Prince Harry says he is making sure the Queen is ‘protected and has the right people around her’, confirming that he and Meghan had tea with Her Majesty during a surprise visit on their way to the Invictus Games in the Netherlands.
Harry, 37, sat down with Hoda Kotb, 57, in The Hague, where he is currently hosting the Invictus Games.
He arrived in the Netherlands after a quick stop-off in the UK to visit his grandmother and father.
Asked by the TODAY host how the Queen was, he replied: ‘Being with her, it was great. it was just so nice to see her, you know, she’s on great form, she’s always got a great sense of humor with me and I’m making sure she’s protected and got the right people around her.’
Kotb asked if he made her laugh.
‘Yes I did,’ he replied.
‘Both Meghan and I had tea with her so it was nice to catch up with her.
‘Home for me now is for the time being is in the States and it feels that way as well.
‘We’ve been welcomed with open arms and we have such a great community up in Santa Barbara.’
The interview will air in full on Wednesday morning.
Prince Harry spoke to NBC’s Hoda Kotb for an interview which aired in part on Tuesday night
The Queen’s grandson spoke to NBC from the Netherlands, where he is hosting the Invictus Games – a sporting competition for wounded veterans which he founded in 2014
The 37-year-old said that his priority was ensuring that the Queen was ‘protected’
Prince Harry has sat down for an interview with Today’s Hoda Kotb, which will see him open up about his secret visit to see the Queen last week and his life with wife Meghan Markle
The interview between Kotb and Harry took place in the Netherlands, where the Duke, 37, is currently hosting the Invictus Games
When Harry met Hoda
HODA: How did it feel being back, being with her.
HARRY: Being with her, it was great. it was just so nice to see her, you know, she’s on great form, she’s always got a great sense of humor with me and I’m making sure she’s protected and got the right people around her.
HODA: You make her laugh, that’s what she always says. Did you do it again?
HARRY: Yes I did. Both Meghan and I had tea with her so it was nice to catch up with her. Home for me now is for the time being is in the States and it feels that way as well. We’ve been welcomed with open arms and we have such a great community up in Santa Barbara.
‘Hoda Kotb sat down with Prince Harry to talk about the Invictus Game, his surprise visit with the Queen, and lie with his wife Meghan Markle,’ the Today show wrote on Twitter, while also sharing an image of Kotb, Harry, and one of the veterans taking part in the sporting event.
Teasing the interview – which is due to air in full on Wednesday morning – on Tuesday’s show, Kotb’s co-anchors Savannah Guthrie and Craig Melvin added that the Duke of Sussex will also discuss fatherhood and life with his and Meghan’s two children, Archie, two, and 10-month-old Lilibet.
The news of the interview will likely have raised concerns inside Buckingham Palace over what bombshells the Duke could drop during the on-air chat, which comes just over a year after the Sussexes’ explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey.
During that controversial sit-down, the couple made several damaging allegations against the royal family – the most serious of which saw them accuse an unnamed senior royal of making racist remarks about their son Archie’s skin tone.
Two months later, Harry aired further allegations about his family in a five-part Apple TV+ series on mental health, which he co-created with Oprah; in the show, he accused his father, Prince Charles, of making him ‘suffer’ as a child, and alleged that the royal family tried to silence him and his wife.
Meghan will likely not appear in the Today show interview; she has already left the Netherlands and returned home to California in order to reunite with Archie and Lilibet, having confessed to a military veteran at the Invictus Games that she was missing her two children after being separated from them for the longest time since they were born.
Kotb, 57, shared several images of herself with Harry on her Twitter account ahead of the interview’s broadcast on Wednesday morning
The interview will see Harry, 37, speaking about his role as a father to Archie, two, and 10-month-old Lilibet, who live in the couple’s $14.5 million mansion in California
Harry and 40-year-old Meghan (seen left together at the Invictus Games) made a secret visit to the Queen (seen right last month) last week during a quick stop-off in the UK
The on-air sit-down marks the latest in a handful of media interviews that Harry has done since he and Meghan arrived in The Hague on Friday for the start of this year’s Invictus Games.
