“The royals knew Elizabeth’s end was near, but mentally, she was as sharp as ever right until it was her time to go,” the source explains. “All of the royals are struggling to come to terms with the devastating news.”
The Duke of Sussex, 37, is especially upset that he didn’t arrive in Scotland until after his grandmother had already died on Thursday, September 8. The BetterUp CIO and his wife, Meghan Markle, had been in London, where they were meant to attend the WellChild Awards. The Suits alum, 41, stayed behind as her husband traveled to Balmoral Castle, but Buckingham Palace announced the queen’s death before he arrived.
“Harry is guilt-stricken — full of sorrow and regret about not saying goodbye to the queen,” the insider tells Us. “They met up a couple of times during the Platinum Jubilee, but he by no means expected it to be the last time he saw her.”
Though the former military pilot made waves when he and Meghan stepped down as senior working royals in January 2020, Harry maintained a close relationship with Elizabeth. In April, he and the Bench author even made a surprise trip to visit her while they were on their way to the Netherlands for the Invictus Games.
“He loved his grandmother with all his heart and is going through a terrible time right now,” the source adds. “The news hasn’t fully sunk in.”
Harry last saw the late monarch in June when he traveled to England for the Platinum Jubilee with Meghan and their children, Archie, 3, and Lili, 15 months. The occasion marked the first time the queen met her great-granddaughter, who was born after the Sussexes relocated to California.
Elizabeth had been forced to cancel several scheduled Jubilee appearances because of her health, but an insider told Us at the time that she was happy to make time for Harry and his little ones.
“After reluctantly pulling out of Party at the Palace, spending time with her great-grandchildren and seeing Lilibet turn 1 added some light to her day,” the source explained in June. “She thinks they’re adorable and gave Lili and Archie gifts.”
The Invictus Games founder hasn’t yet publicly commented on his grandmother’s death, but on Thursday, his and Meghan’s Archewell foundation posted a brief tribute to the queen on its website. “In Loving Memory of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II,” the message read alongside the dates 1926 to 2022.
During his first address as monarch on Friday, September 9, King Charles III briefly mentioned his youngest son and Meghan after confirming that Prince William and Duchess Kate will now be styled as the Prince and Princess of Wales, respectively.
“With Catherine beside him, our new Prince and Princess of Wales will, I know, continue to inspire and lead our national conversations, helping to bring the marginal to the center ground where vital help can be given,” the former Duke of Cornwall, 73, said. “I want also to express my love for Harry and Meghan as they continue to build their lives overseas. In a little over a week’s time we will come together as a nation, as a Commonwealth and indeed a global community, to lay my beloved mother to rest.”
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