Queen Elizabeth worried that Prince Harry was ‘perhaps a little over-in-love’

There’s someone named Gyles Brandreth and he’s written yet another royal book, this one called Elizabeth: An Intimate Portrait. Brandreth was apparently close friends with Prince Philip, and I’m sure we’ll have many excerpts from his book in the coming days. Some of the first headlines from the book are about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and what Queen Elizabeth II apparently thought of their comings and goings. This isn’t the most significant part, but it is hilariously British, so enjoy:

Whenever the names of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex come up in court circles, courtiers flinch and change the subject or refer to them as ‘persons who live overseas’. If Harry and Meghan are mentioned to members of the Royal Family, they simply smile briefly and say ‘we wish them all the best’ and nothing else.

[From The Mail]

“Persons who live overseas,” please – these people are so salty. Courtiers can’t even pay lip service to “the PRINCE who lives in AMERICA.” I bet that’s not all the courtiers call the Sussexes either. I’m sure there are any number of racist slurs thrown around all the time.

Anyway, Brandreth also claims that Harry heard that his grandmother’s health was declining earlier this year, and that’s why he delayed the publication of his memoir (there is no evidence for that, but sure). He also claims that QEII wasn’t mad that Harry decided to write a book at all. Which I believe – Charles, William and their staffs are the ones freaking about Spare, it was never QEII. Brandreth also wrote about the Sussexes’ choice to name their daughter Lilibet:

The Royal Family found it “bewildering” and “rather presumptuous” when Meghan Markle and Prince Harry called their daughter Lilibet, a book has claimed. But the Queen said the name was “very pretty and seems just right”, biographer Gyles Brandreth suggested.

He wrote: “According to the Sussexes, Harry sought his grandmother’s permission to use her family nickname as the Christian name for her 11th great-grandchild. The Queen’s recollection was a little different. According to the Queen, Harry told her the Sussexes wanted to call the baby ‘Lilibet’ in her honour and she accepted their choice with good grace, taking it as the compliment it was intended to be. Others in the family found the choice ‘bewildering’ and ‘rather presumptuous’, given that ‘Lilibet’ as a name had always been intimately and exclusively the Queen’s. Later, the Queen said: ‘I hear they’re calling her “Lili”, which is very pretty and seems just right.’”

He added that the Queen was “devoted” to Harry and “she truly wished him well in his new life abroad”.

But he also wrote in his book: “The only concern the Queen let slip in the early days of the Sussexes’ marriage was to wonder to a friend if Harry wasn’t ‘perhaps a little over-in-love’. This was as far as she came – to my knowledge at least – to ever uttering a word against the new Duchess of Sussex.”

[From The Sun]

He makes a point of saying “Recollections may vary” about Lilibet’s name and then proceeds to admit that the Sussexes absolutely told QEII about the name choice ahead of time and she thought it was a sweet tribute? I always believed that Harry did tell his grandmother about his daughter’s name ahead of time and she said “oh, that’s nice” and didn’t tell her courtiers about it. I still think the courtiers were the ones having the freakout and they didn’t want to admit that QEII hadn’t informed them. As for QEII worrying that Harry was “a little over-in-love” – I can actually see that being a concern within the family. That Harry fell hard and fast with Meghan and he was making “rash” decisions. But for Charles and William, that concern quickly morphed into “the Sussexes’ relationship is based on mutual respect, loyalty, true love and passion and it doesn’t resemble our marriages at all, ATTACK!”

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red,Cover Images, Misan Harriman for the Sussexes.

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76 Responses to “Queen Elizabeth worried that Prince Harry was ‘perhaps a little over-in-love’”

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  1. Shawna says:

    Is over-in-love a common British phrase? The unusual precision and bareness of the quote makes it more believable than other claims I’ve read about what TQ thought. It’s not hysterical or pearl-clutching. Misguided, yeah, but not petty or unbelievable.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      In the Firm, being “over in love” with one’s spouse is definitely viewed as a potential problem. It means the marriage will come before the monarchy when nothing should come before the monarchy if you’re in “The Firm”. Strange values but their values.

      • Snuffles says:

        I think you nailed it. Everyone was worried that if he was ever forced to choose between The Crown and his wife/family, Harry would choose his wife and child in a heartbeat. The idea of any of them loving their spouse more than The Crown is a foreign concept to them.

