Prince Harry’s concerns for the Queen’s safety may have been sparked by his fury at seeing his disgraced uncle Andrew escorting him to Prince Philip’s memorial, Buckingham Palace aides believe.
Harry shocked the royal household last week when he said he was delighted to see his grandmother recently so he could make sure “she is protected and [has] has the right people around her”.
Her comments in an interview with US broadcaster NBC were first seen by royal watchers as a dig at her father, Prince Charles, and brother, William.
But we can reveal insiders now believe they were a response to Prince Andrew’s re-emergence last month.
A Buckingham Palace source said: ‘These images of Prince Andrew escorting the Queen to Westminster Abbey may have upset Harry, which is now believed to be one of the reasons he made the remark too surprising.
“Harry knows the Queen’s aides and there is no animosity. The Palace knew he could do an interview, but nobody expected those kinds of comments.
“He seemed to hint that he had concerns for the Queen’s safety.
“There’s a feeling it could be linked to Andrew who has become quite close to his mum in recent months.”
The controversial interview took place while Harry was in Holland with his wife Meghan for the Invictus Games.
It sparked a firestorm of criticism from Royal watchers and fans
Author Tom Bower said: ‘He is not just targeting Charles and William, but also Edward Young, his private secretary. All of Harry’s demands have been rebuffed and he is hitting on those who oppose the Sussexes’ self-promotion.
The source added: “Initial word from officials was that Harry’s comments were intended for Palace aides and not family members.
“The Duke of York is trying to keep a low profile after the enormous damage he has done to the monarchy, so Palace officials were determined to deflect these comments away from him.”
While Andrew has been widely condemned for his association with the late pedophile Jeffrey Epstein, the Queen was reportedly more lenient.
Earlier this year, Andrew agreed to a multi-million pound settlement with Epstein victim Virginia Giuffre.
She had accused him of sexually abusing her three times, including once when
she was 17, which the duke repeatedly and vehemently denied.