On January 15, Marie Claire reported that King Charles was “angry and outraged” that Prince Harry attacked Charles’ wife, Queen Consort Camilla, in Harry’s memoir Spare, released just five days prior on January 10.
What we didn’t know at the time? Apparently on January 11—just one day after the book’s release—Charles started the proceedings to evict Harry and wife Meghan Markle from Frogmore Cottage, their home in the U.K. Charles’ reason? He couldn’t stand that Harry went after Camilla.
The Daily Mail reports that Charles believes Harry went too far with his comments about Camilla, both in the tell-all and in subsequent interviews to promote it. (In one interview, Harry referred to his stepmother as “the villain,” which, not surprisingly, did not bode well with Charles.) The King’s decision to evict Harry and Meghan was painful and difficult, the outlet reports, but, in his eyes, it had to be done. With the support of Camilla and the Prince and Princess of Wales—and after reading a dossier of findings from aides about the contents of Spare—Charles started the eviction proceedings the day after the memoir came out.
“It was the last straw,” a source says. “Harry was well aware how Camilla would be a red line for his father, and he crossed with flagrant disregard anyway. The King felt without a doubt it crossed a line—it was the ultimate sign of disrespect.”
As if there wasn’t enough chatter as to whether Harry and Meghan will or won’t attend Charles’ Coronation on May 6, the Frogmore eviction complicates matters further: now, if the Sussexes do opt to attend, where will they stay? (They actually might be able to stay at Frogmore for that visit—The Daily Mail reports that the Sussexes are due out by early summer, making the Coronation trip, if they choose to visit, one of their last hurrahs in their U.K. home. It was originally understood, per the outlet, that Harry and Meghan had been asked to leave when their lease came up for renewal next month.)
Despite this, a source says “It was felt that it would be like ripping off a Band-Aid. Painful, but once it’s done, it’s done.”
It seems, though rattled by swipes at himself personally and other members of his family, the disparaging of Camilla in particular was too much for Charles. The King’s friend Arthur Edwards says, per OK, “They could criticize the King, but to accuse Camilla of leaking stories—which nobody seems to believe is true—would not be forgiven.”
The Mirror reports that Harry and Meghan are “stunned” and “appalled” at their eviction. Royal expert Dr. Tessa Dunlop told the outlet that Charles’ actions directly fly in the face of Her late Majesty’s wishes to keep Harry and Meghan in the fold, calling the eviction a “big mistake. The optics are terrible.”
In the midst of Harry and Meghan’s eviction from Frogmore, The Daily Mail reports it has been offered to Prince Andrew, who is reportedly reluctant to leave his home at Royal Lodge, where he has lived for 20 years.
Speaking to The Mirror, Dunlop says “by conflating the separate issues of Harry and Andrew through the prism of Frogmore Cottage, it looks like our King cares more for his disgraced brother than his conflicted son and foreign daughter-in-law. The court of mainstream public opinion may currently be on the King’s side, but internationally, this move diminishes our monarchy just weeks before invitations go out to Britain’s biggest state ceremony of 2023, the Coronation. An event where you can now look forward to seeing Prince Andrew, but possibly not the Sussexes.”
The Mirror further reports that any expectation the Sussexes will attend the Coronation has now “drastically changed.”
Rachel Burchfield is a writer whose primary interests are fashion and beauty, society and culture, and, most especially, the British Royal Family. In addition to serving as the royal editor at Marie Claire, she has worked with publications like Vogue, Vanity Fair, ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar, and more. She cohosts Podcast Royal, a show that provides candid commentary on the biggest royal family headlines and offers segments on fashion, beauty, health and wellness, and lifestyle.
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