Prince Harry is revealing new details about his meeting with senior members of the royal family after he announced he was stepping down as a senior member of the family.
On Thursday, Dec. 15, Netflix released the second installment of the docuseries “Harry & Meghan,” which focuses on the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s exit from royal life.
In the latest episodes, the couple spoke about the “Sandringham Summit,” or the meeting called by the late Queen Elizabeth II after the announcement of their royal exit was made.
Harry, 38, explained: “I sent an email to the three most senior private secretaries saying, ‘Let’s have a meeting, let’s get together and have a meeting and talk about this.’
“Because of what was happening, what was playing out in public was crazy. And that meeting was rejected. It was only once Meg had left and gone back to Canada that it was then arranged that there was going to be a meeting at Sandringham on the following Monday.”
Meghan chimed in: “Imagine a conversation, a roundtable discussion about the future of your life. When the stakes are this high. And you as the mom and the wife and the target, in many regards, aren’t invited to have a seat at the table.”
“It was clear to me that they planned out so that you weren’t in the room,” added Harry.
According to Harry, the 90-minute meeting, which took place five days after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex released their statement, was with the Queen, then-Prince Charles and Prince William.
The meeting took place at the monarch’s country estate in Norfolk with the intent to “talk things through.”
Harry said: “I went in with the same proposal that we’d already made publicly. But once I got there, I was given five options. One being, ‘all in, no change,’ five being ‘all out.’ I chose option three in the meeting. Half in, half out; have our own jobs, but also work in support of the queen.”
Harry alleged that his decision provoked a strong reaction from his brother.
Harry said: “It became very clear very quickly that that goal was not up for discussion or debate.
“It was terrifying to have my brother scream and shout at me and my father say things that just simply weren’t true and my grandmother quietly sit there and sort of take it all in.
“But you have to understand that from the family’s perspective, especially from hers, there are ways of doing things and her ultimate sort of mission, goal-slash-responsibility is the institution. People around her are telling her, ‘By the way, that proposal or these two doing X, Y, Z is going to be seen as an attack on the institution.’ Then she’s going to go on the advice that she’s given.”
Harry claimed the meeting “finished without any solidified action plan.”
He said: “It was really hard. The meeting finished without any solidified action plan.
“I think from their perspective, they had to believe that it was more about us and maybe the issues that we had, as opposed to their partner, the media and themselves.
“That relationship that was causing so much pain for us. They saw what they wanted to see.”
He added: “The saddest part of it was this wedge created between myself and my brother so that he’s now on the institution’s side. Part of that, I get, I understand, right, that’s his inheritance. So to some extent, it’s already ingrained in him that part of his responsibility is the survivability and continuation of this institution.”
On the same day as the Sandringham Summit, the palace released a joint statement on behalf of the brothers refuting a report alleging that their rift was caused by William’s “bullying.”
Harry insisted he didn’t play a part in writing the statement.
Harry recalled: “We couldn’t believe it. No one had asked me permission to put my name to a statement like that. And I rang M and I told her, and she burst into floods of tears because within four hours, they’re happy to lie to protect my brother. And yet for three years, they were never willing to tell the truth to protect us.”
Meghan added: “Suddenly, what clicked in my head was, ‘It’s never going to stop’. Every rumor, every negative thing, every lie, everything that I knew wasn’t true and that the palace knew wasn’t true and internally they knew wasn’t true, that was just being allowed to fester.”
Harry stressed he was the one, not Meghan, who ultimately made the decision to leave the U.K.