On Monday, the father-of-two broke his silence about the couple’s meeting with the Queen while speaking to the BBC, saying that it was ‘great to see her’ and adding that she ‘would have loved’ to have attended the Invictus Games alongside him.
Harry, who founded the event for wounded, injured and sick servicemen and women in 2014, said the 96-year-old monarch ‘had plenty of messages for Team UK’ when he met her at Windsor Castle last week.
He added he had passed these onto the team, telling the BBC: ‘So, it was great to see her and I’m sure she would love to be here if she could.’
There were reports Harry and Meghan had promised the Queen she would meet her great-grandchildren Archie and Lilibet ‘in the near future’ during the ‘very cordial’ secret meeting on Thursday.
According to The Mirror, senior royal sources described the meeting as ‘very cordial’ and ‘incredibly warm and good natured’.
The Sussexes’ secret trip marked the first time that Meghan has returned to the UK since the couple (seen at the Invictus Games) sensationally quit the royal family at the start of 2020
The Queen has yet to meet her great-granddaughter Lilibet (right), who was born in California in June last year, and she has not seen Archie (left) since he was an infant
Harry and Meghan chose not to attend Prince Philip’s memorial service last month amid the Duke of Sussex’s ongoing battle with the UK Home Office about his security protection
The interview will also see Harry opening up about the Invictus Games; the Today show shared an image of the Duke posing alongside Kotb and one of the US veterans taking part
Kotb also posted a behind-the-scenes snap on her social media accounts, while encouraging her followers to tune in to Wednesday’s broadcast
The Today anchor posted a glimpse at the interview on Instagram, showing Harry looking down in an apparent moment of reflection during the sit-down
One royal biographer has claimed the meeting was a way for Prince Harry to ‘slowly starting to rebuild some bridges’ with his father Prince Charles.
Harry and Meghan reportedly also opened the door to a return from their $14.5 million mansion in California for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations, and told her of their plans to visit again so she can spend time with their children.
While the Queen had the opportunity to meet Archie – who was born while Meghan and Harry were still living in the UK and serving as senior working royals – she has not yet met her great-granddaughter Lilibet, who is named after her.
Meghan gave birth to Lilibet Diana in June of last year at a hospital near the couple’s Montecito home and they have yet to bring their daughter over to the UK.
The news of Harry’s Today interview will likely prompt concern inside Buckingham Palace over what bombshells he might drop; the sit-down comes just over a year after the Sussexes’ explosive on-air chat with Oprah Winfrey
Kotb spoke with Winfrey last year in the wake of her interview with the Sussexes
Key revelations from Prince Harry’s bombshell May 2021 interview for ‘The Me You Can’t See’
On the Sussexes’ cries for help to the Royal Family
‘I thought my family would help, but every single ask, request, warning, whatever it is, just got met with total silence, total neglect. We spent four years trying to make it work. We did everything that we possibly could to stay there and carry on doing the role and doing the job. But Meghan was struggling.’
On Harry’s family ‘stopping’ them from quitting
‘That feeling of being trapped within the family, there was no option to leave. Eventually when I made that decision for my family, I was still told, ‘You can’t do this’, And it’s like, ‘Well how bad does it have to get until I am allowed to do this?’. She [Meghan] was going to end her life. It shouldn’t have to get to that.’
On Meghan’s wish to ‘end her life’
‘Meghan decided to share with me the suicidal thoughts and the practicalities of how she was going to end her life.
‘The thing that stopped her from seeing it through was how unfair it would be on me after everything that had happened to my mum and to now to be put in a position of losing another woman in my life — with a baby inside of her, our baby.
‘The scariest thing for her was her clarity of thought. She hadn’t ‘lost it.’ She wasn’t crazy. She wasn’t self-medicating, be it through pills or through alcohol. She was absolutely sober. She was completely sane’.