      • Teresa says:

        Brassy rebel. Yesssss exactly! The queen and royals was concern he loved her and would choose her over the firm. The royals provoked that exact thing to happen with sussexit

      • Mary says:

        @Brassy, while I agree that the Queen probably believed that the monarchy should come before a spouse, I don’t believe that is all of it. I am reminded of the royal reporter who stated before William and Kate’s wedding that William loved Kate but he was not in love with her (also Charles’ whatever love is comment). Marrying for love is simply not a priority for most royal family members and I think it is a foreign concept to them. If they don’t truly love their spouse, how could they understand Harry and Meghan’s relationship? So, I would think that part of the Queen’s comment goes to her thinking that the Sussexes deep attachment is negative, like Harry is besotted with Meghan in a bad way. Remember, it was reported, I think in 2019, that Charles commented to someone that Harry is “c*ntstruck.”. If I remember correctly, that comment was made by Charles after someone queried him about why the Sussexes didn’t go to Balmoral that summer. If true, Charles thinks that Meghan exerts an undue influence over Harry. I had never heard that term before. Is it british? I totally believe that Charles would say something like this because he has used the “c” word before. The man is disgusting.

      • Mrs.Krabapple says:

        Let’s see . . . Margaret got a divorce. Charles got a divorce. Andrew got a divorce. Anne got a divorce. Anne’s son got a divorce. Charles disliked both his parents and both his brothers. William and his wife are jealous of, and bullied, William’s brother and sister-in-law. William allegedly cheats on his wife. So maybe the real problem is there isn’t enough love in the royal family, not that there’s too much.

    • Cairidh says:

      No it’s not…. Most people wouldn’t think of saying people were too in love.
      And the proper English would be “overly”.

    • TarteAuCitron says:

      Mary beat me to it 🙂 I have an old email from Popb1tch dated October 2019:

      ” […] Prince Harry was supposed to do an event with Charles recently, but ended up pulling out at the last minute. This caused some unhelpful complications for the event staff but when an organiser complained about it, Charles suggested they cut the boy a bit of slack.

      Why? Because, he said, Harry is a little “****-struck” right now.”

      We know KC3 and Prince of Pegs thought Harry need to slow his horses, but I think this is the first I’ve heard of the Queen expressing a similar opinion. (allegedly!)

    • Jane says:

      What a bit overly in love? What about Chuck who wanted to be Linda the Consort’s tampon? I’d call the Tampon love overly and totally disgusting form of love. The Sussexes’ love for each other is true and pure against all odds.

  2. Tessa says:

    So the queen did not mind Charles marrying Diana when she knew about camilla. Was elizabeth over in love with philip when she was disappointed her parents told her to wait another year before deciding whether to marry him. If the queen thought about harry that way it seems hypocritical to me.

    • Elizabeth says:

      According to all the biographies I’ve read, the Queen decided when she was 13 that Philip was the man for her and never wavered until the day he proposed. I would say that she was ‘overly in love,’ with Philip.

      • Snuffles says:

        True, but she never thought she would become Queen so young. She thought they would be married decades and the children grown before she had to ascend and put The Crown before all else.

      • C says:

        I don’t think when she thought she would be queen had anything to do with it. She was set on Philip from the beginning and that was it.

      • Kingston says:

        You could be perfectly right about that: that betty believed that her feelings for phillip and, by extension, the love between monarch and spouse must be the only legitimate, highest and best expression of love between spouses that can be tolerated in the BRF/Institution.

        One of the scenes in S4 of the Crown that struck and stayed with me (I forget which episode) is the one where Diana visits Balmoral for the first time, during which she and charles had one of their blowouts over the mistresscamilla; and Diana was up in her room at dinner time, wanting not to go down. And phillip goes up to her and in a carrot-and-stick talk with her, told her, in effect, that the only one who matters is the queen; that they were all there to serve her; that she is their number one priority.

        So yeah, I wouldnt be surprised to learn that betty felt that Harry’s obvious love for Meghan would be a problem for the monarchy.

  3. Veda says:

    We now know what “recollections may vary” is palace speak for. Recollections may vary = We will say the same thing using different words.

