Lady Anne Glenconner, 91, a soulmate of the late Queen Elizabeth’s sister, Princess Margaret, and a close family friend of all the royals, including King Charles, told a literary festival John Kerry once remarked to her that Americans “feel very, very sorry for Prince Harry.”
Glenconner said Kerry made the comment expressing his sympathy for Harry in front of First Lady Jill Biden at King Charles III’ Coronation.
In her account, Kerry, the first US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, did not say why he felt sorry for Harry, but a spokesperson for Kerry refuted any suggestion that he was commenting on Harry and Meghan’s marriage.
Glenconner was answering a question from an audience member at a public talk at the Barnes Book Fest in London about the Sussexes’ decision to step back from royal life.
She had moments earlier criticized Harry’s wife Meghan Markle, saying she believed Meghan had expected her royal life would comprise of riding around “in gold coaches.”
Glenconner is the author of a number of books on her extraordinary life as Margaret’s best friend and lady-in-waiting, whose late husband Colin Tennant, the 3rd Baron Glenconner, bought the island of Mustique and turned it into an elite and glamorous hidey-hole for sybaritic aristocrats and privacy-hungry celebrities.
She made the comment in response to an audience member, who said they had appreciated her remarks on the abdication of Edward VIII, and asked for her “observations” on the Sussexes.
Glenconner said: “I used to know Harry when he was a little boy, because my (children’s) nanny Barbara and I used to go and see him. He was a lovely little boy.”
She added: “I think the thing about Meghan was, she had no idea what was expected of her really. I think she just thought it was sort of like being another actress, you know. Riding around in a golden coach and everything like that. Actually, being a member of the royal family is extremely boring…meeting hundreds of thousands of people you are never going to meet again. … I think it is very sad and I feel very sad for Harry.”
She then continued: “At the [king’s] coronation I happened to sit next to someone called John Kerry, who ran for president. He wanted to be president. And he came over with Mrs. Biden, because he is into green things, and we were sitting with the king’s friends, and I said to him, ‘What do you think in America about Harry and Meghan?’ and he just said, ‘We all feel very, very sorry for Harry.’”
Glenconner concluded, to laughter from the crowd, “I think I can just leave it there.”
The host of the talk, Gyles Brandreth, who streamed the conversation on his podcast, Rosebud, replied archly, “You can leave it there.”
A spokesperson for the State Department said: “Secretary Kerry does not remember being asked that question, but as a father in the public eye himself, he has nothing but empathy for people working through a family matter who all deserve privacy and compassion.”