King Charles made sure the Sussexes were part of the Windsor walkabout.
In the wake of Queen Elizabeth's passing last year, an enduring image of perseverance and family bonds came via a now-unforgettable image of the royal Big 4 coming together: Prince William, Kate Middleton, Prince Harry, and Meghan Markle putting aside the drama that was swirling around the then-yet-to-be published Spare and celebrating the life of the monarch. However, People reports that the moment almost didn't happen because William was being stubborn and that King Charles had to insist that everyone be invited to the Windsor walkabout, where Kate, Harry, William, and Meghan greeted the public.
"Essentially, he told William to swallow his pride and invite his brother and sister-in-law to join them when they greeted mourners and well-wishers in Windsor that day. William wasn’t keen," Omid Scobie wrote in his new book, Endgame. "This was his moment with the public, but the King put pressure on [him]."
The walkabout was also the catalyst for another major moment: William apparently sent Harry a text for the first time in months. Scobie explained that William “sent his first text message in months to Harry, suggesting it would be ‘good’ if they came along, too.”
According to People, Scobie wrote that a source close to the royals "said it was all led by their father, that he was the one that made the suggestion."
"It showed that all four are capable of switching it on and doing what’s right in the moment," Scobie said of the walkabout, which was the first time in years that the Big 4 had been at an event together.
“I thought potentially that could open doors to other moments of seeing what matters and putting certain things to one side, just to coexist or to find some sort of common ground,” he added. “But I think the thing that surprised me the most was that afterward everyone just went their own ways and nothing happened beyond that.”
Scobie also wrote that the Sussexes only had 40 minutes' notice before they were expected to join the Cambridges. That, he explains, was a major signal that William was brushing off the whole thing and didn't want Harry to be involved.
“The fact that it was about to go ahead without the Sussexes, who were only asked 40 minutes beforehand, shows just how close William was to not doing it at all. And if it wasn't for Charles, it wouldn't have [happened],” Scobie added.
At the time, a source close to Kensington Palace told People that having everyone together "was an important show of unity at an incredibly difficult time for the family."
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