  4. Neners says:

    Well, considering William and Kate had all the warmth of cold fish throughout their engagement and every day thereafter, it must’ve been jarring seeing one of her grandsons fall head over heels in love.

  5. Becks1 says:

    Sooooo……the Queen knew about the name Lilibet, thought it was a nice tribute, and thought the nickname Lili for her was just right? SCANDAL!!! LOL.

    But seriously, I agree that I thought the freakout about the name was bc the Queen knew about it and did not tell any of the courtiers or even anyone else in the family. It was one more sign that Harry had a private line of communication with the Queen and she respected that.

    As for the line about being overly in love – I guess I can see that. The royals are fairly reserved, so enter Meghan who is very open, very warm, and she sort of let Harry be the open and warm person he always was (like, he could be open and warm with her in a way we never saw him be with other girlfriends or family members) and I could see that being something different for the royals, but not necessarily in a bad way.

    Finally, LOL to the bit about the people who live overseas. Salty salty salty.

  6. girl_ninja says:

    Harry and Meghan absolutely told Qll about Lilies name and she would know about falling in love hard and fast. That seems to be how it was for her relationship with Phillip.

  7. Tessa says:

    Was the queen concerned when will settled for Kate after 10 years or knowing Charles did not love Diana and would not stop seeing Camilla

    • Ceej says:

      Probs not @tessa because those kinds of conditions underlying marriages are par for the course in aristocracy so she could predict the relationship (although Charles/Diana veered off left lol) whereas being in love is not the norm

    • Cairidh says:

      She said William and Kate’s relationship “will all end in tears” because she knew William was in love with someone else.

  8. SarahCS says:

    I mis-read the opening line as ‘Something called a Giles Brandreth’ and honestly it would work too. He’s terrible.

    Anyway, of course Liz and all the others were shocked at how in love H&M are, nothing like holding up a mirror to all your own cold and affair filled relationships, not how one is expected to do things in the BRF.

    • AmB says:

      Sometimes when I get up in the morning I have “Giles Brandreth”. Then I brush my teeth.

      • antipodean says:

        Giles Brandreth has always been a known toady and lightweight. It appears that these days he is a “royal source”…….right then, if you say so marm! It amuses me how suddenly these completely clueless sorts become experts, just because of a distant association that is inflated into some sort of close connection…all to sell a few books!

  9. C-Shell says:

    It’s possible that QEII was a little “over-in-love” with Philip in the beginning, but based on the fact that nearly all royal marriages are based on blood lines (I.e., white aristocracy), and other ad hoc judgments (I.e., this one’s divorced, so no, that one’s a virgin, so yes, we’re both divorced so, YAY!), I can believe the queen thought Harry’s obvious passion and love for Meghan was a little unseemly. But. She was devoted to Harry and wanted him to be happy. He is soooooo happy that it’s driving the saltines out of their bigoted minds.

    • AmelieOriginal says:

      The divorce thing is stupid because none of the royals have a leg to stand on. Anne, Charles, and Andrew are all divorced (Anne and Charles remarried) as well as Peter Phillips, Anne’s son. I get it was considered sacrilegious when Wallis Simpson entered the picture as a twice divorced woman because there hadn’t been divorce for awhile in the royal family. Though we all know there is a precedent with King Henry the VIII so they can shut up about how it had never happened in the BRF before Wallis Simpson. But they really can’t use divorce against Meghan when so many members of that family have been divorced.

    • Surly Gale says:

      LOLOLO(L I just got your pun, @C-Shell:
      they are ‘saltines’
      Saltines are crackers
      Synonyms balmy barmy [ chiefly British]
      You’re the best.
      This just made my day!!!

  10. Jan says:

    This writer is hedging his bets and talking out of both sides of his mouth. Any idiot would known that Harry would’ve asked Betty’s permission to use the name, he didn’t have to, but he is a stand up guy.
    No wonder he said he didn’t trust the people around her.
    Betty’s famous words, “they’ve taken the dogs with them, they’re not coming back” and yet the BM think he is coming back.

