The Duke and Duchess of Sussex are dropping their HRH titles, will step down from royal duties and are moving to Canada with their son Archie Harrison Mountbatten-Windsor. While Harry has insisted he had “no choice”, his great-grandmother might have begged to differ. In a “private long unseen” video, dug out by a friend of the Royal Family, the Queen Mother can be seen saying that she hopes both William and Harry will “always put their country first, whatever happens”.
Basia Biggs posted a clip from the video on her Instagram in which the Queen Mother is asked what advice she would give her great-grandsons about serving the country as a royal.
She said: “Well, I suppose, I hope they will be brought up to always put their country first, whatever happens.”
She added: “It is about duty to one’s country, isn’t it, really? It comes first.
“I’m sure they will be brought up like that.”
The remarks were made by the Queen Mother in her garden room at Clarence House.
Ms Biggs wrote: “I was standing in the room that day and fascinated to observe her good nature turning to steely-eyed irritation when unexpectedly questioned as she never gave interviews.
“A historical gem of a video searched for and found in my cupboard under the stairs, I knew it would come in handy one day.”
The Queen Mother’s comments imply she would not have approved of Harry and Meghan’s decision.
She was also not a fan of Mrs Simpson, who she would refer to as “that woman”.
This is likely why she had such staunch views that royals should serve their country “whatever happens”.
She herself served as the Queen Consort for 15 years and then, after her husband’s passing, as the Queen Mother for a further 50 years.
She was a devoted wife to the King, helping him overcome his stutter, giving him confidence, and together they created a warm home for their family, completely different from the cold formality of George VI’s Victorian childhood.
She was consistently one of the most popular royals, who did her duty and was looked on fondly by the public, even when other royals were suffering in approval polls.
However, the Queen Mother never gave any interviews, after one she did with a newspaper when she was first engaged to Prince Albert.
King George V berated her at the time for how relaxed and informal she had been, and she never gave another after.
In this way, the Queen Mother believed that the most important thing for a member of the Royal Family was to serve their country no matter what.
Therefore she might have had something to say about Harry’s decision to leave it behind – especially when she was so sure he “would be brought up” to put his country first.
It is unclear when the video was taken, but the Queen Mother died in 2002 aged 101, when Harry was 17.