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Why Prince William Was Asked to Have Dinner with King Charles the Night Queen Elizabeth Died, But Prince Harry Was Not

 King Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry.
King Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry.

The revelations continue to emerge from royal biographer Robert Hardman’s latest book, The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, which is out on January 18. The book is especially rich in detail about what happened in the immediate aftermath of Queen Elizabeth’s death at 96 years old on September 8, 2022. Her late Majesty died at her beloved Balmoral in Scotland; King Charles was already in the vicinity, and both of his sons, Prince William and Prince Harry, quickly flew to the royal family’s Scottish retreat, albeit separately.

King Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry
King Charles, Prince William, Prince Harry

Per The Mirror, upon Harry’s arrival at Balmoral—after receiving word that his grandmother had died via an alert from the BBC News app on his phone—he was greeted by his aunt, Princess Anne, the only daughter of the late Queen and Prince Philip. He didn’t see his father, Charles, or his brother, William, until he was in London the next day. (Harry and Meghan Markle happened to be in the U.K. when the Queen died, as they were taking part in pre-planned engagements there.)

Now, in his new book, Hardman writes that Harry was outright snubbed by Charles and William while at Balmoral, as they met in secret sans Harry about dealing with the fallout from the Queen’s death. Hardman writes that the new King had dinner with William, who, in the blink of an eye, had suddenly become the next in line to the throne. Charles and William ate alongside the new Queen Camilla (then referred to as Queen Consort Camilla) at Charles and Camilla’s private home on the Balmoral estate, Birkhall. “The King needed to have vital but discreet discussions with his elder son,” Hardman writes. “In years gone by, such a moment would automatically have included his younger son, too. But not anymore.”

"The Making of a King" by Robert Hardman
"The Making of a King" by Robert Hardman

"The Making of a King" by Robert Hardman

Hardman writes that Harry was left out of the dinner for fear he was “taking notes for his forthcoming book” (Spare would be released four months later, on January 10, 2023) and Charles needed “a clear head and no distractions.”

That night, William stayed at Charles’ house; Harry stayed with the rest of the senior royals elsewhere on the estate. “You have to remember, losing a second parent is a big thing, becoming the senior generation is a big thing, and there he was, expected to console the whole country,” a staffer said of the moment, per The Telegraph.

As for Harry, upon arriving at Balmoral, he wrote in Spare that he went to see Queen Elizabeth to pay his respects, called Meghan, and then had dinner with Anne and his cousins, including Anne’s daughter Zara Tindall.