Friday 17 January 2020

Palace fears Harry will set up tell-all TV interview if plans are thwarted

Royals left in turmoil amid today's crunch talks with queen

Heavy is the head: Queen Elizabeth leaves after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire
Heavy is the head: Queen Elizabeth leaves after attending a church service at St Mary Magdalene Church in Sandringham, Norfolk. Photo: Joe Giddens/PA Wire

Victoria Ward

Prince Harry will come face-to-face with Queen Elizabeth today amid Buckingham Palace fears that he and his wife could go public with damaging accusations about the royal family if they do not get what they want.

As the queen, Prince Charles and Prince William join forces to confront Harry (35) for the first time since he announced plans to walk away from his role, the threat of a "no-holds-barred" television interview looms large.

The crisis summit - taking place at the queen's country home, Sandringham in Norfolk - is expected to last several hours as the family combs through the various scenarios that could form a blueprint for Harry and Meghan's "progressive" new roles.

Hurt

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Meghan (38) is expected to join the conversation by dialling in by phone from Canada.

Prince Charles was last night due to travel back from Oman for the family summit on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. He was out of Britain to attend a condolence ceremony following the death of Sultan Qaboos bin Said al Said.

The queen has made it clear that she wants the "Sussex situation", as it has become known, resolved within days to prevent further damage to the monarchy.

Prince Phillip (98) is said to have been left "deeply hurt" by his grandson's decisions and is angry at their "lack of respect".

Prince Harry and wife Meghan. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas /PA Wire
Prince Harry and wife Meghan. Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas /PA Wire

Palace aides fear the duke and duchess could prove problematic for the institution if they are allowed to cut loose and are not kept on side.

Tom Bradby, the ITV journalist and a friend of both Prince William and Prince Harry, warned yesterday that the Sussexes were considering a set-piece television interview to reveal their reasons for stepping back from the family.

"I have some idea of what might be aired in a full, no-holds-barred, sit-down interview and I don't think it would be pretty," he wrote in 'The Sunday Times'.

While Mr Bradby did not expand on the concerns the couple could voice, courtiers fear they might brand the royal household racist and sexist.

A royal source said there was "concern" behind palace gates about an interview that was beyond the press office's control.

"Just look at what happened with the Duke of York on 'Newsnight'," they said.

Prince William, who was said to have been upset when his brother appeared to confirm rumours of their rift in an interview with Mr Bradby last year, is said to be particularly concerned that the couple may be planning to "sound off".

"That's why these negotiations are so delicate," the source added. "The last thing the royals want is any acrimony making it on to the airwaves in a way the palace can't control".

Other royal insiders have suggested the Sussexes are preparing to reveal more about the "challenges" they have faced through friends and sources in the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, Harry and Meghan are believed to have moved their dogs to Canada, prompting speculation they intend to spend most of their time there.

They reportedly flew their beagle and labrador out to their property in Vancouver Island in November during their six-week sabbatical from royal duties.

Meghan left her infant son, Archie, with her best friend and a nanny following their Christmas break. She has now returned to be with him and Harry is expected to follow her after crisis talks with other members of the family. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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