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Karl Stefanovic: The Queen’s death will be ‘doubly difficult’ for Prince Harry 


The death of Queen Elizabeth II will be especially hard on her grandson Prince Harry, whose relationship with the Royal Family had become strained in recent years, Karl Stefanovic said.

A sombre Stefanovic made the observation on the Today show at about 5:30am, as news of the Queen’s death broke in Australia early Friday morning.

As the program aired photos of the Queen’s four children and Prince William making their way to Balmoral to say goodbye, co-host Allison Langdon said Harry ‘wasn’t there for the passing of his beloved grandmother’.

The death of Queen Elizabeth II will be especially hard on her grandson Prince Harry, whose relationship with the Royal Family had become strained in recent years, Karl Stefanovic said. (Pictured: Stefanovic and Allison Langdon on the Today show on Friday morning)

Stefanovic, who was looking at a photo of Harry alone in a car, said, ‘[It] looks like he is alone there too, going into Balmoral,’ noting the absence of his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex.

He continued: ‘It’s a difficult day when any member of your family dies. For [Harry], doubly difficult, I would have thought.’

Stefanovic did not expand on this thought, likely out of respect for Her Majesty’s memory.

Stefanovic made the observation on the Today show. His remark about the loss being 'doubly difficult' was possibly referencing how Harry wasn't with The Queen when she died. (Pictured: Harry travels to Balmoral after the Queen's death was announced to the nation)

Stefanovic made the observation on the Today show. His remark about the loss being ‘doubly difficult’ was possibly referencing how Harry wasn’t with The Queen when she died. (Pictured: Harry travels to Balmoral after the Queen’s death was announced to the nation)

It's also possible Stefanovic he was alluding to the strained relationship between the Queen and the Sussexes, who stepped down as frontline royals in 2020 and now live in America. (Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey, which only worsened the rift between the Windsors and the Sussexes)

It’s also possible Stefanovic he was alluding to the strained relationship between the Queen and the Sussexes, who stepped down as frontline royals in 2020 and now live in America. (Pictured: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during their interview with Oprah Winfrey, which only worsened the rift between the Windsors and the Sussexes)

But it’s possible he was alluding to the strained relationship between the Queen and the Sussexes, who stepped down as frontline royals in 2020 and now live in America.

He may also have simply been referencing the fact Harry hadn’t seen as much of his grandmother as he would’ve liked in recent years due to having moved overseas.

On the other hand, Stefanovic’s remark about the loss being ‘doubly difficult’ could simply have been referencing how he was not with The Queen when she died. 

Prince William drove Prince Andrew, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Prince Edward to Balmoral to say their last goodbyes (pictured). Harry did not arrive until nearly an hour and a half after the death of his grandmother the Queen was announced

Prince William drove Prince Andrew, Sophie, Countess of Wessex, and Prince Edward to Balmoral to say their last goodbyes (pictured). Harry did not arrive until nearly an hour and a half after the death of his grandmother the Queen was announced

Harry arrived at Balmoral nearly an hour and a half after the death of his grandmother the Queen was announced.

Buckingham Palace declared the passing of Britain’s longest-serving monarch aged 96 at 6.30pm on Thursday evening.

But flight data shows the Duke of Sussex’s jet was still in the air at the time, not touching down at the airport until nearly 15 minutes later. He was then seen in the back of a car leaving the site just after 7pm.

Queen Elizabeth's 70-year reign is unlikely to ever be surpassed by another king or queen of England. (The Queen is pictured in London, England, on February 20, 2018)

Queen Elizabeth’s 70-year reign is unlikely to ever be surpassed by another king or queen of England. (The Queen is pictured in London, England, on February 20, 2018)

He finally arrived at the Scottish estate at 7.52pm, where he joined other members of the Royal Family in mourning the Queen’s death.

Harry headed to Balmoral alone, without his wife Meghan, having previously been due to attend the WellChild Awards in London this evening. 

He was expected to make a speech at tonight’s awards, which honours the brave deeds of seriously ill children, before he cancelled the appearance.

It is understood Meghan has remained in London, but will not attend the WellChild awards. The duchess could potentially join Harry in Scotland at a later date, a source said.