    • Amy Too says:

      I think they’re really splitting hairs here with, “he didn’t ask her, he told her, and she was taken aback but fine with it.” That way they can claim he didn’t ask and the queen was surprised and shocked! When really he informed her and she was fine with it. But “informing” isn’t the same exact thing as “asking,” even though I’m sure he was informing her as a way of asking—as in, if she was like “no, I hate that,” they would’ve named her something else.

    • Eurydice says:

      Maybe he is, but at least he’s not using his mouth to trash Harry and Meghan. As for “any idiot would know…” – evidently not, as there have 9 millions idiots out there claiming that the Queen was blindsided and this was another sign of massive disrespect. People seem to believe tangential royal “experts” rather than H&M’s own words – at least, this “expert” is saying something calm and rational.

  11. Amy Bee says:

    I saw a clip of the GMB host acting all surprised that Meghan and the Queen had a good relationship. I mean Harry and Meghan said the same in the Oprah interview and the fact that they named Lili after the Queen should have made that obvious. The anger towards them came from the courtiers that they didn’t have control over the announcement of the pregnancy and birth and I have no doubt that Edward Young was given the all clear from Charles and William to attack Harry and Meghan in the press. I can see the Queen and the rest of the family being puzzled by Harry’s love for Meghan. It’s not something any of them would recognize or understand.

    • Green girl says:

      To go back a bit further the queen invited Meghan to that train tour shortly after the wedding. That should have sent the message that the queen liked and respected Meghan. And the queen traveled to Windsor with one of Meghan’s dogs a few days before the wedding! No one put a dog in the queens car unless it was the queens idea.

      • Lizzie Bennett says:

        Exactly! Why is it such a shock the Queen liked Meghan? She was a hard worker and had great ideas that substantially helped the charities she worked with, thus making the monarchy look good – some of the other younger royals were work shy. Plus, she made her grandson happy. What’s wrong with that?

      • windyriver says:

        Harry said when Meghan met TQ the corgis came and sat by her feet. She probably won TQ over right there.

      • Inviting M and her mother to Balmoral for Christmas before H&M were married, the car ride with Guy, the train ride, giving M her National Theatre patronage which no doubt pissed Camilla off since she coveted that role for herself, the visible delight on both her and Philip’s faces when meeting newborn Archie, the “much loved family members” statement after H&M left, the secret zoom calls with her and Phil confirmed by Harry and the waffle maker gift, the photo of her driving herself to Frogmore to meet Harry when he was there for the Diana statue, the secret visit with H&M on their way to Invictus, giving H&M their own church walk-in during the Jubilee, Harry revealing that “she tells me things that she tells no one else”….. The courtiers and the rota put in a lot of work to make the public think that the Queen was against H&M, but there have been many occasions where her affection for them still bled through nonetheless.

  12. Wendy says:

    LOL, only among the broken aristo class is it considered improper to love one’s spouse.

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Wendy, that’s similar to what I was thinking. You can’t be tooooooo in love with your spouse when you’re going to cheat on them.

  13. Miranda says:

    “Over-in-love”? Yeah, because genuine affection towards anything but a corgi or a horse is just SO unseemly.

    FFS, the way they talk, it’s like Meghan was a dangerous death row inmate whom Harry had been writing to and decided to meet for the first time and marry in a jailhouse ceremony, in front of that “look, we’re in the woods! Definitely the woods. Not the prison visiting room, THE WOODS” backdrop.

  14. Mooney says:

    Is “over in love” a dog whistle for under her spell?

    I suppose Harry should have simply said whatever in love means like his father,or strung along his girlfriend for ten years like his kingly elder brother,or stepped out with actresses like his grandfather did, while being married to his grandmother.

    You mean all this time,we were told wrong about Chucky and his great love Camilla,who were so much in love that they destroyed two marriages in the process, while bonking in the grass?

    • equality says:

      Really. If she wanted to judge someone as overdoing it, there’s Charles right in front of her.

    • Jan says:

      Cowmilla’s husband was having affairs left and right, so it didn’t matter to him she having a fling also.

      • Jaded says:

        Cowmilla’s husband boffed Princess Anne, I guess he wanted his own royal mistress too.

      • Cairidh says:

        Andrew pb was seeing princess Anne first. It was always said that camilla started an affair with Charles to get back at him or to show Andrew she could attract royalty too.

