Prince Harry has said he is making sure his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II is “protected” and has “the right people around her” following a recent secret visit to see her with Meghan markle.
In an upcoming interview with the American TV network NBC News, the Duke of Sussex said it was “just so nice” to see the Queen on only his third trip back to the UK since March 2020.
The wandering royal sat down with Hoda Kotb of NBC’s Today Show while in the Netherlands to attend the Invictus Games, with the full interview to be aired on Wednesday morning.
It comes just one year after the Duke’s explosive TV special with Oprah Winfrey alongside his wife Meghan, and the interview could cause further turbulence for the royal family.
Follow live updates below as we report the latest news from Prince Harry’s visit and learn more about what he said to NBC.
Key points so far
Prince Harry says he’s making sure the Queen is ‘protected’
California now feels more like home than the UK, Duke says
Harry and Meghan Markle secretly had tea with Queen during visit to UK
Queen was ‘on great form’ following recent brush with Covid-19
13:08 , Chelsea Ritschel
While speaking to Kotb, Prince Harry was also asked about whether he misses his family, and specifically, his brother Prince William and his father Prince Charles, with the Duke of Sussex deflecting the question as he explained that his focus is on his Invictus family and his own family with Meghan Markle.
13:05 , Chelsea Ritschel
According to the Duke of Sussex, he does have moments of peace, however, as he told the Today host: “At times I feel massively at peace.”
You can read more about what Prince Harry told Kotb about his happiness since moving to the US below:
12:47 , Chelsea Ritschel
Prince Harry has begun speaking with Hoda Kotb in an interview filmed from the fifth Invictus Games in The Netherlands.
In the beginning of the interview, the Today show host asked the royal whether he now feels at peace, to which he acknowledged that mental health is about management.
“I think everyone ends up feeling lighter, I think is the best way to describe it. For so many people, it is about management. You know the things that trigger you, therefore you try and stay away. But what I do know is that there is a light at the end of the tunnel for absolutely everybody,” Harry said.
11:59 , Io Dodds
The Today show will begin in about one minute, with Prince Harry’s interview soon to follow.
Prince Harry’s interview: what we know so far
11:30 , Io Dodds
We’re now half an hour away from the start of NBC’s Today show, which will include Prince Harry’s interview. Here are the key points so far:
This year was Meghan Markle’s first appearance at Invictus Games
10:54 , Io Dodds
NBC’s interview with Prince Harry took place while he was visiting the Netherlands to attend the Invictus Games, a sporting competition for injured and sick military service members and veterans that he founded in 2014.
The Games, named after William Ernest Henley’s famous Victorian poem – the title of which means “unconquered” in Latin – were the prince’s attempt to inspire hurt service members following his time in the British Army in Afghanistan.
However, the games were postponed in 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic and again in 2021, making this installment an emotional one for the Duke of Sussex.
“To the key workers on the frontlines in the battle against the pandemic, we are with you,” said Prince Harry and various associates in a collective video last February. “When the world is ready, we will compete with all we have, with all we are.”
It is all the more significant because it is the first Invictus Games where the Duke has appeared with his wife Meghan Markle, with whom he has built a new life in California away from the royal apparatus which they say shelters racism and bullying.
ICYMI: Harry is making sure the Queen is ‘protected’
10:16 , Io Dodds
Another preview clip from NBC showed the Duke saying he wanted to make sure his grandmother the Queen is “protected” and has the “right people around her”.
While Prince Harry did not elaborate on his meaning during the preview clip, his comments about protecting the monarch come after he and Meghan shared a number of surprising claims about their time as royals during an interview with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021.
At one point during the interview with Winfrey, Prince Harry alleged that the Queen, who he described as the “head of The Firm,” is badly advised by those around her.
ICYMI: California now ‘feels like home’ to Prince Harry
09:31 , Io Dodds
In a preview clip from NBC last night, the Duke of Sussex revealed that California feels like “home” to him and that he and Meghan Markle have been welcomed with “open arms” in the Golden State.
“Home for me now is, for the time being, it’s in the States,” Prince Harry said. “And it feels that way as well. We’ve been welcomed with open arms. And it’s got such a great community up in Santa Barbara.”
The pair live together in Montecito, a small chichi town neighbouring the beach resort city Santa Barbara on California’s picturesque Pacific coastline, about 90 miles up the shore from Los Angeles.
