On the eve of his grandmother’s 96th birthday tomorrow, Prince Harry took time out from the Invictus Games to boast about their special bond, but still refused to commit to attending her Jubilee celebrations.
He blamed “security issues” for his inability to say if he, wife Meghan and their children Archie, two, and Lilibet, 10 months, would be on the Buckingham Palace balcony with the rest of the family to mark the Queen’s 70 years of service.
In his interview with America’s NBC Today, Hoda Kotb asked Harry directly if he would be in the UK for the four-day bank holiday weekend, starting June 2.
He said: “I don’t know yet.
Lots of things. Security issues and everything else. This is what I’m trying to do, trying to make it possible that I can get my kids to meet her.”
The Sussexes have been invited to join the celebrations and to be present for the traditional royal family balcony appearance as well as a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.
But Harry is challenging the government’s decision to refuse police security during his visits from the US. He says his private protection team of him in the US do not have adequate jurisdiction abroad or access to the UK intelligence information needed to keep his family safe.
He has said he “does not feel safe” in the UK and has offered to pay for police protection. But Government lawyers said his offer from him was “irrelevant” as the Met specialist unit were not guns for hire.
During his NBC interview Harry, who is being protected at the Games in The Hague by Christopher Sanchez, who was bodyguard to US President Barack Obama, risked deepening the rift with the royals, making remarks likely to hurt his family and infuriate Palace officials.
He refused to say he missed his father Prince Charles and brother Prince William.
And he claimed to be making sure his grandmother was “protected” and had “the right people around her”.
Getty Images for the Invictus Ga)
He also said he now felt at home in America and was dedicating himself to serving that country, and not the one the Queen has reigned over for 70 years. During the interview, Hoda asked him: “Do you miss your brother, your dad?” He replied: “I mean, for me at the moment, I’m here focused on these guys (the Games competitors) and their families and giving everything I can to them 120 per cent to make sure that they have the experience of a lifetime .
“That’s my focus here.”
Then, referring to his wife and children who are at home in California, he said: “And then when I leave here, I get back, my focus is my family, who I miss massively.” The Duke of Sussex, 37, boasted about his relationship with the Queen. I paid a fleeting visit to her de ella at Windsor Castle last week with Meghan.
He said: “It was really nice to see her, be able to see her in some element of privacy. It was just so nice to see her, you know, she’s on great form, she’s always got a great sense of humor with me, and I’m making sure she’s protected and has got the right people around her.
“Both Meghan and I had tea with her, so it was really nice to catch up with her.”
When Hoda asked if he had made her laugh, he replied: “Yes, I did.” Asked what he missed the most about his grandmother de ella, he said: “Her sense of humor de ella. We talk about things she can’t talk about with anyone else.”
Harry also discussed his late mother, Princess Diana, saying he had felt her “presence” more since he moved to the US.
He said: “It’s constant and has been over the last two years, more so than ever before. It’s almost as though she’s done her bit of her with my brother, and now she’s very much like helping me. She got him set up now she’s helping me set up. That’s what it feels like.” Speaking of Prince William, 39, who has three children, Harry said: “He’s got his kids from him. I’ve got my kids. The circumstances are obviously different, but now I feel her presence in almost everything I do now, but definitely more so in the last two years than ever before, without question.
“So she’s watching over us.”
Hoda said: “I’m sure she’s proud of you.” He replied: “I’m sure she she is her.” Asked if he discussed Princess Diana with son Archie, he said: “Very much so. I don’t tell him all the stuff that happened. But certainly that this is, you know, ‘Grandma Diana’ and we’ve got a couple of photos up.”
The Duke, who lives in an £11million mansion in the rich Californian enclave of Montecito, said he felt America was his “home” and he was “giving a life of service to the States”. He said: “Home for me now is in the States and it feels that way as well. We’ve been welcomed with open arms, and we have such a great community up in Santa Barbara.”
When asked if it felt “weird” to say his home was now in the US, Harry said: “No. But I’m sure it will become a thing.”
Discussing family life with Meghan, Archie and Lilibet, he said he “loves every part of it”, and his typical day centered on the children. He said: “It revolves around the kids as much as humanly possible. This whole working from home stuff is not all it’s cracked up to be, certainly post-Covid. Because it is really hard when your kids and you are in the same place.
HARPO PRODUCTIONS/AFP via Getty)
“It is really hard to separate the work from them. Because they kind of overlap. So, I mean, Archie spends more time interrupting our Zoom calls than anyone else. But he also gets us off them as well, so that’s also a nice thing.”
Hoda asked if Archie was “cheeky” like him. Harry said: “Yeah, I think so. I always try and keep that. The cheekiness is something that keeps you alive.”
Harry today went to a rowing event with Games veteran David Wiseman, and painted a bench yellow to support Ukraine. He told Hoda: “My sort of mantra now, and it is a dangerous one because I need to make sure that I don’t have burnout, but it is trying to make the world a better place for my kids.
“Otherwise, what is the point of bringing kids into this world?”