Ever since a distraught Prince Harry was photographed sweeping into the gates of Balmoral Castle, alone, several hours after the queen had died, and being driven out again at 8:30 a.m. the following morning, similarly alone, to catch a scheduled British Airways flight back to London, the question of what actually happened that night has loomed large.
Now, some answers have been provided about those mysterious 13 hours by the Daily Mail society reporter and columnist Richard Kay, who is widely understood to have excellent contacts in King Charles’ camp.
Kay says that, astonishingly, Harry did not see William at all that evening, and that by the time he arrived, William had already been whisked away to Charles’ home on the estate, Birkhall.
The two brothers thus ate dinner apart, and the first they saw of each other was when they briefly united at Windsor Castle in a carefully stage managed show of unity on Saturday.
Kay reports, “Two dinners were being hosted on the royal estate that night and there was a clear divide: one was for the new king and his heir, the other was for the rest of the family.”
Watch: King Charles reportedly said it 'wasn't right' for Meghan Markle to be at Balmoral
Kay also rubbishes the suggestion that it was Charles who arranged for William and Harry and their wives come together to view floral tributes at Windsor Castle.
He says that, as The Daily Beast has reported, the initiative was William’s. Kay however adds the compelling detail that the elder brother reached out to the younger via text.
Harry acknowledged the text, and the rest is history.
A source told Kay: “It happened very quickly—remarkable really considering they didn’t see each other in Scotland.”
A source previously told The Daily Beast that the decision was made to project a united front, a notion that is confirmed by an insider who told the Daily Mail, “These coming days are going to be extremely intense and getting through them without distraction can only be a good thing.”
Kay is skeptical that the truce will hold and compares the situation the games of football that were said to be played on the Western front during World War I on Christmas Day, before hostilities resumed on Dec. 26.
One abiding issue for William is Harry’s forthcoming memoir, with a source saying, “William loves his brother but there is this matter of trust.”
Asked about the chances of a true reconciliation, a source described by Kay as an “informed figure“ told him, “the problem is, that they have barely spoken for two years and there is both anger and grief about it all on both sides.”