Harry criticised for patronising and condescending view of Queen in Spare

A royal expert has criticised Prince Harry for supposedly having a “patronising and condescending” view of the late Queen in Spare.

Valentine Low, author of the bestselling book Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind The Crown, told the To Di For Daily podcast that Harry wasn’t being charitable to the Queen in his book or media appearances.

“Harry paints the picture, in Spare and in a lot of his interviews, that she [the Queen] was manipulated by these people [the courtiers], and some of these people — who didn’t have her best interests at heart — were in charge. Harry and Meghan made a similar case during the Oprah Winfrey interview,” he said.

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In his memoir, Harry wrote about an instance where he called his grandma and “told her explicitly that we hoped to discuss with her our plan to create a different working arrangement”.

The prince said the late monarch was not shocked by the news, as she was aware of “how unhappy” her grandson and his wife were at the time.

Queen Elizabeth said she was “free all week,” and invited Harry and Meghan Markle to stay at Sandringham.

Days later however, as Harry and Meghan boarded their flight in Vancouver, they received word that the Queen would no longer be able to see them.

Harrys said he was told: “The Duke of Sussex cannot come to Norfolk tomorrow. Her Majesty will be able to arrange another meeting this month. No announcements about anything shall be issued until such a meeting takes place.”

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"It's a rather patronising, condescending view of Harry and Meghan's to think that the poor old Queen was a puppet, manipulated by these evil coaches behind the scenes. It implied she hadn’t got any strength of character and hadn’t any agency of her own. And I think that's a simplistic view", Low said.

He added that the reality was that many decisions were made by several people, and that while some decisions were made by courtiers, others would’ve been made by the Queen herself.

Harry was infuriated by the move and even considered driving straight from the airport to Sandringham to call on the Queen unannounced, an idea he eventually decided against.

The couple subsequently announced their plans to step down on January 8, just three days after they had returned to the UK.


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