Palace sources walked back the ‘Sussexes were snubbed from Balmoral’ story

It was interesting to see, over the course of a week, how this particular story became its own little five-act drama. At first, Becky English at the Mail claimed that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex had an “open invitation” to visit Balmoral this summer but they would likely not go. Then the story shifted to “King Charles is hosting a special family memorial for QEII on the anniversary of her death, and he’s making a point of not inviting the Sussexes.” Which would be on brand, honestly – the one-year anniversary of QEII’s death is also the anniversary of Charles’s first act as king, which was calling Harry and telling him not to bring Meghan to Scotland because it’s “family only.” In any case, it turns out that Charles isn’t even organizing anything for the anniversary of his mother’s death:

There will be no official public event to mark the first anniversary of the death of Queen Elizabeth II, a royal spokesman has said. King Charles is to spend 8 September “quietly and privately”. The day also marks his own accession to the throne. Nor are there any plans for a private gathering of the Royal Family on the anniversary of the late Queen’s death.

Senior royals will be in Balmoral in Aberdeenshire over the summer, the place where the Queen died last year.

The King is following his mother’s tradition – the late monarch spent the anniversaries of her father’s death, and the start of her reign, in what used to be termed “private reflection” – with no planned official events. If there are other commemorative events in the week of the anniversary, King Charles and Queen Camilla are not expected to attend.

[From BBC]

Is it weird that Charles won’t mark the bummer anniversary in some public way? Eh. I mean, yes, it is strange, especially given the historic nature of QEII’s reign. On the other hand, I sort of understand why Charles is just doing what his mother did about King George VI’s death-anniversary. After the BBC reported that, suddenly the “palace sources” were walking back all of that talk about snubbing the Sussexes:

Palace sources today denied that the Royal Family is ‘snubbing’ Harry and Meghan on the anniversary of the Queen’s death – as King Charles prepared to spend the day in quiet reflection at Balmoral.

The Daily Mail revealed last week there were no plans to mark the occasion publicly involving members of the family and that His Majesty would spend the day quietly reflecting on the moment at Birkhall, his home on the Balmoral estate.

Following claims in The Sun that the Sussexes had been left out of commemorations, a source said it was ‘simply untrue’ that they had been [snubbed] and there are no plans for any public event or for any private family gathering to mark the anniversary of Queen Elizabeth’s demise.

[From The Daily Mail]

So, no snubs, no Sussexes, no commemoration, no events, and probably no invitations, open or otherwise. I do find it interesting that this whole story got walked back. I don’t have a big theory about it, other than it was more about Charles rather than the Sussexes. As in, Charles wanted to call attention to the fact that he’s not doing a commemoration.

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Backgrid.

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64 Responses to “Palace sources walked back the ‘Sussexes were snubbed from Balmoral’ story”

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  1. Amy Bee says:

    What’s going on between the Palace and the British press? My guess is that the press is eager for there to be a memorial service for the Queen like the one they had for Philip and they tried to pressure Charles into agreeing with it. Given that Charles does anything the press wants him to do it’s difficult to believe that he’s standing up to the press for once. So there has to be something else coming down the line. The press is still going to write about Harry and Meghan refusing to go to Balmoral. I’m guessing that Charles is going to have a thanksgiving service and party for his seventy-fifth birthday so that the press could get some pictures and the story about Harry and Meghan not attending.

    • MsIam says:

      I think Charles didn’t want to be bothered with another public tribute to his mother, it’s not like they were particularly close. Plus he’s trying to get out of her shadow. I understood that Phillip’s memorial took place only because the funeral attendance was limited by the COVID rules in place.

      • Amy Bee says:

        I agree that Charles doesn’t want anymore tributes to his mother but he’s not known to defy the press. My guess is that his private secretary has negotiated some other event to take place instead.

      • Cara says:

        The Queen always marked the death of her own father privately and by herself with prayer and reflection. She wouldn’t approve of some big memorial extravaganza marking her own death. Let’s save the parties for when Camilla dies.

