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Prince Harry did not go "missing" before his wedding to Meghan Markle, despite a bizarre, unsubstantiated claim. There is no proof to support this story, which emerged on Thursday, two days before the nuptials. On the contrary, there is evidence indicating the allegation is implausible and phony.

The odd report is coming from OK!, which is announcing in a headline on its website, "Prince Harry Causes A Panic By Going Missing Days Before His Wedding!" Given that no reputable outlet has reported anything of the like, Gossip Cop's alarm bells instantly went off. Our suspicions were heightened by the beginning of the piece, which begins by vaguely asserting, "Not to long ago [sic], Harry gave his wife Meghan Markle and his security team a scare when he went missing." It is telling that no specific date is given.

The tabloid goes on to contend that Prince Harry "was gone so long that he was reported missing just days before he plans to wed Meghan." It's claimed the supposed mystery was solved when it was allegedly determined "the royal just popped into TJ Maxx to buy some pants." It should be noted that in the UK, the discount chain is known as "TK Maxx," not "TJ."

Asserts the outlet, "When he was 'found' not long after, he said, 'I was just shopping for a pair of pants!'" It is not explained why Markle and Prince Harry's "security team" did not know that. Nor is it said just who "reported" him "missing," or exactly how the situation was resolved. Or, as noted above, when this allegedly occurred. Instead, the publication merely states, "He and Meghan have been doing their own shopping around London recently. The duchess-to-be has been spotting doing her own flower shopping ahead of her big day."

But there are no photos of Markle "flower shopping," just like there are no pictures of Prince Harry recently at TK Maxx. In fact, the last time he was pictured at the Kensington High Street store was in 2013, and the visit made international news. At the time, TK Maxx even posted on Twitter about Prince Harry stopping by. But the store has not said anything now about the groom popping in just days before his wedding. In fact, when Gossip Cop called the store, as well as the company's media relations department, no one could verify that he visited the store recently. And one spokesperson with whom we spoke in Global Relations actually laughed off the possibility of such a sighting.

Indeed, when the royal heir does go out, it is not unnoticed. Earlier this month, for example, Prince Harry was photographed by paparazzi as he went to the gym. Though TK Maxx is just minutes from Kensington Palace, the likelihood that he could go there undetected, particularly during all the royal wedding hysteria that is taking place right now, is slim to none. And even if he did escape the media throngs that are following his every move, it is highly improbable that Prince Harry's own security guards would have no idea that he left the palace grounds for a shopping trip, yet were so afraid for his safety that he was reported "missing."

The London Metropolitan Police Service has a Protection Command that leads Royalty and Specialist Protection for the royal family. Officers are expected to know the whereabouts of key members of the monarchy, and to accompany them on outings. It would be a major breach in protocol if Prince Harry actually went shopping alone, unbeknownst to anyone else at the time.

So, to recap, OK! is claiming Prince Harry went "missing," but was really out shopping without his fiancee or his security detail knowing. Yet there are no photos of this public outing, and a specific date isn't even given. When contacted, no one at TK Maxx knew anything about Prince Harry being at the store recently, and no credible publication has corroborated the report. And curiously, no one at the store snapped a photo of him in public.

Gossip Cop must also remind readers that this is the same tabloid that falsely claimed Markle was pregnant last October. The magazine has a documented history of publishing untrue claims. This tale about Prince Harry going "missing" appears to be another one.

Our Verdict

Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.


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