While Prince Harry claimed last month that he was making sure his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, was “protected,” with “the right people around her,” it turns out that she’s going to be protected from him and his wife, Meghan Markle, when they travel to the U.K. next month for her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.
That’s according to Russell Myers, the royal editor for the Daily Mirror, the Daily Mail reported. In an interview with the Australian news program “Today,” Myers addressed questions about whether Harry and Meghan would try to bolster their royal connections in Harry’s upcoming Netflix documentary by being filmed with the 96-year-old monarch or by using footage from her Jubilee celebrations.
“There is absolutely a ring of steel around the queen in terms of her advisors,” Myers said. “I mean, they certainly would be advising Harry and Megan to not even think about it for a second, but who knows what they will do?”
That royal aides let Myers know that the queen would be “protected” from her grandson and his former TV actress wife could be seen as a clap-back to Harry’s controversial remarks during a “Today” show interview last month.
The Duke of Sussex asserted to Hoda Kotb that he alone shares a special bond with the queen, even though he and his American wife stepped away from royal duties in 2020, moved 5,000 miles away to California, and upset the royal family with tell-all interviews alleging racism and other acts of cruelty.
Harry specifically told Kotb: “(My grandmother’s) always got such a great sense of humor with me and I’m just making sure she’s protected and got the right people around her.”
Critics in royal circles called Harry’s comments presumptuous, insulting and even delusional, because he might have been suggesting that Prince Charles, Prince William and the queen’s trusted, longtime aides didn’t have her best interests at heart.
In any case, despite Harry’s supposed special bond with his grandmother, he and his wife were not invited to participate in the signature royal event of the Platinum Jubilee: Standing on the balcony at Buckingham Palace with the queen and other members of the royal family for Trooping the Colour.
Buckingham Palace recently confirmed that the queen had decided to limit balcony appearances to working royals only, which rules out Harry and Meghan, along with disgraced Prince Andrew, the Telegraph reported.
The Sussexes subsequently confirmed that they would still travel to the U.K. for the Jubilee celebrations. They didn’t say which celebrations they would attend, but they said they were bringing their young children, Archie and Lilibet, with them.
A spokesman for the Sussexes said: “Prince Harry and Meghan, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, are excited and honored to attend the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations this June with their children.”
There are expectations that the Sussexes will be accompanied by a Netflix crew on their trip to London, given that a camera crew was spotted following them around at the Invictus Games last month in The Hague. Filming is underway for “Heart of Invictus,” a docuseries about the Invictus Games, an international sporting event for soldiers living with life-changing illnesses or injuries. Harry is the Games’ founder.
Concerns that the Sussexes might try to shoehorn royal family moments into the documentary come as their $100 million deal with the streaming service faces increased scrutiny.
With their Archewell Productions company, Harry and Meghan signed the lucrative Netflix deal in 2020, promising to produce scripted series, documentaries, features and children’s programming.
They and Netflix have yet to produce any content together, and “Heart of Invictus” is the only known production in the works. Earlier this month, the couple suffered a blow when it was learned that the crisis-hit streaming giant had dropped Meghan’s much-ballyhooed animated children’s series, “Pearl,” from its lineup, amid a wave of cutbacks.
“The whole problem with entertainment deals is that you have to deliver hits,” said famed editor and author Tina Brown in an interview earlier with the Washington Post upon publication of her book “The Palace Papers.”
Brown and other royal observers have said that the Sussexes need to continue to play up their connections to the royal family in order to keep people interested. “The royal brand,” Brown said, is one of the most powerful, well-known brands on earth.
Brown said that Meghan and Harry underestimated how hard it would be to build wealth, power and influence without “the palace platform.”
“Meghan doesn’t really have a brand” and “you get a sense that there’s a certain amount of flailing there,” Brown added.
Prince Charles’ biographer Tom Bower agreed that “Brand Markle” is struggling, telling the Daily Mail that Netflix may expect Harry and Meghan to produce content related to the royal family in order to relevant and to help boost the streaming service’s slumping subscriber numbers. Netflix, which also is dealing with a collapse in share value, has predicted it could lose another 2 million subscribers between now and June, the Daily Mail said.