Queen Elizabeth’s ‘mysterious’ response to Prince Harry when he asked permission to marry Meghan

Prince Harry says he wasn't sure if his grandmother was trying to tell him she wanted to decline his request - Julian Simmonds

Prince Harry says he wasn’t sure if his grandmother was trying to tell him she wanted to decline his request – Julian Simmonds

Queen Elizabeth II gave the Duke of Sussex a “mysterious” answer when he asked her permission to marry Meghan, she reveals in her memoirs.

Prince Harry wasn’t sure if his grandmother was trying to tell him she wanted to decline his request, was being sarcastic or was playing word games.

The Duke feared he was “destined to be the next Margaret,” he writes, referring to his aunt, Princess Margaret, who was not allowed to marry the love of her life, divorcee Peter Townsend.

The prince recalls the moment he mustered up the courage to ask the Queen in his upcoming book Spare, which was officially published on Tuesday but was released earlier in Spain.

He admits that he was “scared” and always nervous around her. And the moment got even more awkward when the Queen simply replied, “Well, I guess I have to say yes.”

Harry had no idea what she was saying.

“She felt she had to say yes?”

She writes, “She felt she had to say yes? Did that mean she said yes but wanted to say no?

“I did not understand. Was she sarcastic? Ironic? Deliberately secretive? Did she allow herself a bit of wordplay? I don’t remember my grandma being a fan of puns, and this would be the weirdest time to be one (not to mention very inappropriate).”

The Duke had previously confided to his co-workers Ed Lane Fox and Jason Knauf that he wanted to propose, but was told there were “strict rules” governing such things and that he would have to ask his grandmother first.

Harry suggests he was surprised by the suggestion, asking if it was a “true rule”.

“It didn’t make sense,” he writes. “A grown man asks his grandmother for permission to marry.”

However, he recalls the “absurdity” of his father, then 56, who had to ask permission to marry the Queen Consort.

The Duke chose the family shooting in Sandringham in October 2017 to make his move.

He chose not to tell Prince William about his plans as he had already warned him against it. “Too soon, too soon,” he allegedly said.

Harry claims his brother was “pretty daunting” to date an “American actress” at all, suggesting that her nationality and profession resembled being a “convicted felon”.

Prince Harry says his brother 'discouraged' him to marry 'American actress' - KIRSTY O'CONNOR/AFP

Prince Harry says his brother ‘discouraged’ him to marry ‘American actress’ – KIRSTY O’CONNOR/AFP

That day he watched the late queen drive her Range Rover into the middle of the field in search of dead birds, alone and unprotected.

“I tried to engage her in a light chat to loosen her up,” he writes.

“The full seriousness of it all was finally starting to set in.”

The prince wonders what would have happened if his grandmother had refused. Would he dare not listen to her or would he have to end his relationship with Meghan?

“That moment was either the beginning or the end of my life,” he says. “It would all come down to the words I chose, how I said them, and how Grandma heard them.”

With a dead bird in each hand, he chased the queen as she approached her vehicle, surrounded by hunting dogs.

“I had to get down to it without a single second of hesitation,” he writes.

“I saw her waiting for me to speak, not waiting patiently.

“Her expression screamed, ‘Down with it.'”

An awfully long break

He says: “Grandma, you already know that I love Meg very much and I decided that I would like to ask her to marry me, and they told me that … well …. I need your permission before I ask her to marry me.

She replies, “Do you have to do that?”

“Yes,” he says. “That’s what your people said, and so did mine.”

The prince reveals that her expression was impenetrable during the painfully long hiatus.

He finally replies, “Then I guess I have to agree.”

She finally realizes that she gave him permission to marry and “babbles” thanks.

He says he desperately wanted to hug her but didn’t. Instead, he helped her into the vehicle and they returned to the rest of the family.

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