  2. aquarius64 says:

    BP walked it back because a minion with a functioning brain cell for the day realized this was a bad look for the Crown and it will bring back memories of how the Sussexes were treated during the queen’s funeral. Throw in Archie and Lili didn’t get their prince and princess titles at the moment of Charles’ ascension but six months later when Lili’s christening was announced using her title. Bad optics all around.

    • Amy Bee says:

      @aquarius64: You have a lot of faith in the Palace staff whoever that may be. They had no qualms about leaking to the press that Charles had kicked Harry and Meghan out of Frogmore. When it comes to the treatment of the Sussexes bad optics are never considered because they know the press will be cheering them on.

      • Snoodle says:

        Maybe somebody in the government grew a functioning brain cell and managed to get it through the Royal Heads that it was a bad look? As bad as the BRF has been looking lately it HAS to be having some negative impacts behind the scenes for the government, even if they are small and stupid ones.

    • Lizzie says:

      I agree. Usually, they just say one thing today and the opposite thing tomorrow. Somewhere there was pushback letting them know this is not a good look and to walk it back.

  3. Beverley says:

    The Firm is so bad at this! They need to reel their attack dog media cronies in. All this gleeful talk of snubbing the Sussexes comes across as incredibly childish and petty. But when even the “snubbing” must be downplayed and walked back, the courtiers look even more unhinged and unprofessional. The drive to constantly diminish Harry and Meghan is embarrassing. And it looks like Charles has lost control of the narrative.

  4. Becks1 says:

    It’s interesting that sometimes Charles can tell how bad he looks for his treatment of the Sussexes and sometimes he can’t. Here, I think someone realized that it looked mean and petty to have a family event around the Queen’s death and then not include Harry, so they made it clear there is no family event happening. But then they let other stories go that make Charles look petty and mean. I wonder if the difference is that those stories are true? This story wasn’t true, there was never anything planned, so the palace was able to push back on it. But they weren’t able to push back on stories like Meghan being banned from Balmoral because that was true.

    • Nic919 says:

      I think since his mother never did anything official on the day her father died, Charles was likely going to copy what she did since it worked in terms of public perception.

      Some courtier got a bit excited and told Becky English a tale. I also wonder where the KP courtiers are in this because I can see them changing the story to say Harry and Meghan were excluded.

      • Becks1 says:

        Weirdly, both the deaths fit in with the royals schedule. The Queen used her father’s to mark the end of her winter holiday, Charles might start using his mother’s as the end of his summer holiday.

      • Where'sMyTiara says:

        I could also believe Becky English creating the story out of thin air as a hit piece du jour on the Sussexes, only to have to have it walked back because courtiers (after seeing backlash over Palace snubs yet again) called Becky and officially put down the tabloid fanfic.

        Chucklefxck is terrified of bad optics, full stop.

  5. Jan90067 says:

    Frankly, I think Chump is going to be doing his “happy dance” on that day, and he doesn’t want anyone to see his rictus grin and hear his cackling. He couldn’t wait for Liz to pass, to *finally* get the crown for himself and the Equine Side Piece.

    • Brassy Rebel says:

      Same. The erasure of the queen is ongoing.

    • anotherlily says:

      Charles was partying with the press at Dumfries House the night before the Queen died. When he was filmed going to his helicopter the following morning a press photographer expressed his condolences and Charles replied “It had to happen someday”.

  6. Renae says:

    I fail to believe Charles mourns his mother. Charles laid waste to her back in the 90’s in the bio he had ok’d back when Camilla-gate was running hot. While his feelings might have mellowed over the years , I think any respect he had for her was for her role as Queen and not her role as mother/parent.
    So spare me BBC and tabloids about “quiet reflection” Chas gonna do whatever he and gin-blossom want to do. They just won’t let the press in on it.

    • Kingston says:

      Even betty herself knew that chuckyDaTURD is a self-absorbed, entitled, brat who will only and always “do what he wants to do.”

