Prince Harry has not traveled back to England amid the global pandemic. A tabloid's allegation that the Duke of Sussex was ordered home by Prince Charles is dubious at best. Gossip Cop has investigated the claim.
The cover of this week's National Enquirer is filled to the brim with half-truths, wild conjecture and outright falsehoods. "Harry Ordered Home!" screams the headline, along with "Charles' Infection creates CHAOS" and "Fears Queen has virus, too!" Of course, as always, the publication takes an underhanded shot Meghan Markle, because the tabloids never pass up an opportunity to make Markle look like the worst person in the world.
Inside, the two-page spread is filled with very questionable quotes from a so-called "courier." This dubious "source" contends Prince Harry has been ordered home by Prince Charles "to do his duty" and "put his nation before his own petty desires and the whims of his wife." This supposed insider continues, "The family's facing an unprecedented nightmare...and Harry needs to play his part!" The alleged decision made by Charles at the urging of Prince Harry's brother, Prince William, also has the backing of Queen Elizabeth, according to the "source."
Most of the rest of the fishy article invents an entire conversation between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, claiming the duke agreed to return home only to have the duchess "meltdown" and refuse to allow him to go. This so-called "courtier" then asserts Markle gave Prince Harry an ultimatum: his family or her and their son Archie.
The suspicious piece is problematic for a number of reasons. One, given the wide swath of travel bans across the globe and a shelter-in-place order for most of North America and Europe, it's unlikely that Prince Harry would be able to travel from California, where he and Markle are currently living, to the United Kingdom. It's even less likely the prince would be able to see his father, as the article contends he's been "ordered to do," as Prince Charles has tested positive for coronavirus and is isolated at the family's estate in Scotland, Balmoral. He is continuing to make public appearances via video, however.
Two, how is one person, supposed "insider" or not, privy to all these seemingly private conversations across two continents? That seems so unlikely it borders on the impossible. The details of each conversation, both between Prince Charles and his sons, and between the Duke and Duchess of Sussex themselves are suspiciously detailed.
Finally, once again, it seems it's just another opportunity for a tabloid to take an unfair shot at Markle. The duchess has been a gossip media's target for unflattering and downright mean accusations for years now. It's a major reason Prince Harry and Markle made their decision to stop back from royal duties, in fact. The press has been relentless in its desire to tear Markle down and this piece is no exception.
While it's possible that Charles has had private conversations with Prince Harry to return to help with the unprecedented pandemic situation, there is no solid proof offered by the magazine, simply the words of an unnamed source. Gossip Cop can't debunk this story completely, but we can say the story stinks to high heaven with tabloid tropes and reoccurring themes we've debunked many times in the past.
The Enquirer has a dismal record when it comes to "reporting" on the British Royal Family. Last week, Gossip Cop busted the publication for a false story alleging Markle demanded Prince Harry get a job, something referred to in the latest piece. The outlet's phony report was full of inaccuracies about the royal family's finances and the deal Prince Harry struck with his family to make his exit, as Gossip Cop pointed out. The whole article relied on the fact that its mostly American readership didn't understand the complicated nature of it all, rather than any actual facts.
Last year, the Enquirer alleged Queen Elizabeth was dying of cancer and wouldn't make it to the end of 2019. Gossip Cop busted that story more recently, when the queen did, in fact, live through the year and has made no announcement about having cancer, nor had she slowed down public appearances. At least until the pandemic struck. The tabloid is simply clueless and untrustworthy as a source of actual news about the family.
Gossip Cop has determined this story is totally false.