Meghan Markle and Prince Harry dramatically reignited their feud with the royal family Tuesday, breaking cover to openly deny claims they had “snubbed” the king by turning down an invite to his 75th birthday celebrations, with a spokesperson saying there had been “no contact” made with them by the palace.
Britain’s Sunday Times reported reported this weekend that Harry had turned down an invite to King Charles’ birthday this month with a friend of Charles quoted as saying: “He’ll never not invite his son to a family gathering, because that’s not who he is.”
However in an inflammatory response to the article, an official spokesperson for the couple hit back at the claims telling the Daily Mail’s website: “There has been no contact regarding an invitation to His Majesty’s upcoming birthday. It is disappointing the Sunday Times has misreported this story.”
The official response to MailOnline is significant as the couple vowed in 2020 that they would have “zero engagement” with the outlet which they accused of consistently distorting and misrepresenting them.
MailOnline added further context from a source whom it described as being “close to the Sussexes” who reportedly said: “They had not received any invitation and were unaware of any celebrations until the stories came out. I’m sure the Duke will find a way to reach out privately to wish His Majesty a happy birthday like he has always done.”
Another source described as being a “friend of the couple” was quoted as saying the Palace might have leaked the story to draw attention away from the king’s recent visit to Kenya, saying: “The story is being positioned in a way to make it look like the Duke is snubbing his father, which he is not…Considering the trip [to Kenya] didn’t go well, this might be a welcome distraction.”
The Daily Beast has contacted the offices of Meghan and Harry and King Charles for comment, but has yet to receive a response.
The flare up will be an unwelcome distraction for the royals today. Prince William is in Singapore for the 2023 edition of his environmental prize, Earthshot, and was filmed welcoming Cate Blanchett to the ceremony earlier.
Charles, meanwhile, is today opening a new legislative session of Parliament, the first time he has done so as king.
The palace are keen to keep the focus on this historic event.
Harry and Meghan made a rare joint public appearance Sunday night, attending a Katy Perry concert in Las Vegas. travelling to the gig by private jet.
The weekend saw a number of leaks and briefings against Harry and Meghan, which many suspect came from the heart of the palace machine.
In addition to the report in the Sunday Times, the Daily Telegraph reported that Harry and Charles were barely speaking, such was Charles’ ongoing fury at Harry for attacking Camilla in his memoir.