The death of Queen Elizabeth: A timeline of how today’s sad news was announced

12.35pm: A statement is released by Buckingham Palace, announcing that the Queen is under medical supervision at Balmoral after doctors became ‘concerned for her health’. A Palace spokesperson said: ‘Following further evaluation this morning, the Queen’s doctors are concerned for Her Majesty’s health and have recommended she remain under medical supervision. The Queen remains comfortable and at Balmoral.’

12.47pm: A statement is released by Clarence House, confirming that Prince Charles and his wife Camilla would travel to Balmoral. It said: ‘The Prince of Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall have travelled to Balmoral’. 

12.48pm: A minute later, Kensington Palace announces that Price William will be travelling to Balmoral. The statement read: ‘The Duke of Cambridge is also travelling to Balmoral.’

1.37pm: It is reported that Prince Andrew has travelled to Balmoral Castle in Scotland following news that doctors were concerned for The Queen’s health.

1.38pm: Sources confirm to the Press Association (PA) that The Princess Royal is at Balmoral, and the Duke of York and the Earl and Countess of Wessex are on their way to the Queen’s Scottish home. 

1.55pm: A spokesperson for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex confirms that the couple will be ‘travelling to Scotland’. While the initial statement mentioned ‘Scotland’, it did not make directly make mention of Balmoral.  The Duke and Duchess of Sussex were due to attend the WellChild Awards ceremony in London on Thursday evening, but changed their plans to travel to see the Queen.

4.14pm: A news alert by the Press Association (PA) said that the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were believed to be travelling to Balmoral ‘separately’ from other royals. 

4.39pm: Less than 30 minutes later, PA issue another news alert, quoting an unnamed source, saying that that the Duchess of Sussex would not travel to Balmoral with the Duke of Sussex. The source said that Prince Harry would be making the trip by himself. A source said the Duchess could potentially join Harry in Scotland at a later date, following what PA described as a ‘change of plan’.

4.44pm: Minutes later, Omid Scobie, a journalist considered to be ‘friendly’ towards the Duke and Duchess of Sussex, and who often quotes unnamed sources close to the couple, writes a post on social media network, Twitter about the situation. He write: A source has shared an update stating that only Prince Harry has made the trip up to Balmoral. Like the Duchess of Cambridge (who is in Windsor with their three children), the Duchess of Sussex is staying back in England (but still not attending tonight’s WellChild Awards).’ The post mentions Kate, who earlier in the day it was revealed would not travel to Balmoral. 

6.30pm: The Royal Family announces via social media site Twitter that Queen has died ‘peacefully’ at Balmoral at the age of 96. 

After 6.30pm: Prince Harry is believed to have arrived at Balmoral following the public announcement 

Australia has joined much of the world in mourning Queen Elizabeth II, as her death prompts the first change in head of state in more than seven decades.

A statement from Buckingham Palace early on Friday (AEST) confirmed the 96-year-old’s death.

‘The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon,’ Buckingham Palace said.

‘The King and The Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.’

Australia has joined much of the world in mourning Queen Elizabeth II, as her death prompts the first change in head of state in more than seven decades. She is pictured receiving flowers from schoolchildren waving flags after a Commonwealth Day Service in Sydney in March 2006

Australia has joined much of the world in mourning Queen Elizabeth II, as her death prompts the first change in head of state in more than seven decades. She is pictured receiving flowers from schoolchildren waving flags after a Commonwealth Day Service in Sydney in March 2006

Flags will fly at half mast across Australia on Friday as the nation waits to hear how the official mourning process will proceed.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese paid tribute to the Queen, who is succeeded by her son King Charles III in a move that is expected to renew Australia’s republican debate.

‘An historic reign and a long life devoted to duty, family, faith and service has come to an end,’ Mr Albanese said in a statement.

‘The government and the people of Australia offer our deepest condolences to the royal family, who are grieving for a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother – the person whom for so long was their greatest inner strength.’

Mr Albanese said that ‘from her famous first trip to Australia, the only reigning sovereign to ever visit, it was clear Her Majesty held a special place in her heart for Australia’.

‘Fifteen more tours before cheering crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place she held in ours.’

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered his condolences to the Royal Family, the British people, and all his own citizens who held Her Majesty in the highest regard

Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese offered his condolences to the Royal Family, the British people, and all his own citizens who held Her Majesty in the highest regard

He praised the Queen’s relationship with Australia and the rest of the world.