  15. equality says:

    So Lilibet was “intimately and exclusively the Queen’s”? But her dad named a horse that and even distant cousins called her by the name. The name has Hebrew origins and isn’t a greatly common name but not “exclusive” to QEII. The BRF think they own everything.

  16. Gill says:

    So the name Lilibet ‘intimately and exclusively’ belongs to QE does it? Someone better tell the 80year old lady who was a good friend of my parents who has been known as lilibet all her life!!! and I don’t imagine for a second her own parents gave the queen a second thought when naming her that 🤦‍♀️

  17. Brassy Rebel says:

    This book has an air of believability which the others lack. It has always seemed like the queen was the only member of the family not losing her mind over Harry and Meghan. Here’s confirmation. It also confirms what Harry has been saying about his relationship with his grandmother. The author states that she wanted Harry to find his footing in California, and even says that the queen was quite fond of Meghan and never uttered a word against her. Being over in love? Well, that’s more a worry about Harry than a diss of Meghan.

    • Concern Fae says:

      This. Has nobody here had a friend who just fell head over heels for someone in a way that you knew they weren’t thinking clearly about that person? It happens, it’s not uncommon. These relationships can become lasting, truly loving marriages or they can blow up in a spectacularly ugly way. So it’s OK to be a bit worried, but to try to break it up based on it being too intense can lead to real unhappiness.

  18. Snuffles says:

    Well, the Queen was very pragmatic and probably hadn’t seen any of her family that in love with someone else in decades.

    I also believe that Queen always had a soft spot for Harry (he reminds her of her dashing war hero husband Philip). And could let some things go because Harry wasn’t the heir and so far down the line that it really wouldn’t affect the royal accession continuity. I also believe that once Harry left she was able to turn off the Queen/boss part of their relationship and just be Granny. Something I’m sure Harry cherished in her final years.

  19. Rapunzel says:

    So the Sussexes sins include Harry loving his wife, Harry telling his Grandma that they were naming their daughter after her (which she appreciated), and the duo choosing to live in California.

    Lock these evil doers up! What crimes!

  20. Tessa says:

    Princess elizabeth would play the record people will say we re in love as their song.

    • Lady Esther says:

      That’s one of my favourite songs, it’s a gorgeous duet and the musical theatre sensation Oklahoma! made it very popular in the 50s. If it’s true that Elizabeth said it was her and Philip’s song I’m not surprised, it’s terribly romantic and would fit them perfectly in the early years of their marriage…

  21. FancyPants says:

    We should all be so lucky to have someone a bit over-in-love with us once in our lives.

  22. ABritGuest says:

    Yea it was obvious that Harry spoke with Elizabeth about Lili’s name & Edward young went to the bbc because him & other courtiers didn’t know in advance & didn’t like Harry & Meghan having a line to Elizabeth they seemingly didn’t know about. The briefing over Lili’s name was a truly disgraceful episode.

    This seems a more polite way to say Elizabeth was concerned that Harry is whipped which the palace & press have been saying since 2019. There was that Tatler article saying the courtiers can’t catch his attention because he’s always staring at his wife with devotion & of course part of the bullying claims was that he didn’t make coffee for KP staff anymore, preferring to spend more time with his wife. The press also resented that Harry didn’t do drinks with them anymore on tour because he preferred to be with Meghan.

    Funnily enough harry was pretty demonstrative with Chelsy in public & in his 21st birthday interview talked about how she was amazing & how he was protective over her so it’s not like the palace wasn’t used to Harry being affectionate with a partner etc. but I imagine as others have said that it was a threat to the palace that harry would prioritise his relationship over the monarchy which is probably why they faux welcomed Meghan once it was clear she was sticking around until the oceana tour threatened egos.

    Funnily enough there was a tweet about Meghan in suits that went viral over the weekend with people saying they understand why Harry left his family lol


  23. Digital Unicorn says:

    Its from the Fail so its obvs BS – I think TQ was glad he finally found someone. Now that she’s dead the whitewashing over how she felt about the Sussex’s has begun. She made is clear on SEVERAL occasions that she considered them both ‘much loved members of the family’.