      That’s what Betty told H which he mentioned in Spare.

    • Tessa says:

      The prince of Wales by Jonathan dimbleby was Charles authorized biography. Dimbleby had full access to information. Interviews with Charles his friends and Charles correspondence. Charles complained about his childhood and his parents. It caused some outrage at the time and his siblings complained.

  7. Newt says:

    It would be totally on brand for Charles to walk back something he for sure said.

    I’m reminded of the episode Harry described in Spare about his father asking if Meghan would continue to work after they were married. Harry said ‘no, I’m sure she’ll do the ‘job’ with me.’ Then Charles tried to tell him he couldn’t afford them. He was already stretched thin supporting William and Kate. Which was laughable. He literally has millions at his disposable to support all of them. As Harry said, ‘that’s his job to support us and we in turn work the job.’ Then…later…Charles tried to tell Harry (when they wanted to step back) that it was always his vision to have Harry and his spouse working as part of the scaled down monarchy, but as senior royals. Which is it you garbage father? Ugh. I’m so glad Harry got out.

  8. ThatsNotOkay says:

    Someone must’ve told him the optics were bad. This is a better allleoaxh anyway. Honor your mother, don’t make this about showing others how much you liked her in order to garner likes for yourself.

  9. Catherine says:

    My conspiracy theory was that the they are being subbed story came from William and Charles had to deny that ish because he didn’t want to be associated with it. There have been a few indication of competing storyline. But I think Amy Bee idea that the British press out it out there on their own in response to Charles not organizing a public memorial.

    • Kathleen says:

      My theory is that Charles is backpedaling a little in order to not alienate the Sussexes any further. After all, Harry has a 4 book deal and only one has been written so far. Charles may also be feeling Willy’s hot breath on the back of his neck and may think that Harry may be a useful ally.

  10. Tessa says:

    I remember how Charles and Camilla and the keens grinned and posed for photos soon before the funeral. Like they were celebrating instead of mourning

    • Amy Bee says:


      • Mary Pester says:

        So the daily mail makes one of its own look an idiot for writing about the non event in the first place!! Well done 😂Charlie does not want a service of remembrance for his mother, because he doesn’t want anyone remembering or talking about her, simply because comparisons will be made and he will be found VERY LACKING. In his eyes there is only one Queen of tampax and he’s married to her. So another day, another non story

  11. Brit says:

    It seems the palace has no “control” when it comes to the press because it was still repeated. For them to come out and deny this story fast and you had one of Camilla’s friends on a morning show say there’s too much negativity towards the Sussexes and denied this story…hmmm…I think Charles or BP is trying to draw a line in the sand but Team Wales, who also works with the sun closely, wants differently.

  12. Tina says:

    I think someone somewhere in some palace has figured out how bad all this ‘snubbing’ looks to the world. Like I get the die hard monarchists/tabloid lovers enjoy this but the rest of us are tired. It makes Charles looks like a petty and weak man. How is he supposed to be our sovereign/Head of the church and he can’t even be kind to his son/DIL/grandchildren. Like he just has to pretend to be kind……it would be so easy!

  13. Amy Bee says:

    It would seem that many people here have a lot of faith in Charles having any empathy, compassion or love for Harry and Meghan. I don’t have that affliction. He has done a lot of things over the past few years to show that when it comes to Harry and Meghan he doesn’t care about optics and that he’s the press’ puppet. Charles doesn’t wants the country and press to move from his mother’s reign and focus on him as King of the UK. So as much as the press wanted their to be an event so that Harry and Meghan could be invited to it, Charles couldn’t bear to have another tribute to his mother. As I said up post, I think some other event is planned and it’s likely has to do with his 75th birthday.

    • Becks1 says:

      But someone DOES care about optics because this story was changed. If charles has no empathy or compassion for H&M (and I agree that he doesn’t, at least not what any of us would recognize as empathy), then why care about this story and why push back on it? Charles doesn’t care about snubbing the Sussexes when it suits him, but someone realized that this story was not a good look so it was changed.

