Throughout everything that’s happened to the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, it’s always been clear that they never blamed Queen Elizabeth II for any of the bad stuff, even if one could argue that she was effectively the CEO and she probably could have been a lot firmer on many issues. Still, in the last four years of her life, it was clear that Charles was assuming more power, and so were QEII’s courtiers. They clearly kept things from her and did some ghastly things in her name. One thing that seemed to get through to QEII was that under no circumstances should the Sussexes be without royal protection. She had her private secretary write a cover-your-ass memo expressing her feelings on the subject – that she felt strongly that the Sussexes needed a great deal of security.
The late Queen Elizabeth II considered it “imperative” that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex kept “effective security” after leaving the working Royal family, court documents have revealed. Her most senior aide told a Home Office committee that keeping the Sussexes safe was “of paramount importance to Her Majesty and her family” as he put forward a case for their continuing security, a letter has revealed.
Sir Edward Young wrote to Sir Mark Sedwill, the then Cabinet Secretary, after the Sandringham summit of January 2020 to explain what had been decided by the late Queen and her grandson. The letter, included in newly published court documents, reveals how Sir Edward – writing on behalf of the Palace in his role as the late Queen’s private secretary – made the case for the Sussexes’ continued “effective security” as they left the working Royal family. It invokes the memory of Diana, Princess of Wales, and talks of the threats the Sussexes face from “extremists”.
The letter, published as part of a summary judgment on Friday, contradicts the prevailing narrative that the Duke and Duchess were cut off by the Royal family after being “forced” to leave Britain. It has been submitted to the High Court as part of evidence to reach the truth of whether and when the Duke made an offer to pay for his own security. He has claimed it was raised during the Sandringham Summit. Ravec, the Home Office committee that rules on security matters, did not receive any such offer at that stage, it is claimed.
Reporting the details of what was agreed at the summit, Sir Edward wrote: “During their time in the UK, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex expect to attend public-facing engagements representing the charities and causes which remain dear to them. These engagements would no longer be formally undertaken on behalf of Her Majesty but, given the profile of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, we would expect they would still attract public attention…
“… Of course, a number of these patronages have been granted to them by Her Majesty, which they will continue actively to fulfil. Her Majesty may from time to time invite the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to attend national royal occasions in their private capacity, and Her Majesty is likely to invite the Duke and Duchess of Sussex to participate in family events in keeping with other non-working members of the family.”
On the matter of the Duke and Duchess’s ongoing security, he wrote: “You will understand well that ensuring that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex remain safe is of paramount importance to Her Majesty and her family. Given the Duke’s public profile by virtue of being born into the Royal family, his military service, the Duchess’s own independent profile and the well-documented history of targeting of the Sussex family by extremists, it is imperative that the family continues to be provided with effective security. And, of course, the family is mindful of tragic incidents of the past. The discussions to date, including with [the former chairman of Ravec], have been useful in making sure that the parameters of the Ravec process are well understood. Of course, Her Majesty and her family recognise that these are independent processes and decisions about the provision of publicly funded security are for the UK Government, the government of Canada and any other host government.”
[From The Telegraph]
What’s interesting about this is NOT that it “contradicts the prevailing narrative that the Duke and Duchess were cut off by the Royal family after being ‘forced’ to leave Britain.” What’s interesting about this is that QEII wanted a cover-your-ass memo written to explicitly state that her grandson and his family were still under mortal threat, meaning that even QEII believed that HER people were working against the Sussexes’ interests and that her wishes would likely be disregarded. She was right – the memo was promptly disregarded by RAVEC, by the queen’s Lord Chamberlain and by the man who wrote the letter, Edward Young. Young was part of RAVEC at that time, he not only “presented” the Sussexes’ case to Ravec (leaving out the fact that Harry wanted to pay back his security costs while visiting), and Young was part of the Ravec team who suspended the Sussexes’ security in 2020. The Lord Chamberlain withdrew the Sussexes’ funding and security as punishment for Harry not backing down on Christian Jones and Dan Wootton. And Ravec was all too eager to leave the Sussexes unprotected.
One of the things I’ve always believed (and some of the reporting reflected this) is that when QEII was alive, she had her royal protection team cover Harry and Meghan during their visits in 2021 and 2022. Harry was reportedly pleased with how that arrangement worked. It changed when his father became king, probably because Charles was the one who authorized the withdrawal of the Sussexes’ security in the first place.
Photos courtesy of Avalon Red.
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