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Queen Elizabeth II’s decision to allegedly remove a photo of her grandson Prince Harry and his new family made the Duke of Sussex feel he was “being erased from the family.”
The allegation was made by bestselling author Christopher Andersen in his new book being released on Tuesday titled “Brothers and Wives: Inside the Private Lives of William, Kate, Harry, and Meghan.”
In it, Andersen quoted a source who claimed the reigning British monarch had a palace aide move a portrait of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex and their son Archie, who was eight months at the time, off-camera before she recorded her 2019 holiday broadcast, Page Six reported on Monday.
The insider alleged that the 95-year-old “looked over the tables where the photographs she had so lovingly selected were arranged.”
Author Christopher Andersen alleged that this photo snub made Prince Harry feel that he was "being erased" from the British royal family.
(Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
“All were fine but one, [the queen] told the director,” the source alleged. “Then she pointed to the Sussex picture and said: ‘That one, I suppose we don’t need that one.’”
The queen’s alleged holiday decision came after Harry, 37, chose to spend Christmas with his mother-in-law Doria Ragland alongside his wife Meghan Markle and their son in Canada instead of the UK, the outlet reported.
His older brother Prince William was allegedly “aghast” when he realized that the photo in question was missing from the lineup. The source alleged that the 39-year-old told his wife Kate Middleton that his sibling was likely to be “terribly upset.”
Andersen also claimed that following the broadcast, Harry allegedly told a pal that he “felt as if he, Meghan and Archie were being erased from the family.”
Queen Elizabeth II records her annual Christmas broadcast in Windsor Castle, Berkshire, England, circa 2019.
(Photo by Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)
In January 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced they were stepping back as senior members of the royal family. Their departures from royal duties began that year over what they described as the British media’s intrusions and racist attitudes toward the former American actress, 40.
Reps for Kensington Palace, as well as the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment in regard to Andersen’s allegations. However, a spokesperson for the queen told Fox News that “we never comment on these sort of books.”
Andersen also alleged that Harry’s father, Prince Charles, was the royal who speculated about Archie’s skin tone before he was born.
In March 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex sat down for a tell-all interview with Oprah Winfrey during which they made shocking allegations about their time in the royal family. One of the most provocative claims was when Markle revealed that a member of the royal family had “concerns” about the color of her child’s skin before he was born. At the time, Harry made sure to note that it was neither the queen nor Prince Philip, leaving the door open to speculation.
This image provided by Harpo Productions shows Prince Harry, from left, and Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex, in conversation with Oprah Winfrey.
A source close to the royal family alleged to Andersen that Charles wondered aloud about the child’s complexion during a conversation in 2017 that took place shortly after the Duke and Duchess of Sussex got engaged.
“I wonder what the children will look like?” Charles reportedly told his wife, Camilla, as quoted by Page Six.
Camilla was reportedly “somewhat taken aback” and noted that the child would be “gorgeous.”
Allegedly lowering his voice, Charles asked: “I mean, what do you think their children’s complexion might be?”
Prince Charles was allegedly the royal in question who wondered about Archie’s skin tone.
Representatives for Clarence House, Charles and his wife’s residence, didn’t immediately respond to Fox News’ request for comment. However, a spokesperson told The New York Post that “this is fiction and not worth further comment.”
The book claimed that Charles, 73, was merely voicing an innocuous curiosity about what the child might look like, implying that it was more of a public relations issue of the royal family dealing with a darker-skinned member. The outlet reported that Charles’ musings were quickly twisted by courtiers and given a much more toxic and racist spin by the time Markle and Harry heard about them.
Nick Bullen, an award-winning documentarian as well as the co-founder and editor-in-chief of True Royalty TV, previously told Fox News that he believes Charles is “heartbroken” over the allegations. The filmmaker has worked closely with the Prince of Wales for nearly a decade.
“I think the Prince of Wales must be shocked and heartbroken,” Bullen told Fox News last year. “Imagine if any member of your family, especially your son or daughter, goes on television and says, ‘My relationship has broken down with my father?’ Even if it’s true, the world now knows. So I think the Prince of Wales must be heartbroken.”
Prince Harry told Oprah Winfrey that his father stopped taking his phone calls at one point.
(Photo by Samir Hussein/Samir Hussein/WireImage)
“I have no doubt in my mind the man cares about his son,” Bullen added. “We’ve only really heard one side of the story. And so far, Meghan and Harry have won the PR war.”
Shortly after the interview aired, Buckingham Palace issued a 60-word statement on behalf of the queen.
“The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan,” the statement said.
“The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning,” the statement added. “While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan and Archie will always be much loved family members.”
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry reside in California with their two children.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex now reside in the coastal city of Montecito, California. On June 4, the couple welcomed their second child, a daughter named Lilibet “Lili” Diana Mountbatten-Windsor. The name pays tribute to both the queen, whose family nickname is Lilibet, and his late mother, Princess Diana.
Fox News’ Tyler McCarthy and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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