      That said, I agree with you that Charles couldn’t bear another tribute to his mother so there was never going to be any kind of memorial for her.

  14. Nanea says:

    Will this be the only way for the RF to try to stay relevant?

    Have the Sussexes bashed by their minions, only to walk that back – halfway and not entirely sincere, nor plausible – when it didn’t hit the way they intended? But still have the Sussexes inserted somehow, as if it’s the RG’s not so secret way of Search Engine Optimization, because without mentioning them no one would click, not even Derangers?

    That said, as others have said before me: Charles didn’t love his mother, and although everyone knew she was dying, he went out foraging for mushrooms.

    That he now even can’t be bothered with having a private family memorial service should be the final proof of the huge rifts in that family, also and especially between him and Willnot the Incandescent.

  15. Eurydice says:

    It might be optics over Harry and Meghan. Then again, it might be optics over how in the past year and a half they’ve spent pantloads of money on royal commemorations – Phillip’s memorial, the Queen’s funeral, Charles’ two coronations. Enough already, move on.

    • Lili says:

      I am with you on that, we’ve spent way too much money on these guys , don’t forget the jubilee as well. So I for one welcome quiet reflection from him, I don’t think regardless of whether she was beloved it’s still tax payers forking out money in a cost of living crisis. If he had said that he might have got some sympathy so he doesn’t get pelted with eggs or boos on his next outing

      • Eurydice says:

        You’re right – that would have been the proper approach. And he could have added that the public could join in quiet reflection, if they wanted to.

    • anotherlily says:

      It started with the Platinum Jubilee celebrations beginning in April last year. Trooping the Colour followed in June with all the ceremonial, marching bands, Red Arrows flypast and what was the late Queen’s final balcony appearance. Then the Queen’s death in September with the ceremony of the Lying in State in St Giles’ Cathedral in Edinburgh followed by the Lying in State in Westminster Abbey and the full day of funeral ceremonial. All this interspersed with Charles’s Accession formalities. Just 8 months later came Charles’s Coronation with ornate coaches, ceremonial robes, marching bands, balcony appearance and the Red Arrows flypast. A few weeks later it was Trooping the Colour with more ceremonial, marching bands, balcony appearance and Red Arrows flypast. Then, to cap it all, just 3 weeks after that, the show travelled to Edinburgh for Receiving the Honours of Scotland with more ceremonial robes, marching bands and another Red Arrows flypast.

      The Honours of Scotland felt like the last straw. It was unnecessary. There is no established precedent. It was invented in 1822 for George IV and not used again until 1953 when by popular demand Queen Elizabeth received the Honours of Scotland. There was no such popular demand for Charles.

      • Eurydice says:

        Seriously, I’m exhausted just reading this from across the Atlantic. I can’t imagine how the UK citizens feel who had to experience and pay for it.

  16. Constance says:

    What psychos the palace and press are…they make shit up and then have to deny it later on when it turns out to be made up. Like no one notices that all of the shit they spew is generally retracted in some way later,on…what on earth would happen if they ever had some real juice news about H&M…they would explode with excitement before they could even release it lol

  17. Selene says:

    Semantics are at play here. “There will be no PUBLIC…” No one said public, Balmoral is not public. This statement does not negate that a PRIVATE family remembrance event will take place.

    • Becks1 says:

      The article also says this – “Nor are there any plans for a private gathering of the Royal Family on the anniversary of the late Queen’s death.”

    • Snoodle says:

      I’m with Becks1 on this, if you’re going to play the semantics card you really do need to read ALL the words there.

  18. Mel says:

    Meh, I think it’s weird to have all these memorials and commemorations going on after a funeral. Anyway, after news of the huge raise Chuckles the 3rd is receiving, the best thing he can do is keep his head down and not do any unnecessary, ridiculous , potentially expensive , “look at me” things.

