Prince William ‘wasn’t keen’ to invite the Sussexes on the Windsor walkabout

One of my favorite parts of Omid Scobie’s Endgame are his smaller confirmations of some minor story or kerfuffle. This is one of them – two days after QEII’s death, Prince Harry was already back in Frogmore Cottage, in Windsor, with Meghan and their team. He got a text from his brother, and William invited him to do a “walkabout” outside of Windsor Castle, where hundreds of well-wishers had gathered. Harry insisted that Meghan be invited as well, and William acquiesced. We knew that the invitation was last-minute and that Harry and Meghan had to rush to get ready. What was always in question was how William even “decided” to text Harry. I remember the back-and-forth Daily Mail coverage, which unfolded in real time as the new king and new Prince of Wales had a minor briefing war as both tried to take credit for the idea. Well, Scobie reports in Endgame that King Charles absolutely ordered William to invite Harry and Meghan. Not only that, but William didn’t want to AT ALL. Hilariously, People Magazine’s coverage also points out that William and Kate (separately) were desperate to take credit for the idea.

Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s united appearance after Queen Elizabeth’s death almost didn’t happen, Omid Scobie writes in Endgame. In the book, published on Tuesday and originally excerpted in PEOPLE, Scobie writes that King Charles nudged Prince William to invite the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to view tributes and greet the public with him and Princess Kate after Queen Elizabeth died in Sept. 2022.

“Essentially, he told William to swallow his pride and invite his brother and sister-in-law to join them when they greeted mourners and well-wishers in Windsor that day. William wasn’t keen. This was his moment with the public, but the King put pressure on [him],” Scobie quotes a palace source as saying in Endgame. According to the book, shortly before the outing, Prince William “sent his first text message in months to Harry, suggesting it would be ‘good’ if they came along, too.”

Speaking exclusively to PEOPLE surrounding the release of Endgame, which chronicles both the breakdown of the royal family and the weakening of the modern monarchy, Scobie stresses that the “Windsor Walkabout” was King Charles’ idea. The author adds that a source “said it was all led by their father, that he was the one that made the suggestion.”

Commenting on the significance of the appearance, which marked the first time that the couples had appeared together in years, “It showed that all four are capable of switching it on and doing what’s right in the moment,” Scobie says. “I thought potentially that could open doors to other moments of seeing what matters and putting certain things to one side, just to coexist or to find some sort of common ground. But I think the thing that surprised me the most was that afterward everyone just went their own ways and nothing happened beyond that.”

Scobie also decodes the brief notice Harry and Meghan had for the public moment as a sign of William’s indifference. “The fact that it was about to go ahead without the Sussexes, who were only asked 40 minutes beforehand, shows just how close William was to not doing it at all. And if it wasn’t for Charles, it wouldn’t have [happened],” Scobie says.

Kensington Palace had said that Prince William invited his brother and sister-in-law to join them. The Prince of Wales thought the walkabout to greet the crowds “was an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family,” a royal source told PEOPLE at the time. However, a friend of Kate’s told PEOPLE that it was her idea. “She didn’t want her or William to have any regrets,” the friend said.

[From People]

“William wasn’t keen. This was his moment with the public…” I can imagine his little balled up fists as he threw a tantrum about his grandmother’s death being HIS moment to shine. You can tell that William held a grudge about being forced into inviting the Sussexes, because he and Kate went on to a blitz of appearances after that Windsor walkabout. William kept trying to get a do-over, only people actually wanted to see Harry. Remember that whole 10-day hostage situation? Whenever Harry was in view, all of the cameras went to him. The American media covered every single outrageous snub too. I’m not sure the Windsors have even come to grips with how disgusting and sadistic they looked during that “mourning period.”

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, Cover Images.

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76 Responses to “Prince William ‘wasn’t keen’ to invite the Sussexes on the Windsor walkabout”

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  1. ThatsNotOkay says:

    And Kate lunged at Meghan for bringing up the royal racist in the Oprah interview, all but confirming once more and in public that it was her.

    • Pinkosaurus says:

      Haha “a friend of Kate’s told People…”. Oh, hi Carole!

      I can’t even believe Kate’s team had the audacity to try and claim credit after she alternated between ignoring, aggressively stepping towards and glaring at Meghan during the event, all on camera.