  24. The Old Chick says:

    I hate these books and how they are always making it about the Sussexes (or they’d never sell, we know). But I know 💯 for sure Harry asked TQ permission to use lilibet. I just don’t believe he would not, he respected her so much – more than I do as one of her subjects, that’s for freaking sure. And definitely not king tampon. Igh

  25. equality says:

    Had TQ disapproved she would have vetoed the name whether asked or told. There was a story about Beatrice that A&S wanted to call her Annabel and QE said no.

  26. Pumpkin (Was Sofia) says:

    To quote someone else: “Harry loves Meghan the way Windsor men love their mistresses”

    He was “too in love!” was only an issue because he wanted to marry her. If he had married someone else he wasn’t crazy about but had Meghan as a mistress, they wouldn’t bat an eyelash at it because that’s the “norm”.

  27. jferber says:

    Maybe if the queen’s husband had been a little MORE in love with her, he wouldn’t have had so many mistresses and (probable) outside children. Let’s face it, she never had a strong relationship with true love, not seeing Philip for weeks on end. Harry doesn’t cheat. Maybe that’s what confused her.

  28. Pam says:

    I thought of something else. Perhaps she was concerned for Harry, seeing as SHE had been so head-over-heels about Phillip and he betrayed her. Maybe she didn’t want Harry to be possibly hurt.

    The thing I can never get over is how they all go on and on about Harry’s “rush” to get married. They’d been seeing each other for over a year—how much more time do you need to know someone’s the one? Certainly not the TEN YEARS it took for William to reluctantly marry Catherine.

    • Blithe says:

      I’ve wondered if the Queen had concerns for Harry, for Meghan, and for the BRF as a whole.
      Not that I admire their marriages, but the marriages that stuck — TQ and PP, Anne and Tim, Edward and Sophie, William and Kate, and Charles and Camilla, have all between people who had known each other for years, and had some deep-ish sense of what they might be getting into prior to their marriages.

      I wonder, too, what TQ might have learned in the aftermath of Diana’s death. It’s easy to imagine that, concerned for Harry, and concerned about the possibility of yet another messy relationship in the public eye, TQ might have simply felt that the more time a couple has to get to know each other and their role in the family, the greater the chance that the marriage will stick. Any concerns about Meghan would have been magnified because as an American, Meghan might have been expected to have even less of an understanding of what she was getting herself into with the BRF and the press than even the very young Diana.

      So: Fond of Harry, an overall positive feeling about Meghan, and a very pragmatic take on marriages in general.
      In contrast, William and Kate, for starters, seem to have had a much more malevolent response to Harry and Meghan as a couple, and to Meghan as a bona fide member of the BRF.

  29. Jay says:

    “Whatever love means” as Harry’s father would say. Victoria was famously mad about Albert, but no historians I’m aware of have ever thought that was a personality defect.

    This idea of Harry as “overly in love” sits uncomfortably adjacent to all of the saltiness about how “fast” Harry was moving with Meghan. I think we all know if she had been a blonde from the “right” kind of background, none of it would be a problem.

  30. Purley Pot says:

    I think the reason members of the family were upset about Harry and Meghan naming there daughter Lilibet is that they didn’t think of it first.

  31. QuiteContrary says:

    “Whatever ‘in love’ means.”

  32. Mrs.Krabapple says:

    One: Referring to close family members as “persons who live overseas” is just nasty. If William and his wife want to continue to pretend they care about mental health, they need to put a stop to this type of microaggressions directed at a family who were subject to racist attacks and at a woman who was bullied to the point of suicidal ideations. Change starts in your own palace.

    Two: Someone needs to let Kate know that the standard response to people who ask about Harry and Meghan is “We wish them all the best” — and NOT “What else!?”

  33. lleepar says:

    I think Harry’s grandmother knew what would be in store for the couple under the next two monarchs if they had stayed. The ink was barely dry on H&M’s wedding license before there was internal plotting to ship them out of the UK somewhere while still keeping them under the Palace’s thumb.

    • Julia K says:

      I disagree. Granny Liz had her head in the sand when it involved actual people rather than her red box of state papers. She famously avoided conflict and wouldn’t have had the foresight to see what Charles and William were up to. The men in grey suits ran the place so the queen could avoid any hint of unpleasantness ahead.

  34. Bobby the K says:

    If you haven’t loved too much.
    You haven’t loved enough.