CYMI: Queen is ‘on great form’ after brush with Covid
08:20 , Io Dodds
Prince Harry told TV host Hoda Kotb that his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II was on “great form” after her recent bout with Covid 19.
According to new preview footage released by NBC News last night, the Duke of Sussex opened up about his recent secret visit to the Queen last week.
“She’s on great form,” said the Duke. She’s always got a great sense of humour with me, and I’m just making sure that she’s protected and got the right people around her.”
ICYMI: ‘It was just so nice to see the Queen’
07:07 , Io Dodds
In his NBC interview, Prince Harry opened up about how much he enjoyed being reunited with his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, during his and Meghan Markle’s surprise visit.
“Being with her was great, it was just so nice to see her. She was on great form, she’s always got a great sense of humour,” the royal said during a preview clip of the interview shared during NBC’s Nightly News with Lester Holt on Tuesday.
That trip marked the first time that Prince Harry and Meghan have been in Europe together since they stepped back from their roles as senior members of the royal family in March 2020 and relocated to California.
Queen to spend birthday at Prince Philip’s ‘modest’ farmhouse
06:00 , Io Dodds
The Queen is set to spend her 96th birthday today in “modest” fashion at a farmhouse beloved by Prince Philip.
According to Mail Online, Queen Elizabeth II will travel by helicopter to her family’s estate at Sandringham in Norfolk on Wednesday to stay at Wood Farm, where her late husband lived after retiring from public life.
Friends and family will visit her there over the next few days. Buckingham Palace is not planning any major publicevents to make her birthday.
The context is that the Queen’s advanced age and mobility issues have cast doubt on the extent of her involvement in public celebrations for her platinum jubilee this June.
Video shows Harry and Meghan in tiny novelty car
05:53 , Io Dodds
If you ever wanted to see his royal highness the Duke of Sussex, sixth in line to the throne of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, driving around in a tiny little car, today is your lucky day.
As part of the Invictus Games, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle were chauffeured around a very small track in very small Land Rovers driven by children, which was thankfully caught on video.
ICYMI: Harry’s son Archie wants to be Kwazii from Octonauts
04:50 , Io Dodds
In his speech at the opening ceremony of the Invictus Games on Saturday, Prince Harry detailed an ambitious career plan for his three-year-old son Archie.
While the toddler is currently alternating between wanting to be an astronaut and a pilot, the Duke also revealed that on some days he wants to be Kwazii from the children’s TV show Octonauts.
Kwazii is an animated orange cat with a Cockney accent who explores the ocean with his animal compatriots. The Octonauts Wiki describes him as a “daredevil cat with a mysterious pirate past”.
“If you’re laughing, then you’ve seen [the show],” said the Duke.
Sussex family hires former Obama secret service agent
03:36 , Io Dodds
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle have hired a former US Secret Service agent who once protected presidents Barack Obama and George W Bush, according to reports.
Page Six, the gossip section of the New York Post, reported on Tuesday that former protection agent Christopher Sanchez has been photographed with the Sussexes at the Invictus Games.
Mr Sanchez left the Secret Service in 2013 and is now a vice president at the private security firm TorchStone Global.
“Secret Service agents are the best in the world at what we do,” he said in a podcast interview in 2020. “I spent five years on the president’s details and I was lucky enough to be there during a transition, so I spent the last two-and-a-half years with President Bush and the first two-and-a-half years of President Obama. I was just grateful to be a part of it.”
The Sussexes’ security has been a matter of controversy between them and the Windsors. Prince Harry has his own private protection team, but following his retirement from official duties he has argued that they do not have enough legal powers abroad or access to UK intelligence.
The Duke is currently suing the British Home Office to overturn its refusal to provide police security while he visits the UK, arguing that he “does not feel safe” and is happy to pay for it.
Prince Harry ‘barred from official role’ in Queen’s platinum jubilee
02:32 , Io Dodds
As we wait for Prince Harry’s new interview to broadcast, let’s look at the political background behind his latest spot with American TV networks.
The royal family’s invitation to the Sussexes to join Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum jubilee celebrations this summer is a significant move, given their past tensions with the rest of “the Firm”.
The pair resigned from royal duties in March 2020, and later spoke out about their treatment behind the scenes in a 2021 interview with Oprah Winfrey.
If they do attend, they will be able to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony and at family events, such as a service of thanksgiving at St Paul’s Cathedral.However, the Sussexes will reportedly not be allowed an official role in any events and could not take part in the Trooping the Colour ceremony.
