A new book reveals the real reason why the Princess of Wales didn’t join her husband, Prince William, at Balmoral just after Queen Elizabeth passed away on September 8, 2022—and it’s not for the reason we have thought heretofore.
In his new biography The Making of a King: King Charles III and the Modern Monarchy, author Robert Hardman refuted the notion that Kate was asked to stay behind in Windsor but, rather, asserts that she chose to stay behind, as that day coincided with the first day her children Prince George, Princess Charlotte, and Prince Louis started school together at Lambrook.
"The Making of a King" by Robert Hardman
According to the book, Kate decided that one parent should be with the kids on such an important day, and William obviously needed to go be with his grandmother (though he didn’t make it to her bedside in time before she passed away) and also his father, the new King Charles.
In 2022, reports indicated that Meghan Markle had been asked to stay behind while Prince Harry made his journey to Scotland, and the perception was that Kate was also excluded for similar reasons, People reports. But, according to Hardman, it was Kate who made the call herself. “It was by luck rather than judgment, but it made it a lot easier to tell Harry he was coming alone,” a royal aide said in The Making of a King.
In his memoir, Spare, Harry recounted Charles asking Meghan to stay behind: “He said I was welcome at Balmoral, but he didn’t want…her,” Harry wrote. “He started to lay out his reason, which was nonsensical, and disrespectful, and I wasn’t having it. Don’t ever speak about my wife that way. He stammered, apologetic, saying he simply didn’t want a lot of people around. No other wives were coming, Kate wasn’t coming, he said, therefore Meg shouldn’t. Then that’s all you needed to say.”
Harry chartered a flight by himself, and news of the Queen’s death broke publicly while he was airborne. In Hardman’s book, a member of the Palace staff said that Charles had been urgently trying to make contact with Harry but couldn’t reach him. “There were repeated attempts to get through to him, but no calls were going through because Harry was airborne,” they said.
The book also reveals that, blessedly, the Queen died “very peaceful. In her sleep. Slipped away. Old age,” Sir Edward Young—the Queen’s private secretary who was at Balmoral when she died—wrote in a previously unseen memo that’s now a part of the Royal Archives. “She wouldn’t have been aware of anything. No pain.”
The Making of a King is out now.