Prince Harry wasn't told of Queen Elizabeth's death until just before release of public statement, paper claims

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Harry
Prince Harry wasn't told about the Queen's death until 5 minutes before the world found out. Photo credit: Getty Images

Prince Harry wasn't told of Queen Elizabeth's death until five minutes before the official announcement was made to the world, according to reports.

By contrast, new UK Prime Minister Liz Truss was informed of the monarch's death two hours before her grandson, as per the Telegraph.

Harry reportedly received a call from his father, then-Prince Charles, while he was mid-air en route to Balmoral, the royal residence where the Queen eventually passed. When his plane arrived, the announcement had already been made by Buckingham Palace that she had died.

But a royal source claimed to the Telegraph the Duke hadn't been treated any differently, despite the royal rift that's brewed between Harry, his wife Meghan and the royal family since the couple stepped back from royal life two years ago.

"Everybody was trying to get where they needed to be," the source said. "That was the focus. 

"And the King was adamant that the official statement must not be released until all members of the family had been informed. That was a father talking because he cares."

The Telegraph said news of the Queen's ill-health was delivered to family members on Thursday, September 7, the night before her death on Friday, September 8 (NZ time). Charles reportedly called both his sons to tell them she was unlikely to make it, and to get to Scotland as soon as possible.

The paper claimed that Harry received the call some time after his brother Prince William and due to delays, Harry's aides had struggled to get him on a flight to Scotland.

However, new heir apparent William had joined forces with the Duke of York and the Earl of Wessex to fly from RAF Northolt to Aberdeen, landing at 3:50pm (local time).

Harry eventually took off from Luton Airport at 5:35pm – an hour after UK Prime Minister Truss was said to be informed of the Queen's death.

The release of the public statement was delayed until the King managed to reach Harry shortly before he touched down.

However, Harry didn't make it to Balmoral until around 7:45pm, meaning he missed the chance to say farewell to his grandmother.