Queen experienced ‘knock-backs’ including Sussexes’ claims and Prince Philip’s death

Queen arrives at Royal Ascot for final day

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The Queen has navigated an incredibly difficult period over the past few months, her former press secretary Dickie Arbiter said. Mr Arbiter, who worked for the Queen between 1988 and 2000, cited Meghan and Harry’s damaging claims and interviews, the lockdown and the death of Prince Philip as the “knock-backs” experienced by Her Majesty.

He told the Sun Online: “She has had knock-backs – obviously the biggest one is the death of Prince Philip on April 9.

“Plus the Harry and Meghan he says she says – the Oprah interview, the Apple documentary on mental health.”

Speaking to Ms Winfrey in a two-hour-long interview first broadcasted in early March, Meghan and Harry accused the Royal Family of neglect and racism.

Prince Harry also spoke about his strained relationships with Prince Charles and Prince William.

However, the couple spoke highly about the Queen, with the Duchess saying the monarch has always been “wonderful” to her and the Duke revealing there is a “really good relationship and an understanding” between him and his grandmother.

Harry criticised further the Firm during the mental health series he co-created with Ms Winfrey, The Me You Can’t See.

There, he accused the Royal Family of “total neglect” when he and Meghan were asking for help in the wake of intense online abuse and media scrutiny.

The Queen, Mr Arbiter added, “enjoys meeting people”.

Therefore, the months spent “not being able to see anybody” but her husband and the reduced staff isolating with her at Windsor Castle “must have been very difficult” for the Queen, he said.

However, Mr Arbiter added, the Queen appears to be “coping incredibly well” despite the setbacks.

He said: “It’s all about duty.

“It’s not about turning your back on family issues, but life does have to go on and with her life does go on.”

Speaking about the Queen’s recent public engagements, Mr Arbiter said: “There’s a new spring in her step.

“She’s had a lot to contend with but she’s come out of it.

“She’s very stoic, very pragmatic.

“I think she’s being very cheery, but then we’re all coming out of lockdown, we’re all coming out of restrictions – unless we can be positive about it, why be gloomy?”

The Queen, who is the longest-serving British monarch, carried out several engagements this month.

On June 11, she travelled to Cornwall to meet leaders at the G7 summit – after holding an audience over the phone with Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

At the Eden Project, she met for the first time US President Joe Biden and the First Lady Dr Jill Biden – who were the Queen’s guests two days later at Windsor Castle.

On June 12, the monarch celebrated her official birthday by watching a streamlined Trooping the Colour.

She was in the company of her first cousin, the Duke of Kent, and looked absolutely delighted with the parade and the flypast.

Last Saturday, the Queen headed to Royal Ascot to watch the races with her racing manager John Warren.

On top of her public engagements, the Queen continues to carry out her day to day duties, including meeting diplomats, holding a weekly call with the Prime Minister and reading the documents delivered to her in the Government’s red box. 

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