Scobie, who is a close friend of the Duke of Sussex, said Harry, 39, and his 42-year-old wife Meghan Markle had ‘no idea’ the Royal Family were preparing for his grandmother’s death last year.
The allegations come amid a deep rift between Prince Harry and his relatives, including Prince William and King Charles, following explosive attacks on them in his memoir, Spare.
In his new book, Endgame, Mr Scobie suggests William and Harry’s relationship is beyond repair because the Prince of Wales sees his brother as a ‘defector’.
In an extract shared with People, he claims ‘there is no going back’ for the brothers and ‘absolutely nothing has changed’ since the Duke of Sussex released Spare earlier this year.
Buckingham Palace has not yet commented on the extract.
In the extract of Endgame revealed today, Mr Scobie claims:
- William ignored Harry when he asked how he was planning to get to Scotland;
- Eventually, he booked a £30,000 charter flight to Aberdeenshire from Luton;
- Charles told him to come without Meghan. Source claims she ‘wasn’t wanted’;
- Harry had ‘no idea’ about what was going on in Balmoral when his plane took off;
- But ‘sources’ briefed newspapers that Charles had personally informed son;
- William believes Harry has been ‘brainwashed by an army of therapists’.
Prince Harry and Prince William on July 1, 2021 during an unveiling of a statue of their mother at Kensington Palace
The Prince and Princess of Wales join the Duke and Duchess of Sussex for a walkabout at Windsor to meet mourners after the Queen’s death in September 2022
An emotional Harry travels in an official car to Balmoral after the Queen’s death was announced to the nation
In Endgame, Mr Scobie recounts how the Sussexes had visited the UK for a series of engagements in September 2022 when the palace announced that Queen Elizabeth had been advised by her doctors to rest.
He writes: ‘By the next morning, the Sussexes had no idea that Buckingham Palace was already planning for the Queen’s final hours and the first days of the monarchy’s new era — until the duke’s phone started ringing. An unknown number. He usually ignored those.’
Meghan told her husband to pick up the phone and he accepted the call ‘just before it stopped’, the author wrote.
He continues: ‘Harry hadn’t spoken to his father much that year, but this was not the time for any father-and-son tension. Charles told him he and Camilla were about to leave Dumfries House for Balmoral, where Princess Anne was already by the Queen’s side. He told Harry to make his way to Scotland immediately.’
Harry sent a text message to his brother William asking how he and Kate planned to get to Scotland and whether they could travel together but got no response, Mr Scobie claims.
He was later told Harry had managed to secure a flight with his uncles Prince Andrew and Prince Edward.
‘It was upsetting to witness,’ Mr Scobie claims he was told by a source close to the Sussexes. ‘[Harry] was completely by himself on this.’
Mr Scobie alleges that Palace ‘sources’ briefed certain newspapers that Charles had personally shared the news of the Queen’s illness with his son. He quoted a friend of the duke who said this left Harry ‘crushed’.
The journalists makes fresh claims about the damaged relationship between William and Harry.
Mr Scobie even alleges that William ‘doesn’t want to know’ his younger brother, who he feels has been ‘brainwashed an army of therapists’.
He writes: ‘I was talking to a source quite early on in the process, and they called Harry a ‘defector’ and said that was William’s view.
‘These were two men who once upon a time were firmly aligned in their outlook. One of them had to move on to also protect the crown.’
Prince Harry, pictured with Meghan and the late Queen in 2018, was allegedly ‘kept in the dark’ about her health in the hours before her death
Prince Harry boarding a plane at Aberdeen airport after leaving Balmoral following the Queen’s death
Harry wrote about him and William’s relationship in Spare, going so far as to call his brother his ‘arch-nemesis’.
The duke kept nothing back when writing about his very complex feelings about his older sibling – laying bare his bitter frustrations over his role as the ‘spare’ to William, who is the heir to the throne.
The Duke described his sibling as both his ‘beloved brother’ and his ‘arch-nemesis’ in the book.
Her further delved into the difficulties he experienced as a result of the ‘heir/spare’ relationship in an interview with Good Morning America.
Speaking to GMA anchor Michael Strahan – who questioned ‘what [Harry] meant by referring to William as ‘his beloved brother and arch-nemesis” – the Duke admitted that he has always felt there’s been ‘this competition’ between the two siblings, which he blames on their respective positions in the line of succession.
‘There’s a quote in the book where your refer to your brother as your ‘beloved brother and arch-nemesis’. Strong words. What did you mean by that?’ Strahan asks in a teaser for the interview.
Harry then responded: ‘There has always been this competition between us, weirdly. I think it really plays into or always played by the ‘heir/spare’.’
In Spare, the duke infamously described a stand-up argument which he says ended with William grabbing him by the collar and throwing him to the floor, shattering a dog bowl with his back.
The furious row allegedly broke out in the kitchen of his London home, Nottingham Cottage, in the grounds of Kensington Palace in 2019.
William is said to have branded Meghan ‘difficult’, ‘rude’ and ‘abrasive’ and insisted he was trying to ‘help’ his younger brother during a meeting about ‘the whole rolling catastrophe’ of their failing relationship and Harry’s rows with the press.
Harry accused his brother of ‘parroting the press narrative’ about his American wife before a screaming match ensued, ending in a physical altercation, the book claims.
He claims he then gave the heir to the throne a glass of water and said: ‘Willy, I can’t speak to you when you’re like this.’
Describing what he claims happened next, and insisting he was scared, the former soldier said: ‘He set down the water, called me another name, then came at me. It all happened so fast. So very fast.
‘He grabbed me by the collar, ripping my necklace, and he knocked me to the floor. I landed on the dog’s bowl, which cracked under my back, the pieces cutting into me. I lay there for a moment, dazed, then got to my feet and told him to get out.’
