DAN WOOTTON: The greatest tribute Prince Harry could pay to Queen is to reconcile with King Charles
Of all the tributes that have poured in over the past 24 hours for our greatest monarch ever, Queen Elizabeth II, it was a heartfelt Instagram post from her former daughter-in-law that stuck with me the most.
Sarah Ferguson, the Duchess of York, as we all know, was banned from official royal life after her divorce from Prince Andrew and a series of humiliating indiscretions better left in tabloid history.
But even when her beloved husband Prince Philip refused to be in the same room as Fergie, the Queen remained steadfastly loyal on a personal level.
For her, once a Windsor, always a Windsor.
Grief-stricken Fergie confirmed that last night, as she wrote after a more formal tribute: ‘To me she was the most incredible mother-in-law and friend. I will always be grateful to her for the generosity she showed me by staying close to me even after my divorce. I will miss her more than words can express.’
If the life of Elizabeth II has taught us one thing, it is that blood is thicker than water.
For that reason, this death of a public figure has brought us closer to our own families in so many ways, as we commemorate lost loved ones who somehow seemed to share an intrinsic bond with the Queen.
That’s why I can’t shake the sadness that I feel her leaving a divided family, with those open wounds exposed to the whole world when she died yesterday afternoon in Balmoral.
Harry was in the air, still near Aberdeen Airport, when Buckingham Palace announced the news of the Queen’s death to a heartbroken nation
I’m sure Charles needs both of his sons to become his security blankets at this dark and overwhelming moment in history
There is only one person who can understand the torment of those memories colliding with this new wave of grief: his brother, William
Especially now, with a nation united in sorrow, Prince Harry will be able to put aside his differences with his kinsmen for the good of the institution his grandmother gave so much to.
The greatest tribute the Duke of Sussex could pay to the late Queen is to be reconciled with King Charles and Prince William.
Unfortunately, the signals are not good.
Harry was the last to arrive at Balmoral yesterday and the first to leave.
He traveled alone, not on the RAF plane shared by his brother and the Queen’s sons Prince Andrew and Edward, even though there were 12 empty seats on the Dassault Falcon jet, and Harry waited for news at Frogmore Cottage , just a short drive away. of his relatives.
Then, even as the queen was nearing the end, there was still an inappropriate family quarrel.
A spokesperson for the Sussexes had announced that both Harry and Meghan will “travel to Scotland”.
But after senior royals intervened, pointing out that even Kate would stay in London, he finally agreed to make the trip alone on a private Cessna jet, after unsuccessfully trying to book a helicopter, according to reports.
That unfortunate delay meant Harry was in the air, still approaching Aberdeen airport, when Buckingham Palace announced the news of the Queen’s death to a heartbroken nation.
He finally joined his relatives at the Balmoral Estate at 7:52 pm, before leaving first at 8:28 am this morning, leaving just over 12 hours to mourn with his closest relatives.
King Charles III and Queen Consort Camilla arrived at Buckingham Palace this afternoon
The greatest tribute the Duke of Sussex can pay to the late Queen is to reconcile with King Charles and Prince William
Mourners today lay flowers, cards and candles on the Long Walk outside Windsor Castle
I realize I’m probably naive, but in my heart I hope those few hours were enough for Harry to feel the surge of love for his family that I know is there, beneath all the unnecessary bitterness about leaks, tiara rows, and security .
Imagine if the duke, in the ultimate sign of respect for his grandmother, promised publicly to continue with the bitterness that has defined the past two years to show his unwavering support to the king, who needs he can get to transition the monarchy from the Elizabethan era.
The British public would be overjoyed if the Sussexes heralded a new era of royal harmony by canceling the publication of Harry’s multi-million pound autobiography – which is expected to feature scathing criticism of the royal family – which has left Charles much tormented in recent months. Worried.
However, thinking in my head, Harry’s quick departure this morning Balmoral – alone again – scares me that we are about to enter a period of even more royal disharmony.
After all, when the Queen’s health faltered earlier this week, Meghan’s spokeswoman Omid Scobie published an incendiary column revealing that Harry had refused to meet his relatives on their Netflix trip to the UK, not the other way around.
But God intervened and I pray that the death of the Queen will change the priorities of the Sussexes.
Harry will understandably be heartbroken at the loss of his grandmother, a woman who risked her own popularity to stay with him and his brother in Balmoral after the death of their mother Princess Diana in 1997, when the public demanded that she return to to mourn publicly in Buckingham Palace.
There is only one person who can understand the torment of those memories colliding with this new wave of grief: his brother.
Diana would be devastated at the idea that her two sons would mourn the Queen without the support of each other.
She would also be horrified if William took on the great burden of becoming heir to the throne without Harry to lean on; she had always thought they would become a doppelganger. Like us.
My heart aches at the loss of the Queen, a woman who felt like a security blanket for all of us, so I can only imagine the endless grief facing the new King and his two sons.
Prince Philip’s death sent Charles into a period of deep reflection, with the loss of his father hitting him far harder than the public had ever understood.
I’m sure Charles needs both of his sons to become his security blankets at this dark and overwhelming moment in history.
And the country must see these three high-ranking members of the royal family reunited and unbreakable.
For the memory of the Queen and the future survival of the monarchy, I pray that they can put aside their divisions and make that possible.