  19. Laura D says:

    I believe the main reason why there won’t be a “public” commemoration to QEII is quite simple; the public just aren’t interested in the current royal family. The viewing figures for the conanation weren’t as high as expected, followed by even lower numbers for the trooping of the colour which followed. The figures for the sequel conanation were practically non-existent. The media can spin this anyway they want but, if KCIII and William thought they would get cheers and adulation from adoring crowds there would have been a commemoration for QEII.

  20. tamsin says:

    Is this memorial service idea for a late monarch a new thing? Were were the memorial services for the late King George VI, or even Queen Vic? Obviously Philip had a service because his funeral was curtailed by the pandemic. I think the press made up this whole thing because it was a money-making opportunity for them, and as long as it was a story of “snubbing” the Sussexes Charles was fine with it.

  21. Lizzie says:

    Chuck will only ever do something to benefit himself or Camilla. I do think it would have been nice to have a private church service on the one-year anniversary. QEII was religious and I think people miss her. Chuck would benefit from the memory of the goodwill the public had for his mother and it’s a chance to do something that doesn’t cost the public millions of pounds.

  22. QuiteContrary says:

    What a weird family.

    We gathered on the first anniversary of our lovely Mom’s death — virtually, because of COVID — because we knew she’d want us to be together, and we wanted to talk about how great she was.

    The royals can’t even fake real family affection.

  23. GDubslady says:

    The bitter feud between WanK and the Sussexes needs to end. They need to kiss and make up. Having a more liberal royal in Meghan helps keep the conservative royals more appealing to a new generation. The royals should represent both elements. The half in model is workable. Charles needs to bring the Sussexes back into the fold and William needs to realize that dominating Harry never was going to work. I think William has been told how precarious his rule will be. His Sussex hate campaign is only driving a wedge into the United Kingdom as well as the Commonwealth. Wiser voices should advise him accordingly. A divided UK also weakens the power of the West and Europe.

    • Kingston says:

      Is ths a joke?

    • sevenblue says:

      “The bitter feud between WanK and the Sussexes needs to end. They need to kiss and make up. ”
      You cannot put the (racial) hatred stirred against Meghan and Harry back into a bottle. The hatred doesn’t work like that. If you were Meghan whose reputation got tried to be destroyed due to jealousy, would you ever trust these people again? If you were Meghan’s mom who watched her only daughter got suicidal, would you let her go near this family again? I don’t think there will be any end to this by kissing and making up. If the royals in UK let it go, they can just find a way to live in different continents.

    • Jaded says:

      There is no “bitter feud”, WanK and Chuck/Cam can brief and leak and whine all they like about the Sussexes but that ship sailed years ago. The “feud” you speak of is entirely one-sided as the BRF continues to lob bombs in the Sussex’s direction but they fall far short of the mark. Furthermore the Sussexes will not be drawn back into the fold, they were threatened and chased out of England by the BRF and gutter press. The UK is weakening itself just fine without them — Brexit? Recession? Rapidly escalating cost of living? Families unable to pay rent or buy food? Food banks running out of donations? NHS funding cuts? Mass strikes? When you have a royal family who is beholden to the Tory party and the gutter tabloids you have a very dangerous situation that “kissing and making up” will never cure.

    • Lizzie says:

      Harry and Meghan have been hurt too badly; I think it’s irreparable. When Meghan wrote an op-ed about her miscarriage the response from the UK was deafening silence. That’s just one instance of the total inhumanity from BP and KP. I cannot think of any plea from Charles that would bring Harry and his family back to the UK. People have become addicted to hate, pure hatred, and they need to feed on it daily. The UK tabloids and the US Maga mafia have found people will follow, donate a lot of money, and physically fight for them if they dribble out hatred every day.

      • Snoodle says:

        I think the only thing that would bring Harry and fam back would be his constitutional role, i.e. everybody karks it and either Harry is King or an underage George/Charlotte/Louis requires Harry as a Prince Regent.