    • AnnaKist says:

      But wasn’t it around this time that the daily mail was touting Saint-t- be Catherine what is the angel that was going to broker the reconciliation between the two brothers? What a laugh..

      Ahhh well, as Nonna used to say, “ Eventually, every knot gets caught in the comb.”

    • TigerMcQueen says:

      Yup. Knowing that Kate was one of the people who had concerns about Archie’s skin color before he was born puts that lunge she did into a whole new context. It’s f***ing scary.

    • EB says:

      Does anyone have a link to that video clip on Twitter where Kate lunges at Megan during the end of the walkabout? It was posted in a comment way back when but I have been able to find the exact post and then scrolling through all the comments.

      • Lorelei says:

        @EB I hate when this happens when I can’t remember where I saw something. Your best bet might be YouTube? And then just scrolling to the end of the video

      • BeanieBean says:

        It happened just before the moment you see depicted in the first photo of this post. Meghan backed up when Kate advanced on her, and William just put his hand on her back to remind her that hey, she’s out in public, and then a second or so later K&W wave & smile. The bit of video I saw, live, was from slightly above–maybe from a drone camera?–and facing Kate. That’s where it’s most obvious.

      • EB says:

        @Lorelei- Yes, of course! I should just do it the ‘old fashioned’ way.
        @BeanieBean- That’s exactly it. love your description.

      • Agreatreckoning says:

        @EB, lunged might not be the right word to use. I think @BeanieBean said it best. This video appears to have been tweaked. The Kate face drop is evident. Harry’s protection towards Meghan is evident. Start at the 4:40 mark. The hug that went global is included.

    • Ellie says:

      Ice runs in Kate’s veins. Arctic Ice. Her face looks like a villain from a nursery rhyme.

  2. MaryContrary says:

    Poor Meghan-she looked terrified throughout that. William and Kate looked gleeful.

    • SarahCS says:

      She really did and given the level of threat against them/her it was fully justified. What an awful experience. I can’t imagine the relief when she finally got on the plane to fly home.

    • Yes Meg did look terrified. Cant was shooting daggers with her eyes and did move towards Meg like she wanted to shove her. It did not show Peg and Can’t getting it together.

    • Caribbean says:

      I think Meghan was more terrified of being without true protection from any public threat. She perhaps was thinking of her children and what would happen to them if any harm come to her or Harry, especially her.
      One-on-one, ‘people’ are not afraid of idiots, the fear comes from the many (rich people) that are willing to back and fund those idiots.

      • Christine says:

        I think that’s why she melted into the hug with the teenage girl, who said something along the lines of “people do like you in England!” It had to be a moment of reprieve, for Meghan.

        The pics of the walkabout break my heart. Meghan has never looked timid in public, except for this.

    • one of the marys says:

      That’s what made the most impression on me from that outing, how scared Meghan looked

    • roooth says:

      Kkkate was grinning like an idiot, inappropriately, as usual

  3. Em says:

    This family is a dysfunctional mess

  4. equality says:

    He thinks “all four are capable of switching it on and doing what’s right in the moment”? Did he not see Kate’s behavior and expressions? And one of her “friends” thought they could float the idea that it was Kate who wanted to invite H&M?

    • Jay says:

      3 out of four of them were able to strike the appropriate tone. I remember I grudgingly thought William did well and looked comfortable. Kate looks like someone just crowned her miss universe, it’s absurd.

      But it is interesting that Will looks much more engaged and comfortable here than he has done at events with just Kate, where he is unable to hide his open disdain for her. Was he on his very best behaviour, competing with the Sussexes? Is he more comfortable doing a group event where he can avoid interacting with his spouse?

    • Nic919 says:

      William may have acted up behind the scenes but unlike Kate he did not act like a spoiled brat in full public view.

      Kate however showed her ass to the world that day and many saw her for who she is.

  5. Jais says:

    Huh. So all I’m getting is that William sometimes does do what charles says. I’m surprised he didn’t just refuse.

    • MaryContrary says:

      My take from reading the book, is that it was pretty much the only time he did listen to Charles. Otherwise he tunes him out.

    • Lorelei says:

      I’m actually surprised, because for once, William *didn’t* look angry and clenched during that walkabout. If he hadn’t wanted to do it, he hid it well, imo. And I’m of the opinion that he generally can’t handle anything well or even fake his way through too convincingly when he’s angry about something.

