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Harry and William surprised aide with question during interview–author

Prince Harry was ‘worried about his shelf life’ says insider

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Prince Harry and Prince William stunned one of the first aides they ever hired for their personal team by asking a bizarre question during the final interview, according to an author. In his newly-released book titled Courtiers: The Hidden Power Behind The Crown, royal correspondent Valentine Low detailed how the meeting between Miguel Head and the two princes went. Mr Head was asked by Paddy Harverson, King Charles’s communications officer, in 2008 whether we wanted to join the newly-established team based at Clarence House looking after Harry and William. 

Mr Low claimed Mr Head had impressed Charles’s aide with his handling of the press following the return of the Duke of Sussex from his tour in Afghanistan after the media blackout imposed to protect both the royal and fellow soldiers had been broken by an Australian magazine.

After a few meetings with Mr Harverson and other members of Charles’s team, Mr Head, who was in charge of the media blackout as the chief press officer at the Ministry of Defence, only had to succeed in his final interview with Harry and William to get the royal post.

The interview, however, was “not what [Mr Head] was expecting”, Mr Low claimed in the book.

Detailing the informal setting where the meeting took place, Mr Low claimed: “It was held in a small sitting room in the office, just about big enough for two sofas. 

“He was offered tea, which came in a mug, somewhat to his surprise. He had been expecting the finest palace china. 

“The other surprise was that, while he was wearing a suit and tie, the two princes were very casually dressed. Harry was wearing flip-flops.

“After a string of questions about the media, essentially designed to find out whether he would be a pushover with the press, he was asked the one question that really surprised him: ‘In the English Civil War in the 1600s, what side would you have been on?'”

Mr Head, the author added, was “completely taken aback” by the question.

The period of the Civil War lasted between 1642 and 1651 and saw two sides – the Parliamentarians and the Royalists – fighting over how England, Scotland and Ireland should be governed and religious freedom. 

In the midst of the war, King Charles I became the only English monarch in history to have ever been tried and executed for treason.

Mr Head, the author wrote, decided he would provide Harry and William with an honest answer, even if it meant confessing he would have been on the side of the Parliamentarians as someone who believes in Parliamentary democracy. 

Mr Head, however, stressed he believed the monarchy has an important and symbolic constitutional role and he would not have killed Charles I.

While he thought his honesty had not been appreciated, he later learned he had given the princes the right answer and got the job.

Mr Head worked as Harry and William press secretary until 2012, when Charles’s firstborn appointed him his private secretary.

The aide, who had supported Harry and William in their 20s, left the royal household in 2018, following a decade of service.  

Another pivotal aide who had joined the team focused on the princes in its early stage was Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton. 

The courtier was hired as Harry and William’s private secretary in 2005 and remained in the post for several years.

Signalling their huge appreciation for Mr Lowther-Pinkerton, Prince William and Kate, the Princess of Wales, chose his son Billy as one of their pages at their wedding and asked the former royal aide to be one of Prince George’s godparents in 2013. 

The former aide was also the chair of the committee put in place in 2017 by Harry and William to create the statue of Princess Diana unveiled on what would have been her 60th birthday, in July last year. 

Among the guests who attended the unveiling ceremony was Mr Lowther-Pinkerton. 

COURTIERS The Hidden Power Behind The Crown by Valentine Low was published on October 6 by Headline.

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