“Aides concede that while the Sussexes’ presence would mean a lot to Her Majesty, it would take a leap of faith from all sides following the bitter fallout caused by the damaging allegations the couple have made in a string of television interviews since moving abroad.
“Prince Harry would also have to swallow his pride over the ongoing legal wrangle concerning his security after saying his family would not be safe visiting the UK following the Government’s decision not to provide them with police protection.”
Either way it will be a poignant occasion. The Queen’s age (95) and increasingly frail health mean it could be her last balcony appearance with all her family around her.
When and where does Prince Harry’s interview air?
01:26 , Io Dodds
That’s all the previews we’re getting tonight, so when and where will Prince Harry’s new interview be airing?
NBC’s Today show will broadcast at 7am eastern US time on Wednesday 20 April, which is 2pm for people in the UK.
American viewers can also watch it online via NBC’s website, if they have a TV package that includes NBC, or the Peacock streaming service.
However, viewers in the western half of the US will get it two hours late due to America’s odd TV time zone rules, which stagger network broadcasts over two “regions” designed to cover the country’s many timezones.
Viewers outside the US might be able to watch via a VPN, but NBC’s streaming services often refuse to play if they detect you using such software.
Either way, The Independent will be watching and will continue to post live updates on this blog.
Harry says he’s making sure Queen is ‘protected’
Wednesday 20 April 2022 00:42 , Io Dodds
Prince Harry has revealed that he took the opportunity to make sure that his grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II, is “protected” and has the “right people around her” during his and Meghan Markle’s recent visit, Chelsea Ritschel reports.
Asked how it felt to be reunited with the Queen, Harry said: “I’m just making sure that she’s, you know, protected, and got the right people around her.”
California now feels like ‘home’
Wednesday 20 April 2022 00:35 , Io Dodds
California now feels like “home” to Prince Harry, at least “for the time being”.
In preview footage from his interview with NBC’s Hoda Kotb, the Duke of Sussex said he had adjusted well to the Golden State, my colleague Chelsea Ritschel reports.
“Home for me now is, for the time being, it’s in the States,” Harry said. “And it feels that way as well. We’ve been welcomed with open arms.”
Your highness, I know the feeling.
First images of Harry’s new interview
Wednesday 20 April 2022 00:20 , Io Dodds
Here’s the first pictures from Prince Harry’s NBC interview, in which he was questioned by veteran TV host Hoda Kotb.
Harry says Queen is on ‘great form’ after brush with Covid
Wednesday 20 April 2022 00:06 , Io Dodds
Prince Harry told TV host Hoda Kotb that his grandmother Queen Elizabeth II was on “great form” after her recent bout with Covid 19.
According to new preview footage released by NBC News just now, the Duke of Sussex opened up about his recent secret visit to the Queen last week.
“Being with her, it was great. It was just so nice to see her,” Prince Harry told Ms Kotb.
“She’s on great form. She’s always got a great sense of humour with me, and I’m just making sure that she’s protected and got the right people around her.”
Child reporters land exclusive royal interview
Tuesday 19 April 2022 23:14 , Io Dodds
Of all the journalists covering Prince Harry’s visit to the Invictus Games, perhaps the most impressive scoop went to Sophia, 11, and Jay, 12, two cub reporters for the Dutch children’s news outlet Kindercorrespondent.
In a sweet interview on Saturday, the pair asked the Duke – kneeling down so he was level with Sophia’s microphone – about his wishes for Archie and Lilibet’s future.
Prince Harry responded. “To grow up in a better world. To grow up in a fairer world, a safer world, a more equal world. “It’s not going to be easy, but I will never ever ever rest until I as a parent have at least tried to make the world a better place for them.
“Because it is our responsibility that the world is the way that it is now, and I don’t think that I should be bringing children into the world unless we are going to make that commitment to make it better for them. We cannot steal your future.”
Asked what he liked most about the Invictus Games, Prince Harry said: “So many kindred spirits, comrades in arms, from all over the world – people who have been struggling and suffering by themselves, knowing that their story is unique to them but also so relatable to so many other people.
“Bringing that energy together and bringing that pain and the suffering together for one week, and then everybody leaves feeling more healed. That’s what sport does, that’s what community does, that’s what human interaction does.”
He told the two children that it was important for their generation to understand not only the history of war but “the power of recovery”, saying good things could come from conflict. After the interview, the trio embraced.
