Prince Harry was hurt after being excluded from Queen Elizabeth II’s holiday address in 2019 amid their ongoing family drama, royal author Christopher Andersen claimed in a new interview, saying Harry felt “erased.”
“I think this is a turning point. There are all sorts of subtle messages that are conveyed in this kind of soap opera that goes on,” Andersen told Us Weekly on Tuesday, November 30, about the rift that took place ahead of the couple’s royal exit.
Harry‘s photo was noticeably removed from the table while the queen and other members of the royal family were filming their Christmas broadcast at the time, a change that took place after Harry, 37, and his wife, Meghan Markle, were shown “very prominently” in a family portrait the year prior.
“In 2018, [the queen] sat there in front of a Christmas tree. She gave her Christmas address and there were the family photos … Including [grandson] Archie and Megan and Harry,” added the Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan writer.
The address came shortly before Harry and Meghan, 40, announced their decision to step back from their senior royal duties in January 2020, revealing they planned to become “financially independent” and would balance their time between the United Kingdom and America going forward.
“The queen hasn’t decided what to do about it [amid the talks of Harry leaving],” Andersen shared. “There’s a point at which — just before she gives a speech to the director on set — [she is] asked her which photographs she wants in the shot next to her,” claiming the queen pointed to an image of the then-family of three, stating, “We won’t be needing that one.”
“I think that was hurtful [for him to see]. A friend of Harry’s told me that he felt that he was being erased in a sense from the family,” the journalist continued. “And it was right after that, that they made their [decision to leave the U.K.]. I think that was one of the things that prompted them to issue the statement that they were stepping back from royal [life for a] full-time real life.”
Harry and Meghan now reside in California with their two children after welcoming daughter Lilibet Mountbatten-Windsor in June. Prior to their baby girl’s arrival, the Sussex family shared their side of the story in a candid tell-all interview that aired in March.
The couple said they had no regrets about the past few years, with Harry marveling over Meghan’s strength, adding, “I’m so proud of my wife.”
A rep for Harry and Meghan and a spokesperson for the royal family did not immediately respond to In Touch’s requests for comment.
Amid Anderson’s claims about the royal family rift, a spokesperson for the palace told New York Post in a statement that “we don’t comment on books of this kind as to do so risks giving it some form of authority or credibility.”
Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan is now available to buy.
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