Omid Scobie announced this morning that he’s added a new job to his ever-expanding portfolio: he is now the Executive Royal Editor of Yahoo News. It’s a pretty good gig, honestly. I sometimes look at Yahoo’s royal stories and they do much of what we do here at Celebitchy: aggregate and provide commentary on what the British papers are talking about. Scobie started his new job with a f–king bang too, his first piece is basically a dishy editorial about what Prince Harry was likely referencing in his Today interview, when he said “I’m just making sure she’s protected and got the right people around her,” meaning the Queen. Some highlights from Scobie’s piece, “Why Prince Harry has every reason to ask questions about people around the Queen.”
The widowed Queen: The reality is, since the passing of Prince Philip one year ago, the Queen is living by herself. While Prince Charles, the Cambridges and others stop by for visits, the people surrounding the monarch on a daily basis—aides, courtiers and household staff responsible for every aspect of her life—are all employees of the royal institution. And it’s at the hands of some of these same people that Harry experienced some of his darkest and most distressing moments as a working member of the Firm.
How the Sussexes were stopped from seeing the Queen in January 2020: When I was interviewing sources for Finding Freedom in 2020, I remember how my jaw dropped when a friend of the couple gave me a play-by-play account of how the Queen’s private secretary, Edward Young, went out of his way to prevent the couple from visiting the monarch in Sandringham (one of the only family members the Sussexes felt comfortable talking to at the time) ahead of their announcement to step away from royal life. It appears that, as hard as Harry tried to arrange a time, his team was informed that the monarch was “busy all week”. The Queen, despite having been the one to invite her grandson, was told by Young that the once-available diary dates were no longer free.
Scobie with the Angela Kelly tea: It was also the Queen’s right-hand woman and dresser, Angela Kelly, who multiple sources told me made it almost impossible for Meghan to have a necessary “hair trial” with her chosen wedding tiara—even standing up the duchess-to-be and her hairstylist, who had flown in especially, at a pre-scheduled fitting. Harry, sources said, felt it was a cruel attempt to put his partner “in her place”.
Harry hated the viper courtiers: Days before permanently leaving the UK in March 2020, Harry told a close aide, “These people have their own agendas, they work for the institution and certainly don’t care about us as family.” Princess Diana echoed similar sentiments in the years following her divorce from Charles.
Harry & Meghan’s visit to Windsor wasn’t shared ahead of time with the Queen’s aides: So, while the Sussexes and the Queen have been in regular contact over the phone or virtually, their recent in-person meeting (which was purposefully kept a secret from all palace aides) was Harry’s first chance in a year to truly speak privately with his grandmother without fear of anyone overhearing or wandering in the background of a video call.
Harry is concerned about the Queen’s aides, not Charles or whoever else: But, as a grandson and sixth-in-line to the throne, it would only be natural for Harry to question whether every person in her daily orbit has her best interests at heart. Is she being pushed to do too much? Is anyone telling her to slow down? Is there too much pressure to be at Platinum Jubilee events this June? Is she being properly taken care of? These are the kinds of questions any caring person would ask an elderly family member living alone or in a facility run by staff. And when you look at the famously unsympathetic institution the Queen lives within, Harry has every reason to worry.
That Angela Kelly story had some flavor! That was what was indicated in Finding Freedom, but Scobie is spelling it out: Kelly purposefully snubbed Meghan and wouldn’t allow her to briefly use the tiara. The Sussexit story was well known though – that Harry and Meghan had already scheduled to see the Queen, but they were told at the last minute that the meeting was canceled. And then at the same time, Kensington Palace leaked their Sussexit plans to Dan Wootton. It was a power struggle involving multiple palaces/courts about who got to “control” the story of Harry and Meghan’s exit. As for Scobie’s main thesis that Harry is actually worried about the Queen’s staff… yeah, I agree. Of course, I also think Harry made it vague enough to also include his concerns about Charles, Andrew and William and how they treat the Queen.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid, Instar.
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