‘I promised I wouldn’t have kids until I left the army’
Tuesday 19 April 2022 22:41 , Io Dodds
Another nice detail from Prince Harry’s interview with People: in his younger days, he did not want to be married or have kids until he had left the British Army.
“When I was in the Army, I promised myself I would be out before having a wife and kids, because I couldn’t imagine the heartache of being apart for so long during deployment, the risk of possibly getting injured, and the reality that my family’s lives could be changed forever if that happened,” Prince Harry said.
“Every member of the Invictus community has experienced varying degrees of these things. I have tremendous respect for what they and their families sacrifice in the name of service.”
Harry explains disability to his son Archie
Tuesday 19 April 2022 21:55 , Io Dodds
Prince Harry told People that his son Archie, who turns three years old on 6 May, is already very interested by the Invictus Games.
“I showed Archie a video of wheelchair basketball and rugby from the Invictus Games in Sydney, and he absolutely loved it,” Harry said.
“I showed him how some were missing legs and explained that some had invisible injuries, too – not because he asked, but because I wanted to tell him.
“Kids understand so much, and to see it through his eyes was amazing because it’s so unfiltered and honest.”
Second Sussex child Lilibet takes her first steps
Tuesday 19 April 2022 21:32 , Io Dodds
In his interview with People, Prince Harry also revealed that his 10-month-old daughter Lilibet has taken her first steps, Meredith Clark reports.
“Her current priorities are trying to keep up with her brother; she took her first step just a few days ago,” Harry told People. “Proud papa, here.”
Lilibet, or Lili for short, was born last June and named in honour of her late grandmother, the Princess of Wales, and her great-grandmother, Queen Elizabeth II.
‘To have Meg by my side means everything’
Tuesday 19 April 2022 21:10 , Io Dodds
Prince Harry has described his pride and happiness at returning to the Invictus Games with Meghan Markle as parents, my colleague Chelsea Ritschel reports.
In an interview with People magazine, the Duke of Sussex said:
“There is nowhere you can feel more embraced and supported than with the Invictus family, The Toronto Games were our first time out and about publicly in an official way. We were dating at the time, so it was a lot to take in, but fortunately, we were with the perfect community for that.
“Now, five years later, here we are in The Hague at the fifth Invictus Games, as parents of two, and living in the US,” Harry said. “I had always wanted to share these incredible moments with someone special, and to have Meg by my side means everything.”
Harry’s secret visit to see the Queen
Tuesday 19 April 2022 20:47 , Io Dodds
Last Thursday, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle made a secret visit to the UK to see Harry’s grandmother Queen Elizabeth II at Windsor Castle.
It was only the third time the Duke of Sussex had returned to the UK since he and the Duchess stepped back from their roles as senior members of the royal family and relocated to California in March 2020.
“She had plenty of messages for [Invictus] Team UK, which I have already passed on to most of them,” he told the BBC on Monday. “So, it was great to see her. I’m sure she would love to be here if she could.”
According to The Telegraph, both Sussexes have also been invited to appear on the Buckingham Palace balcony during the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations later this year.
It suggests that relations are improving between the Sussexes and the rest of the royal family following Queen Elizabeth’s Covid-19 infection in February.
Oprah’s royal interview was the most explosive since Diana
Tuesday 19 April 2022 19:29 , Io Dodds
The Sussexes’ interview with Oprah Winrey last year was easily the most revealing royal interview since Prince Harry’s mother Princess Diana’s tell-all BBC spot in 1995.
Sitting in the grounds of the couple’s discreet house in Montecito, California, Meghan Markle told Oprah that she had contemplated suicide but been told it “wouldn’t be good for the [royal] institution” if she went to hospital.
She said there had been “several conversations” between herself, Harry, and other members of the royal family about “how dark” their mixed-race baby would be – a topic that left Harry “a bit shocked”.
We don’t know whether this interview will be that explosive. One year on, relations between the Californian and the English Windsors may have cooled enough to make it a more chill affair. Then again, the Sussexes have surprised us all before.
Another potential bombshell interview from Prince Harry
Tuesday 19 April 2022 19:07 , Io Dodds
Good morning and welcome to our live blog from sunny California, where Prince Harry and his wife Meghan Markle make their home.
This week, instead, the couple are in the Netherlands to attend the Invictus Games, a sporting competition for injured or sick military members and veterans founded by the Duke of Sussex.
It’s there that Prince Harry sat down with US TV host Hoda Kotb. We’ll get preview clips from the interview later tonight (Tuesday), and the full interview tomorrow (Wednesday).