Prince Harry was today accused of turning down an invitation to his father King Charles’ landmark 75th birthday party. The monarch is due to hold a celebration at Clarence House in London a week on Tuesday to mark the significant milestone.
But while his closest family and friends are set to attend the event, one face is understood to be unable to make the date. Insiders say that while the Duke of Sussex has been invited to the soiree, he will not be attending on November 14. It is in stark contrast to the King’s last major birthday five years ago. Then Harry and Meghan chose to delay their honeymoon to attend a garden party in honour of his 70th. This is the second time Harry has apparently turned down the chance to spend time with his father.
In September he declined the King’s offer to join him in Balmoral on the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s death, despite him being on a visit from California. Details of this latest snub were first reported in the Sunday Times yesterday. It comes after it was claimed on Sunday that Harry and the King still ‘don’t speak much’. The lack of contact is said to have been prompted by Charles’ ‘disappointment’ at his son’s depiction of Queen Camilla in his memoir Spare. Relations have been strained since he and Meghan Markle stepped down as senior royals and moved to California.
They made a number of claims about their treatment by the Palace, including in a wide-reaching interview with Oprah and in Harry’s memoir. Though the Duke since attended the coronation of his father at Westminster Abbey in May, his relationship with King Charles remains fractured – with the Royal Family not publicly noting his birthday in September. An insider has claimed that the Duke of Sussex didn’t receive any personal well-wishes from his brother, Prince William, or his father King Charles. In fact, they told The Telegraph : ‘Communications between the King and Prince Harry remain pretty poor. They don’t speak much, if at all.’
The source claimed this could be due to ‘workaholic’ King Charles preferring to communicate via telephone or letter, rather than my text and WhatsApp. However, the insider suggested another reason – Charles ‘disappointment and dismay’ at Harry’s description of Queen Camilla in his memoir, Spare. The Duke said his stepmother is ‘dangerous’ and a ‘villain’ who left ‘bodies in the street’. He wrote in Spare: ‘I have complex feelings about gaining a step-parent who I thought had recently sacrificed me on her personal PR altar.’ Harry also accused Charles and Camilla of ‘planting stories’ about William and his family: ‘Give Pa and Camilla an inch, he said, they take a mile.’
The latest comes as Omid Scobie, the unofficial mouthpiece for Prince Harry and the Duchess of Sussex, launched an astonishing attack on the Royal Family in promotional material for his new book, branding Prince William ‘power-hungry’ and King Charles ‘unpopular’. Scobie, 42, author of Finding Freedom, the 2020 bestseller about the couple, revealed the cover of his latest book Endgame this week with a breathless description on Amazon.
It described the hardback 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.
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