      • Becks1 says:

        William looked more comfortable on that walkabout than he does on regular engagements with Kate.

      • Ginger says:

        William definitely seemed more relaxed but Harry looked pretty pissed . He didn’t want to be near his brother or Kate. You could definitely sense the tension.

      • BeanieBean says:

        I’m surprised H&M kept it together, because they traveled to/from in the same car. Kate just bolted out of that car & came around the front to join William, leaving Meghan way behind. My god, how uncomfortable those car trips must have been that day.

      • roooth says:

        I think Willy looked so self-satisfied because he dumped his rage on Harry & Meghan right before they got out of the car, which is why Meghan looked shell shocked and Harry looked pissed off. Willy would have enjoyed venting his rage and then making them face the public. He probably felt great

  6. sparrow says:

    Kate’s idea! Talking rot there; there’s no way Kate ever wants to be near Meghan, out of sheer jealousy. Charles was reported as thinking he’d get the huge public interest in Meghan & Harry out of the way before they walked into the funeral and anchored attention towards them. He also did it for their sake, too, in that any public animosity could be gauged earlier rather than later and the threat level assessed accordingly. That is what I read. Please don’t ask me where!

    • Christine says:

      Meghan’s beautiful, deep curtsy is the only thing I remember from QEII’s funeral. That and the fact that Chuck made sure Harry and Meghan were seated behind him and Cam, ensuring the cameras would be on him.

  7. SarahCS says:

    I’m just chuckling at the idea of a ‘friend’ of Kate. At this point we know that she doesn’t have any, they were divested along with whatever personality she might have started out with, and that any quotes from a ‘friend’ are always CarolE.

    More broadly I love that all of this is seeing some daylight. The hardcore ‘fans’ of the BRF won’t shift and will always explain everything away but there are plenty of moderately/mildly/un-interested folk out there who hold negative views of H&M thanks to the unrelenting PR machine of the press in this country. The unfairness of that has always bothered me.

    • Lorelei says:

      The hardcore fans will like her MORE.

      I said in some comment here a while back that if it was revealed to be William, there would probably be opinion pieces in the UK praising him, and I was only half kidding.

  8. Beach Dreams says:

    And now we have even more context for the odious way Kate behaved at the walkabout (and throughout the mourning period).

  9. Sam says:

    Kate and William particularly bad at covering up their reluctance to be with Harry and Meghan.

  10. Brassy Rebel says:

    It’s so on brand for W&K to throw a joint hissy fit about not wanting to do something decent. Then when they are forced to do the decent thing and get praised for it, they claim it was all their idea.
    Afterthought: Someone needs to inform the British that there is a perfectly good English synonym for the word “keen”. It is “eager”.

    • Jay says:

      So on brand! They were competing with each other to claim credit for something they had to be forced to do. Meanwhile, they can’t shift the blame fast enough for colonialist cosplay.

  11. Digital Unicorn says:

    IIRC Chuck’s team only came out to confirm he was behind it after Peggy tried to take the credit for it for good PR. Again it was reported at the time that the Sussex invitation only happened about an hr before hand.

    Even thou Peggy didn’t really want to do it he at least made an effort to be civil – unlike his Disney villain wife who looked like she was about to cut someone up.

    • Lorelei says:

      Shit like this almost (almost, but not quite) makes me feel sorry for William, because what chance did he really have, being born into this mess, losing his mother, and being largely raised by a father who didn’t care about him all that much, and was constantly trying to find ways to throw his both of sons under the bus to make him look better in the press? He basically viewed his children as pawns. And this is all William has ever known; it’s what he grew up with.

      Obviously Harry is proof that he didn’t need to turn out to be as appalling a person as his father, but Harry’s a different person in a different position. For sure William could have turned out differently and become a better person, but circumstances were not on his side.

      Then he had to “perform” for the public and both he and his father have to fake a close relationship for the cameras. It’s crazy.

  12. Jay says:

    Somehow I have never noticed that photo of Harry petting that dog!

    I will say that I think TOB did a good job of maintaining the right tone for this walkabout: somber, grateful, and not celebratory. Keen, on the other hand, looks like she has just won the lottery! It sticks out like a sore thumb.

  13. Amy Bee says:

    I never knew that the sources said it was Kate’s idea.

