The source, a friend of King Charles and Camilla and the wider family, told The Daily Beast: “Charles is not making these decisions in isolation. He has the support of his son and heir and is working in partnership with him. They are a unit and are closer than ever.”
The decision to evict Harry and Meghan from Frogmore Cottage has also brought into sharper focus the uncertainty around their attendance at Charles’ coronation, due to take place in just over two months.
The Daily Beast understands that Harry and Meghan will still be invited to the coronation, and that the family and officials are still acting under the assumption they will be there.
But Harry suggested in an interview to promote his book that he would only attend if he received an apology for the way he says he and Meghan were treated by the family. Friends of the royals have scoffed at this suggestion, saying the royals firmly believe they have nothing to apologize for.
The friend reiterated this, saying: “It is clearly entirely up to them if they accept the invite. Plans are being made on the basis that they will.”
Asked where the Sussexes would stay if they did come, given that their home is being packed up and has to be surrendered immediately after the Coronation, and is thus unlikely to be fit for habitation, the friend said that secure arrangements for the couple would “of course” be made if they chose to come.
There is no doubt, however, that the revelation that the couple are effectively being expelled from the U.K. royal estate (they could of course buy a property in the U.K. as private individuals if they so desired, but it wouldn’t be slap-bang in the middle of Windsor Great Park) puts the issue of their coronation attendance in a very different light.
Another source, an old friend of both William and Harry, who is no longer in contact with Harry, told The Daily Beast: “William won’t shed a tear if Harry doesn’t make it. He feels utterly betrayed by Harry. Relations have never been this bad, and he hates him for what he has done to the family in the books and interviews. He will support whatever decision his dad makes but it’s no secret he would prefer it if he wasn’t there, or, indeed, never stepped foot in England again.”
Asked if comments made by King Charles in his accession address in which he said he wished to express his love for Harry and Meghan “as they continue to build their lives overseas” could now be seen as an order to the couple to avoid the U.K., the friend said: “You’d think they would take the hint by now.”
The friend said they had no idea if William and Kate would eventually move into Royal Lodge, as has been rumored in some quarters, although a palace source told The Daily Beast that William and Kate are “very happy” in their present accommodation, Adelaide Cottage, a four-bedroom home on the Windsor Estate. There has also been speculation that the Waleses could move into Windsor Castle itself.
Regardless of whether or not it eventually impacts the Waleses, the move by Charles to boot the Sussexes out of Frogmore Cottage has undoubtedly come as a huge blow to the couple, who made an official comment confirming they had been “requested to vacate” the property just hours after the reporter Omid Scobie, Harry and Meghan’s biographer, who is known to have excellent contacts within the Sussex organization and has at times acted as a quasi-spokesman for the couple, wrote in a Yahoo! article that the couple were “appalled” by the move to kick them out of the property.
“It all feels very final and like a cruel punishment,” a friend of the couple told Scobie. “It’s like [the family] want to cut them out of the picture for good.”
The source, who, given Scobie’s close relationship with the Sussexes is likely to have given an accurate reflection of the couple’s state of mind, added: “This is not just some random rental they keep for convenience. Every drawer is full, every closet is packed… It’s a real family home.”
Buckingham Palace has declined to comment on the story to The Daily Beast or other media outlets, with insiders seeking to cast it as an internal family matter. Prince William’s office said they did not wish to comment, and the Sussex camp did not return emails seeking further comment.
However, The Daily Beast understands the king is acutely concerned about appearances of extravagance while a cost-of-living crisis batters Britain.
A friend of the king’s this week told The Daily Beast: “Charles has made it quite clear he wants to reduce the size of the royal estate. It’s not a good look for a house to be sitting empty, so it can accommodate Harry and Meghan once in a blue moon.”
The dramatic move by Charles to cut off his son from his U.K. abode will go a long way to dispel the perception that Charles was being weak or indulgent in reference to Harry. To make the gist even more pointed, it is said that Charles began proceedings against the couple the day after Harry’s memoir Spare was published.
This decision will be a catalyst for collapse, hastening what looks like a now inevitable total dissolution of cordial relations between the two sides.
As a source told The Sun: “Charles wanted to start after his coronation with the issues of Harry and Meghan and Andrew put to bed. The situation has dragged on far too long and he wanted to act decisively and quickly.”
The royals have always preferred speaking with actions rather than words.
With this action, Charles is letting Harry, and the world, know that for whatever reason—be it a lack of trust, a fear of effectively having a hostile chronicler living in the heart of the royal estate, or simply a matter of money as some in his camp have already claimed—he simply doesn’t want Harry around any more.
By anyone’s standards, reaching the point where you kick your own child off the family land is a significant milestone. But it is an apt marker of the astonishing extent of the bitterness that has paved the road of resentment and division that Harry and his family continue to travel.