‘As monarch for more than half the life of our Federation, the relationship between Australia and Britain matured and evolved throughout Her Majesty’s reign,’ he said.

‘The Queen greeted each and every change with understanding, good grace and an abiding faith in the Australian people’s good judgment.

‘This was the deft and diplomatic way she bound the diversity of the modern Commonwealth, nations around the world who will mourn her passing.

‘This time of mourning will pass but the deep respect and warm regard in which Australians always held Her Majesty will never fade.’

The Queen first visited Australia with Prince Philip in 1954, arriving on the SS Gothic which steamed into Sydney Harbour after almost six weeks at sea. She is pictured with Prince Philip at Parliament House in Canberra during that tour

The Queen first visited Australia with Prince Philip in 1954, arriving on the SS Gothic which steamed into Sydney Harbour after almost six weeks at sea. She is pictured with Prince Philip at Parliament House in Canberra during that tour

The Queen visited Australia in 1954, 1963, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2011 - her last time on these shores. She is pictured in 1981

The Queen visited Australia in 1954, 1963, 1970, 1973, 1974, 1977, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1992, 2000, 2002, 2006 and 2011 – her last time on these shores. She is pictured in 1981 

Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor was queen of the UK and 14 Commonwealth realms including Australia, since her reign began in February 1952.

Governor-General David Hurley said Australians should take inspiration from the Queen’s contribution.

‘She was a truly remarkable person,’ he said in a statement.

The Queen's last visit to Australia came in 2011 when then Labor prime minister Julia Gillard described her as 'a vital constitutional part of Australian democracy'. She is pictured in Perth during that trip

The Queen’s last visit to Australia came in 2011 when then Labor prime minister Julia Gillard described her as ‘a vital constitutional part of Australian democracy’. She is pictured in Perth during that trip

‘When I reflect on my own memories – she was my Queen for my whole life – I think of Her Majesty’s dignity and her compassion. Her dedication and tireless work ethic. And her selflessness and unwavering commitment to the people that she served. To us.’

Federal opposition leader Peter Dutton was thankful for the Queen’s dedicated service.

‘Today, a comforting warmth has left the world. One of humanity’s brightest lights has gone out,’ he said.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s full tribute to Queen Elizabeth II 

With the passing of Queen Elizabeth the Second, an historic reign and a long life devoted to duty, family, faith and service has come to an end.

The Government and the people of Australia offer our deepest condolences to the Royal Family, who are grieving for a beloved mother, grandmother and great-grandmother—the person whom for so long was their greatest inner strength.

Australian hearts go out to the people of the United Kingdom who mourn today, knowing they will feel they have lost part of what makes their nation whole.

There is comfort to be found in Her Majesty’s own words: “Grief is the price we pay for love.”

This is a loss we all feel, for few have known a world without Queen Elizabeth II. In her seven remarkable decades on the throne, Her Majesty was a rare and reassuring constant amidst rapid change. Through the noise and tumult of the years, she embodied and exhibited a timeless decency and an enduring calm.

From the moment the young princess became Queen, shouldering the mighty weight of the institution into which she was born, Her Majesty made dedication to duty and service above self the hallmark of her reign.

She celebrated our good times, she stood with us in the bad. Happy and glorious but steadfast too. In particular, we recall the sympathy and personal kindness she extended to Australians afflicted by tragedy and disaster.

Throughout it all, she was a monarch who let her humanity show, performing her duty with fidelity, integrity and humour. In this, she was supported so long and so lovingly by the late Prince Philip, her “strength and stay” for 73 years.

From her famous first trip to Australia, the only reigning sovereign to ever visit, it was clear Her Majesty held a special place in her heart for Australia.

Fifteen more tours before cheering crowds in every part of our country confirmed the special place she held in ours.

As monarch for more than half the life of our Federation, the relationship between Australia and Britain matured and evolved throughout Her Majesty’s reign.

The Queen greeted each and every change with understanding, good grace and an abiding faith in the Australian people’s good judgment.

This was the deft and diplomatic way she bound the diversity of the modern Commonwealth, nations around the world who will mourn her passing.

Today marks the end of an era, the close of the second Elizabethan age. This time of mourning will pass but the deep respect and warm regard in which Australians always held Her Majesty will never fade.

May she rest in eternal peace.

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