On Prince Charles’ parenting
‘My father used to say to me when I was younger, he used to say to both William and I, ‘Well it was like that for me so it’s going to be like that for you’,’ Prince Harry says in the new documentary.
‘That doesn’t make sense. Just because you suffered doesn’t mean that your kids have to suffer, in fact quite the opposite.’
On ‘smears’ from ‘The Firm’
‘Before the Oprah interview had aired, because of the combined efforts of The Firm and the media to smear her, I was woken up in the middle of the night to her crying into her pillow because she doesn’t want to wake me up because I’m already carrying too much. That’s heartbreaking.’
On Meghan helping Harry into therapy
‘I saw GPs. I saw doctors. I saw therapists. I saw alternative therapists. I saw all sorts of people, but it was meeting and being with Meghan I knew that if I didn’t do the therapy and fix myself that I was going to lose this woman who I could see spending the rest of my life with.
‘When she said, ‘I think you need to see someone,’ it was in reaction to an argument that we had. And in that argument not knowing about it, I reverted back to 12-year-old Harry.’
Indeed, the couple’s brief trip to the UK last week marked the first time that Meghan has returned to Britain since she and Harry sensationally quit the royal family in March 2020 – a move that has become widely known as ‘Megxit’.
Prince Harry has made just a handful of visits to the UK since the couple relocated to California in the wake of Megxit but he chose not to attend Prince Philip’s memorial service, which took place last month – just over two weeks before the Sussexes made their trip to see the Queen.
His decision to skip the emotional event was met with severe criticism from royal insiders, with Prince Philip’s former protection officer describing Harry’s absence as ‘pathetic’.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex remained at their mansion in Montecito while the rest of the royal family, including the Queen despite recent health issues, gathered in London for the poignant event.
Harry’s absence at the event came amid an ongoing battle about his security; he is currently pursuing a legal challenge against the Home Office in the UK after being told he would no longer be given the ‘same degree’ of personal protective security when visiting from the US, despite offering to pay for it himself.
It is unclear exactly what agreement was reached with regards to security before Meghan and Harry returned to the UK last week.
However reports about their meeting with the Queen suggest that the couple is open to attending the Monarch’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in June.
Insiders claim that they have been invited to appear at several family events during the multi-day event, including the traditional balcony appearance and a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s to celebrate the monarch’s 70 years on the throne.
As well as doing several interviews during his time at the Games, Harry has also been followed by a crew of cameramen from Netflix, which is making a documentary about the sporting event as part of the Sussexes reported $100 million deal with the streaming giant.
Harry’s interview with Kotb is thought to mark the first time that the pair have spoken on-air, although Kotb did interview Oprah Winfrey last year in the wake of her sit-down with the Sussexes.
Winfrey, 68, spoke with Kotb in May 2021 – just hours after Harry publicly aired more damaging allegations about his family in an Apple TV+ series about mental health.
During the interview, the TV mogul defended Harry and Meghan’s public bashing of the royal family, insisting that the Sussexes ‘deserve’ to ‘not be intruded and invaded upon’ – but claiming that this shouldn’t mean they are unable to speak out about their experiences.
‘You know, I ask for privacy, and I’m talking all the time,’ she said.
‘So I think being able to have a life that you are not intruded upon by photographers, or people flying overhead, or invading your life, is what every person wants and deserves — to not to be intruded and invaded upon.
‘That’s what people are missing. Privacy doesn’t mean silence.’
Her public defense of the couple came just hours after Harry launched fresh attacks on his family in their new five-part mental health series, which sees the Duke accusing his father Prince Charles of making him ‘suffer’ as a child and claiming that the royals tried to ‘bully him into silence’.
Harry also alleged that the royal family tried to ‘trap’ him and Meghan, claiming that the couple faced ‘total silence, total neglect’ when they asked The Firm for help.
The full interview will air on NBC News’ TODAY Wednesday, April 20.