Queen Didn't Want Meghan Diverting Attention From Philip at Funeral—Author

The queen's reported relief that Meghan Markle was not attending Prince Philip's funeral in the weeks after the broadcast of her interview with Oprah Winfrey stemmed from the monarch's not wanting attention being "diverted" from her late-husband, according to a royal biographer.

Tom Bower, the author of the upcoming title Revenge: Meghan, Harry and the war of the Windsors, told broadcaster Piers Morgan on Monday's episode of Piers Morgan Uncensored that if Meghan had been at the funeral "she would have had all the attention," as the event occurred just weeks after the broadcast of her interview with Winfrey.

Bower's book has made headlines after an extract published by The Times claimed that the queen had told a close aide "thank goodness Meghan is not coming" in the days before Philip's April 2021 funeral.

"In Windsor Castle the Queen was preparing to face the public on one of the saddest days of her life," the extract read. "Philip had been her rock for the previous 70 years. To comply with Covid restrictions she would grieve alone inside the chapel.

Queen Elizabeth II Prince Philip Funeral
The queen is photographed at the funeral of her husband, Prince Philip, at St. George's Chapel in Windsor on April 17, 2021. Meghan Markle, inset, top, is pictured on September 4, 2018. Prince Philip, inset, bottom, is pictured on October 12, 2018. Royal biographer Tom Bower has said that the queen's reported relief over Meghan not attending Prince Philip's funeral stemmed from her concern that the duchess would become a focus attention. Yui Mok/WPA Pool/Getty Images/Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images/Alastair Grant/WPA Pool/Getty Images

"'Thank goodness Meghan is not coming,' the monarch said in a clear voice to her trusted aides."

Buckingham Palace has, so far, declined to comment on the content of Bower's book but a source close to the queen previously told Newsweek that it was "unlikely" the monarch was thinking about anyone other than Philip around the time of the funeral.

The number of "trusted aides" around the queen at the time of Philip's funeral was extremely limited, given the strict COVID measures in place at the time.

Morgan asked Bower about the queen's alleged claim that she didn't want Meghan at Philip's funeral.

"Well, she didn't want the attention diverted from Philip," the author responded. "If Meghan had been there she would have had all the attention."

Bower also referred to a moment where Prince Harry and Prince William appeared to walk side by side together after the funeral service, which was closely analyzed by the press.

"The Harry walk with William just showed how the media was focussed on reconciliation and everything after Oprah, so when she said to one of her aides 'thank goodness Meghan isn't coming,' she meant it heartfelt."

Prince Philip died on April 9, 2021 after the Winfrey broadcast had taken place which opened the royal family up to a wave of criticism after Harry and Meghan made a number of claims. These included that they were not given adequate support by the monarchy, and that an unnamed member of the royal family made racially insensitive comments about the skin color of the couple's future children.

Prince Harry and Meghan Markle Oprah Interview
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle sat down with Oprah Winfrey in March 2021 for a tell-all interview just weeks before Prince Philip's death. Harpo Productions

In response to the claims made in the Winfrey interview, Buckingham Palace released a rare statement.

"The whole family is saddened to learn the full extent of how challenging the last few years have been for Harry and Meghan," the statement said.

"The issues raised, particularly that of race, are concerning.

"While some recollections may vary, they are taken very seriously and will be addressed by the family privately. Harry, Meghan, and Archie will always be much loved family members."

Prince William and Prince Harry Grandfather's Funeral
Prince William, left, and Prince Harry, right, walk to St. George's Chapel for the funeral of Prince Philip in Windsor, England on April 17, 2021. Alastair Grant/WPA Pool/Getty Images

Though Meghan did not travel to the U.K. for the funeral of her husband's grandfather, she reportedly sent a handwritten card which was laid with a special floral wreath at St. George's Chapel, Windsor for the service.

Bower's book is released on July 21 in Britain and he says it contains input from more than 80 sources close to the Sussexes. Claims in the book that have already emerged include Meghan challenging Harry's friends over inappropriate jokes at their first meeting and that the duchess "hated" being compared to sister-in-law Kate Middleton.

Newsweek approached Buckingham Palace for comment.

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