Prince Harry Surprised by the Queen’s Criticism

Fly. Bee. Wasp. Thumb. Marco. Rehabilitator Cooks. Nige Ninja.

Now that I’ve boldly (without applause) worked my way through all 416 pages of Prince Harry’s complacent, often boring memoirs. SpareI can safely say that our man H loves the nickname. This book is littered with them, pretty much anyone suspects, so he won’t end up on the sharp end of some libel suit or court case.


There are so many good and bad people in Harry’s binary world, those who can do nothing wrong, such as girlfriend Chels, his adopted African family of the couple Teej and Mike, and now wife Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex.

Then there are those who come to insert: Queen Camilla – a figure worthy of Maleficent, ready to “sacrifice” Harry and brother Prince William in a bid to get multiple wins on the tabloid board and thus win over the masses; King Charles is as good at cuddling as he is at marital fidelity, and brother Prince William is often jealous and petty.

But there is one surprise – Harry’s unintentionally less than always flattering portrayal of his “grandmother” the Queen and her palace operation.


This is tricky territory because it’s quite clear how much Harry loved and respected his grandmother and the Commander-in-Chief. (Many Spare written in the present tense, by the way, that is, when the Empress was still with us and until her death in September 2022.)


AT Spare, Harry is trying to walk the same tightrope he has been for years, trying to separate his grandmother from the Firm. The line usually went like this: she was a lovely old lady whom he adored; they are monarchist mercenaries slaughtering palace dermats, acting for some unspecified purpose.

And therein lies the rub: isn’t the critique of the institute turning into an unintentional, refracted critique, to some extent, of the woman who ran the show for 70 years? How can Harry cook up his many problems with the Firm while thinking it might not reflect on Her Majesty?


Time and time again, the courtiers, especially those Harry refers to as the Fly, the Bee and the Wasp, are presented as either willfully obstructive or simply not doing their job. They are, he writes, “all middle-aged white men who have managed to consolidate power through a series of bold Machiavellian maneuvers.”

“Above all, they knew how I saw them: usurpers. Deep down inside, I feared that every man thought he was the One True Monarch, that every one of them was taking advantage of a ninety-year-old queen, enjoying their position of power just pretending to serve.”

Let’s just stop here. The suggestion that Her Majesty may have been “used” by “usurpers” is an understatement. (It also echoes a comment he made to American morning broadcaster Hoda Kotb that he visited the Queen last April to “make sure she’s protected and has the right people around her.”)


AT Spare parts It is significant that this particular gaggle of high-ranking aides turned out, depending on how you want to read it, to be either willfully obstructive or clearly derelict in their duty to support the Sussexes when press criticism intensified in 2019.

In October 2019, the couple filed a privacy case against daily mail while they were on a very successful tour of South Africa. Back in London, Harry was “summoned” to Buckingham Palace to meet “grandma and dad”, the message came via a “brief email” from Bee.


He writes: “The bee and the wasp were the first faces I saw when I entered the room. Ambush. I thought it would be a family dinner. Obviously not.”

Then come the days leading up to the Megxit lightning strike in January 2020.

When they fly in from Canada, where they were vacationing in a rented mansion that looked like it was taken straight out of the Real Housewives’ Book of Disgusting Decorations, they are informed that ninety-somethings can no longer see them right away.

Harry writes: “I told Meg: they prevent me from seeing my own grandmother.”

He later calls Her Majesty.

“Something happened that I didn’t know about,” the Queen says.

“She had a strange voice.

“Then can I come in tomorrow, grandma?”

“Hm. Good. I’m busy all week.

“At least,” she added, “so the bee told her…”

“Is he in the room with you, grandma?”

No answer.

It’s a little unclear what he might mean: that Her Majesty wasn’t being completely honest with him, or that she was being manipulated by Bee. Again, in any case, decidedly unflattering.

We then move on to the events of the Sandringham Summit, attended by the Bee and the Wasp, laying out five options for the Sussexes only for the Duke to be presented with “a draft statement which the Palace will shortly issue” announcing they will retire from royal working life entirely.

Harry writes about his thoughts at that moment: “I am confused. Have you already made an application? Before any discussion? … In other words, the fix has been enabled all this time? Was this summit just for show?

Does Harry say who could have made the “correction”? No.

The same goes for the late Queen’s “confidante” Angela Kelly, and our writer Duke describes her as a “troublemaker.”

“Among the many services she provided to Grandma, she was said to be good at making up stories,” he says.

So…does this mean that Harry offers Her Majesty planted stories from time to time?

A problem with Spare here’s the thing: Harry may stalk people around the queen, but what does he think it says about her that she surrounded herself with such people?

This controversial, conspicuous part of the book is Harry’s attempt to condemn the internal mechanics of the monarchy, trying to ensure that none of these criticisms touch his adored grandmother (who clearly adored him in return).

Considering, it would seem, that most Spare was written during Her Majesty’s lifetime, I wonder what she would have made of her grandson’s story of grief and palace failures?

While the queen may be remembered for her steadfastness, her unwavering sense of duty, her commitment to the crown, if there is one important takeaway from SpareUnfortunately, she left behind an irretrievably dysfunctional family and family business.

Daniela Elzer is a writer and royal commentator with over 15 years of experience working with a range of leading Australian media outlets.

Read related topics:Prince HarryQueen Elizabeth II

#Prince #Harry #Surprised #Queens #Criticism

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