Harry says that William had then urged him to fight back, writing that is what would happen when they scrapped as children.
But the Duke of Sussex says he refused, claiming that William left, before returning, looking ‘regretful, and apologized’.
According to Harry, William then ‘turned and called back’ that he ‘didn’t need to tell [Meghan] about this’, prompting Harry to question whether his brother meant he shouldn’t tell his wife that his sibling had ‘attacked him’.
‘I didn’t attack you, Harold,’ Harry says his brother retorted.
Prince Harry walks alongside Meghan and the Princess of Wales at the lying-in-state of the Queen last year
Harry also used Spare to open up about the death of his grandmother.
In the memoir, he described how he whispered to her that he ‘hoped she was happy’ and would be reunited with Prince Philip, who died a year earlier. He also told her that he admired her for having carried out her duties until the end.
The prince scrambled to Scotland to see the Queen – Britain’s longest reigning monarch – on September 8 last year after Buckingham Palace announced that she was gravely ill. However, he failed to reach the estate before she passed away aged 96.
In a moving passage, the duke describes how he learned of the Queen’s passing after checking the BBC news website. Upon arriving at Balmoral, he was greeted by Anne, the Princess Royal, who then took him upstairs to a room where the late Sovereign was lying.
He writes: ‘I advanced with uncertainty and saw her. I stayed still, watching her carefully for a good while.
‘I whispered that I hoped she was happy and that she was with Grandfather now. I said that I admired her for having carried out her duties until the end. The [Platinum] Jubilee, the welcoming of the new Prime Minister’.
Mr Scobie covered the Sussexes in his 2020 bestseller Finding Freedom, and is now considered the couple’s unofficial mouthpiece.
Promotional material for Endgame suggests it will be equally hostile to the remaining members of the Royal Family as his previous work.
A breathless description on Amazon calls it as ‘a penetrating investigation into the current state of the British monarchy – an unpopular king, a power-hungry heir to the throne, a queen willing to go to dangerous lengths to preserve her image and a prince forced to start a new life after being betrayed by his own family’.
A source told The Mail on Sunday: ‘I’ve been told this is bad, very bad. It is unlikely that Royal aides will comment, but if there are charges of racism, they will, of course, be robustly rebutted.’
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex famously told US TV host Oprah Winfrey that when Meghan announced her pregnancy an unnamed member of the Royal Family had questioned which skin colour their son Archie was likely to have.
The Sussexes repeatedly denied co-operating with Scobie and his co-author Carolyn Durand on Finding Freedom, but Meghan was later forced to admit in the High Court that she authorised an aide to brief the pair secretly.
Omid Scobie, the unofficial mouthpiece for the Sussexes, is set to use his new book to launch a salvo of attacks on the Royal Family
Endgame, published on November 28, is likely to cause further disquiet at Buckingham Palace. It is unknown whether the Sussexes had any input this time, although the author boasts that he interviewed family members.
The book, subtitled ‘Inside the Royal Family and the Monarchy’s Fight for Survival’, is billed as an ‘explosive’ look into events surrounding the Queen’s death.
The Amazon sales pitch states: ‘Queen Elizabeth II’s death ruptured the already-fractured foundations of the House of Windsor – and dismantled the protective shield around it.’
Scobie claims to have interviewed ‘current and former Palace staff, trusted friends of the Royals and even the family members themselves’.
The Mail on Sunday has learned that the book will be serialised in a major US magazine, but not in the UK.
It was due to be published in August, but this was pushed back to include events surrounding the Coronation.
A publishing source in America said: ‘The word is this is going to have bombshell after bombshell. Some are even speculating it may name the person who questioned what colour Archie’s skin would be.
‘Everyone knows Omid is the Sussexes’ unofficial mouthpiece, so it’s fair to say there will be a huge deal of interest in this book on both sides of the Atlantic.’
Chapter headings include: ‘Shaky Ground: The Queen is Dead, the Monarchy Faces Trouble’, ‘The Fall of Prince Andrew: Scandal, Shame and Silencing Jane Doe’, ‘Race and the Royals: Institutional Bigotry and Denial’, ‘Gloves On: Prince William, Heir to the Throne’, and ‘Gloves Off: Prince Harry, Man on a Mission’.
In the promotional material, Mr Scobie said King Charles is ‘unpopular’ and Queen Camilla is ‘willing to go to dangerous lengths to preserve her image’
Publisher HarperCollins has previously said that the book will ‘have the world talking’, and Scobie has warned it will reveal moments the Royals should be ‘ashamed of’.
Earlier this month, Scobie wrote in detail about the first night Meghan and Harry spent together and recounted seemingly verbatim conversations between the Sussexes and senior royals.
He has continued to be a favoured mouthpiece for the Sussexes and is often the first to post information about their charitable endeavours and awards on social media.
This week, he took yet another dig at the King and Queen for walking along a red carpet laid out for them over bare ground in Kenya during their State Visit last week.
Writing on X, formerly Twitter, he said: ‘Even if this was a choice made by the hosts (and it probably was), the optics of the King and Queen walking on a red carpet to avoid soil at Nairobi National Park are pretty ridiculous and out of touch.
‘A clued-up Palace aide could have easily asked for it to be removed.’
But Scobie was criticised for his comment, including by Kenyan journalist Joseph Wakhungu, who wrote: ‘I can tell you that’s just how all visiting heads of state and government are treated when they land in Kenya.’
Responding to a fan on social media who wrote of Endgame, ‘I hope it goes further and deeper than Finding Freedom’, Scobie responded: ‘They’re worlds apart.’