The Queen expressed relief that the Duchess of Sussex was not attending the funeral of the Duke of Edinburgh, saying “thank goodness Meghan is not coming”, a biographer claimed on Friday night.
Tom Bower, who has written a new book about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex entitled “Revenge”, alleged the Queen told aides of her feelings in a “clear voice” at Windsor Castle before her husband’s funeral.
Buckingham Palace declined to comment, in line with its long-standing policy to never respond to unofficial books.
Those close to the Queen raised doubts about the “non-specific” claims, questioning whether her focus would be on anything other than her husband on the difficult day of his lockdown funeral.
Bower’s book claims to be a “characteristically explosive and rigorously researched account of the rift between the Sussexes and the rest of the Royal family, touching on every aspect of scandal and suspicion”.
It includes a series of claims about Meghan Markle’s early life, detailing her alleged disappointment at a Vanity Fair interview which she had hoped would be about her “global philanthropy” but instead is said to have infuriated the palace for including her relationship with Prince Harry.
A spokeswoman for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex has not yet responded to a request for comment.
In an extract published last night in The Times newspaper, Bower described the difficult relationship between the Duke and the Royal family after the couple departed for America and began telling their story on television.
Of the funeral day in April 2021, he wrote: “The only uncertainty was the relationship between Harry and his family.
“How would he cope with his father and brother? Meghan had cited her seven months’ pregnancy as the reason for not travelling.
“In Windsor Castle, the Queen was preparing to face the public on one of the saddest days of her life. Philip had been her rock for the previous 70 years.
“To comply with Covid restrictions she would grieve alone inside the chapel.
“’Thank goodness Meghan is not coming’, the monarch said in a clear voice to her trusted aides.”
At the time, the Duchess was reported to be watching the service from home on the advice of her doctors.
She wrote a handwritten note for a wreath of flowers left at St George’s Chapel on behalf of the Sussexes.
On the day of the funeral, Bower claimed, the Duke appeared nervous because he knew he had filmed an interview for Apple TV about mental health in which he criticised his upbringing, with transmission delayed until after the funeral.