  14. Becks1 says:

    I love that People is actually including what they were told at the time – that it was William’s idea, no no wait it was Kate’s – but we also heard a year ago that it was, in fact, Charles’ idea, so this fits with that.

    And it explains why Kate looked so bitchy that day – it was supposed to be her moment in the sun as Princess of Wales and instead she and William were reduced to “the other royals” haha.

  15. Surly Gale says:

    n the picture walking towards the camera, I just noticed for the first time that Meghan’s legs are slimmer than K’s and that’s probably why she hates her, right? JK

    • Nic919 says:

      I’m sure there is some truth to that. Kate loves to be the tallest and thinnest in any room.

  16. Lau says:

    The fact that William doesn’t realize how bad it makes him look that he was obviously willing to do this walk on his own (let’s be honest he wouldn’t even invited Kate if he could have avoided it) is just insane. That grown man thinks like petty teenager.

    • Blithe says:

      William was barely 15 when Diana died. I don’t get the sense that anyone was really trying to raise him to be a decent adult after that point, so it could make a lot of sense for William to get “stuck” at “petty teenager “. And, at that, a “petty teenager” subject to a good bit of cosseting and fawning, and perhaps never entirely sure who he could trust to love him for himself.

      Writing that makes me wonder how/if fatherhood has impacted him.

  17. Harper says:

    Can you imagine Harry’s text stream? Tons of messages from him going out to William asking to catch a ride on the private plane to Balmoral, all ignored. Then out of the blue, a random, “Want to do a walkabout today in a half hour?” It just proved to Harry that William totally ignored him on Betty’s death day.

    Kate stomped out of the car like Frankenstien; no way did she want Meghan there on her big reveal day as the Princess of Wales.

    • Lady Digby says:

      @Harper both WK deserve each other as they are equally jealous, petty,insecure and racist. I can never unsee KM squaring up to a terrified M when both are mourning in public. Whether it is W shoving his brother in private or KM publicly intimidating M they are both equally aggressive, just W is cunning enough not to shove anyone on video.

  18. L84Tea says:

    The irony of William being against the walkabout with Harry is that William actually came off looking good that day. Remember? Most of us here agreed that compared to Kate, who was incapable of behaving like an adult as she openly sulked, huffed, and practically lunged at Meghan, that William actually proved he could fake it and behaved appropriately–even going out of his way to introduce Meghan to whatever person they first spoke with when they arrived. For three seconds, William actually came off fairly well.

    • Lorelei says:

      It’s fcking unreal to me how much Kate is praised for her “perfect” behavior, never putting a foot wrong, when it’s clear that she cannot get through an hour in the same room with the Sussexes acting decently and professionally. She knows cameras are on her, yet her behavior at every mass, H&M’s wedding, etc. is despicable. She cannot even pretend for one hour in a church.

  19. aquarius64 says:

    Max Foster, the royal reporter for CNN, went on air saying William’s office told him the walkabout was his idea. If Foster is reading Endgame he can’t be happy with this reveal. He was lied to or he knew. Either way his credibility with CNN is damaged.

    • Becks1 says:

      Well, I guess in his limited defense, he might not have lied – William’s office might have told him the walkabout was W’s idea, and Foster just didn’t bother to check beyond that.

  20. Mary Pester says:

    This! This was the day Kate showed her true self, we saw the smiling show pony at the funeral for the Queen and at Philips remembrance service, but this was keen with the “Royal” veneer slipping, and her hard faced bitch shone through. The British public are so brain washed into thinking the Royals are sacrosanct, and there was the collective grief for the Queen, that they probably didn’t notice or didn’t care, but the rest of the world saw keen as are really is. The other thing that struck me as I watched this unfold on television, were the only ones looking really grief stricken, were Harry and Megan, keen and bully couldn’t keep the smiles of their faces. It was disgusting, because you knew they were thinking “yes, one step closer to the throne and now we have the Dutchy money

    • booboocita says:

      It seemed to me that the Drab Four — Willy, Kate, Chucky Boy, and Side Piece — were all unusually and improperly jovial after QEII’s death. That photo of the four of them in black but with big smiles taken before the funeral was too off-putting. “Mum’s/Granny’s dead! Yay!”