  24. Angie says:

    William wants Harry to capitulate. Harry has tasted freedom to live his life on his own terms and I don’t think he will ever go back. Meghan will have to suppress her own self in order for Kate to shine. Both Harry and Meghan work rings around him and Kate. I believe they will never trust each other again and so much pain was caused to Meghan and Harry.

    • Tessa says:

      The irony there is Kate does not shine and is lazy. William had no right to dictate to Harry about Meghan. It was none of his business. Maybe if the Queen had been younger she would have had more strength to tell William to back off and rein him in.

    • Cella says:

      Harry would go back if they accept the half in, half out plan, or if Charles wants a reconciliation and a PR photo with Archie and Lili. However, this not gonna happen because Charles doesn’t want Harry or his family.

      • HeatherC says:

        IMO Harry would go back only if he had a guarantee that he could be financially independent. After his treatment and watching the treatment of his wife by his brother, there is no sane way he would put his family in a position to be financially dependent on the whims of William.

      • Ash says:

        No. Harry’s made it clear he will not go back under any circumstances and he refuses to put his children though the hell he experienced as a kid. I can only see him going back if the Windsors had a really really reaaaaally bad day and he was forced to be King.

  25. Kell says:

    Bear with me and yes there needs to be some consistency but I think after seeing what happened to Biden with his grandkid maybe maybe someone in the palace wants to try a different approach. Again the standard is hell and this is nothing but I do wonder. They have had to shut their comments section down a couple times the last few months and it was because of his treatment of the grandkids and Harry. Maybe they are seeing the worth on the wall.

    Also I don’t know if they fully realize the constant negativity to H&M hurts the royal brand too. People will just get sick of them especially in a time they are trying to fix their brand so hard because it feels fake which we know it is.

    • Cella says:

      Charles excluded Meghan, Archie and Lili from the coronation and ignored their birthdays. Charles doesn’t want Harry or his two grandchildren, and Harry will not be reunited with his birth family until the next funeral.

    • Angie says:

      When you publicly exclude your son’s family from your coronation on a world stage that sends a huge message to the people of color in that country. He doesn’t see them as worthy of any recognition. How can anyone expect Meghan to submit her children to this abuse and being regulated to 2nd best behind the Wales children. Meghan would be pilloried if she allowed her and her children to be used in this way. These people that run that firm are completely oblivious as to how that would look on a world stage. Meghan is so right in keeping her children away from these people.

    • Ash says:

      This has nothing to do with Biden’s grandkid, he hasn’t spent years smearing the child or the mother of the child in the media, everything has been happening behind closed doors or in court. When it comes to his personal feelings the sole statement he’s ever made on the issue was a short statement to People magazine. Whatever’s happening in his family is private and continues to keep in that way. The Windsors don’t care for privacy which is why they send out their mouthpieces to disrespect the Sussexes and the Sussex children every single day.

      The only reason this was denied is because they don’t want the public to believe they’re doing anything to celebrate the queens life, therefore nobody should expect anything.

  26. HeatherC says:

    I bet we’re going to see Wails and Fails at an engagement of some sort that day, vacation or no vacation. Maybe an unannounced visit to whatever organization/group IS having some sort of public acknowledgement of E2’s death

    She might even be wearing head to toe beige or caramel.

  27. Tara says:

    This is not the same thing, but every time I read one of these stories about the Sussexes being “snubbed” an invitation to anything with their estranged “family”, I breathe a sigh of relief, as if it’s my own family. I’d be overjoyed not having to worry about turning down an invitation from someone I didn’t want anything to do with, to begin with. I consider being “snubbed” by toxic assholes, a blessing.

  28. Well Wisher says:

    The original item became news just after the Sussexes’ released a short clip about recognition and disbursements from Archwell and its partners of $2M.
    It started from the sun newspapers, which is reported to have sources in the RF, then moved to Mirror and Fail.
    It was not made up, it was a ‘leak’ due to the trigger effect of the video clip…..
    This explanation is a clear indication that the two main palaces have a communications problem even when…….