  21. VilleRose says:

    I just went back and skimmed the funeral walkabout video. Not only do we see Kate glaring at Meghan for that split second and Meghan backing away scared and Harry putting himself in between the two before they all get back into the car as the walkabout ends. Harry physically accompanied Meghan to her side of the car and closed the door for Meghan before walking to the other side and getting in the car himself (they were both sitting in the rear passenger seats). Kate and William were sitting in the front and William does not accompany Kate to her car door. We could all praise him for the act of cute chivalry. But I really think he was worried about her during that entire walkabout and him physically accompanying her to the car after Meghan shied away from Kate in the seconds before they left was his way of reassuring her he was with her literally every step of the way.

    They weren’t entirely together during the walkabout, Meghan was solo for a good portion of it but when they exited the car when they first arrived, Meghan looked terrified and like she was holding on to Harry’s hand for dear life. This makes sense if they only got a heads up from William 40 minutes before they actually were supposed to be present for the walkabout. I don’t know how Meghan pulled together her outfit in 40 minutes (assuming Harry had extra suits lying around since he was in Europe for Invictus) but huge kudos to her. During that walkabout apart from grieving the Queen, she must have been thinking “I will never let myself be trapped like this again.”

    • Jaded says:

      Can you imagine what hellishness went on back at Frogmore and in the limo? I can imagine Kate literally spitting bullets in Meghan’s direction. Something really awful happened, you can see it in Meghan’s face. She actually winced and drew away from Kate coming at her so aggressively.

    • Lorelei says:

      I remember watching it live and how awful it felt to see Meghan that day. She looked absolutely terrified. I was so glad when people in the crowd gave her flowers and made kind comments.

      • sparrow says:

        I was watching TV when this came on. I said “wow!” and grabbed one of my kids to come and watch. Pathetic, really, but it was so nice to see Meghan and Harry in the UK, and such a surprise. It was actually nice to see the four of them together. Does that make sense? I always hope for the best. But then the photos/video came out of Kate moving towards Meghan, which was bloody odd, and the mood was definitely this is not for real.

      • Nic919 says:

        I watched it live as well and noticed right away how terrible Kate was acting.

  22. Tessa says:

    O m I d soft peddled kates behavior and did not address her lunging at meghan.

  23. HuffnPuff says:

    Either words were exchanged in that car ride to the walkabout or it was stone silent. Whatever happened, it shook up Meghan. Kate looked like she was on something (hence the lunge) and she was definitely pissed to be out there with them. I watched the video again and she walked far from the others. This really was supposed to be W&K’s time to shine but it was ruined when they had to share the spotlight. Meghan looked so unsure of what to do which was unlike her. Harry was very protective of her and yet charming to the people who were lined up. W&K looked like they couldn’t wait to get out of there. The RF had so much time to plan for this and yet it was a mess.

  24. J.Ferber says:

    Yes, I can never forget or forgive how Kate terrified Meg and how gallant and loving Harry was. I do love the picture of Harry and the dog, too. That one picture shows Harry’s personality–giving, loving, charming and genuine. I was so sad to see Meg look so unsure and frightened. If I were Meghan, I would NEVER go back to England either and especially not cross paths with that witch princess, who revealed all the ugly in her soul that day. People will remember the true face of that harridan. I and many others will never see her another way–belligerent, cold and evil.

    • AC says:

      I also don’t blame M for never wanting to go back there and I can totally understand she’s done with that family.
      I think many people here have seen enough of how they treated M. And they’re wondering why their events in Boston and NYC flopped 🙄.

  25. Marivic says:

    I remembered Kate, at the start of the walkabout, strutted like she didn’t want Meghan and Harry around. She even kept her pace distant from William, with William subtly pulling her in when they got out of the gate and started going to the crowd. The tension in her body was palpable. She only relaxed when Harry and Meghan split to work on a separate crowd. And then she again took the aggressive stance at the conclusion of the walkabout where the four of them converged just before they went inside their cars. That’s why I don’t believe she initiated that walkabout and that she was the peacemaker. She hates Meghan at the outset.

  26. Tessa says:

    William and Kate deserve each other.

  27. J.Ferber says:

    Jaded, to me, she looked like the Yul Brynner robotic gunslinger character in the original film Westworld with Richard Benjamin and James Brolin. .

  28. Scamuppet says:

    I detest that bald prick. The invitation to the walkabout was meant solely to heap more humiliation on M….why she went along with it I can’t even imagine.